2. Malik Cunningham
Malik Cunningham is perhaps the biggest non-Ezekiel Elliott topic around the Patriots right now, and for good reason. The dynamic dual threat, who’s also taking snaps at wide receiver in practice, has completely shaken up New England’s QB competition with his play so far.
Cunningham came in and immediately made a difference against the Texans, using his arm and legs to pick up chunks of yards at a time. That culminated in a highlight-reel nine-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, giving New England it’s only TD score of the night.
One promising showing isn’t enough to guarantee Cunningham anything, but that hasn’t stopped fans from clamoring to his role increased. Those hoping for more of Louisville product got their wish this week, as Cunningham’s seen more reps at QB, showing he’s made some headway in this race.
At this point, Cunningham’s potential alone is enough to squeeze Trace McSorely out for the QB3 role. Now it’s about how high the rook can climb, as Bailey Zappe’s struggles in camp mean the primary backup role isn’t locked down by any means yet.
Another thing going for Cunningham is the fact Zappe and Mac Jones both took the bulk of the work against the Packers this week in a pair of fiery joint practices. Teams sometimes opt to feature their starters in these sessions instead of the game later in the week, so Cunningham could see a ton of playing time if Jones and Zappe sit.