Patriots gridiron news: Defensive end Deatrich Wise rushing towards success

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Deatrich Wise
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Deatrich Wise /

New England Patriots rookie Deatrich Wise has made some noise as a pass rusher through the first two weeks of the 2017 NFL season.

If there is a silver lining to the failed Kony Ealy experiment, it is the emergence of New England Patriots fourth-round pick Deatrich Wise Jr.

With increased opportunity, the rookie out of Arkansas has already racked up three sacks through the first two games.  He was quite impressive in this past Sunday’s 36-20 win over the New Orleans Saints.

Wise was all over Saints quarterback Drew Brees with five quarterback hits and this sack that showed just how strong and athletic he is.

While his ability is not surprising to anyone who has seen him play throughout training camp, his early production is.  With the retirement of Rob Ninkovich, injury to third-round pick Derek Rivers and the release of Ealy, the Patriots suddenly needed another pass rusher.  That’s where Wise has stepped up.

Though it’s still very early, all signs are pointing up for the talented rookie.

"“I’m still learning.  I’m a rookie,” Wise said following the game, via WBZ.  “So I obviously have a lot to learn about the game, about the playbook, and about this whole thing.”"

With his size and athleticism, it will be fun to watch this kid grow and develop in the New England Patriots defense.

Patriots sign defensive back Robert Nelson 

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Tuesday, the New England Patriots have signed safety Robert Nelson to their practice squad.

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The 5-foot-10, 181-pound defensive back went undrafted in 2014 and has played for the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals the last couple seasons.  Although he is a defensive back, he does have the ability to return punts.

His speed and experience in college gives the team another option in the punt return game if they need it.  With Danny Amendola out in Week 2, the team had to turn to safety Patrick Chung to return punts. 

NFL power rankings

The defending Super Bowl champions remain at No. 4 in ESPN’s NFL rankings this week.

The team’s overall performance put to rest any concerns about their play on both sides of the ball for now.  Yes, their Week 2 36-20 win came against the New Orleans Saints, but the way the team responded following their Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs is encouraging.

Next: New England Patriots: James White is Tom Brady’s Mr. Dependable

Speaking of the Chiefs, they jumped up to No. 2 in the rankings.  The Atlanta Falcons jumped from No. 7 to the No. 1 spot this week following a victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.