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POLL: Which Patriots rookie had the best 2017 season?

Who gets your vote?

NFL: AFC Championship-Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots' draft approach under head coach and de-facto general manager Bill Belichick always placed a special value on quantity over high-end quality. 2017 was different, though, as the team selected a franchise-low four players with a Super Bowl winning roster available and a more active free agency period. Of those four players, only one was on the day one roster with undrafted players also playing an important role.

Consequently, asking about the Patriots' best rookie from last year is a race between only one drafted player and two undrafted ones. Let's take a look at the contestants:

DT Adam Butler

New England signed Vanderbilt product Adam Butler shortly after the draft and the defensive lineman was able to earn a spot on the team's 53-man roster. Overall, he appeared in all 19 of the Patriots' games during the year and played 41.1% of the team's defensive snaps as a rotational pass rusher. Butler finished with a solid stat line of 4.0 sacks, two quarterback hits and 11 pressures as well as 22 tackles – all while being used on special teams as well.

TE Jacob Hollister

Like Butler, Wyoming tight end Jacob Hollister also joined the Patriots via rookie free agency alongside his twin brother. But while Cody Hollister was unable to make the team and was signed to the practice squad, his older brother did. Overall, Hollister was active for 16 games his rookie season and registered five catches for 42 yards as the third option at the tight end position. He also had four tackles on special teams, while playing 37.4% of kicking game snaps.

DE Deatrich Wise Jr.

When Deatrich Wise Jr. was drafted in the fourth round, he was projected to at best be the fourth option on the defensive edge. However, Rob Ninkovich's retirement and Derek Rivers' ACL tear bumped him up the depth chart: The 23-year old became the top option opposite of fellow Arkansas product Trey Flowers. In 19 games, Wise Jr. old registered 7.0 sacks, 14 hits and 13 hurries – his combined 34 pressures being the second-most on the team – while playing 46.6% of New England's defensive snaps.

The rest of New England's rookie class had limited contributions either due to injury or its spot on the depth chart. Still, the three rookies above made some position contributions – but who gets your vote as the best of the bunch?


Which Patriots rookie had the best 2017 season?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    DT Adam Butler
    (256 votes)
  • 1%
    TE Jacob Hollister
    (21 votes)
  • 78%
    DE Deatrich Wise Jr.
    (1012 votes)
1289 votes total Vote Now