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Predicting 5 Patriots breakout players in 2018: #5 Deatrich Wise Jr.

Coming off a strong rookie season, defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. will look to take an even bigger step forward in 2018.

NFL: AFC Championship-Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Deatrich Wise Jr. and Trey Flowers share similar characteristics; they were both a product of Arkansas, both a fourth round pick and both know how to get to the quarterback.

In a year where the Patriots pass rush struggled, Wise was a bright spot with five sacks and nineteen quarterback hits, which was good for second best on the team.

Wise has shined so far throughout training camp and pre-season.

With Wise’s excellent work ethic (In which Bill Belichick praised earlier on in camp) and his athleticism at his size, Wise is expected to be a crucial part in New England’s defensive turn around in the upcoming year.

Wise will be paired with edge rushers Adrian Clayborn, Derek Rivers, who’s coming off a torn ACL, Trey Flowers and you could see some Dont’a Hightower come off the end in some schemes. These four elite pass rushers combined will ultimately take the work load off Wise and allow him to be fresh on most of the downs he plays.

Wise spoke on the fact that whether he’s in or out, he needs to soak everything in and continue to learn, “Everything I do is mental reps or physical reps,’’ Wise said. “When I’m not in, I need to learn from the people that are in front of me or learn from the coaches’ tips.’’

With that attitude, the sky seems like the limit for the young edge rusher.