The New England Patriots’ eighth training camp practice is in the books. The final session of the world champions’ week was a comparatively light one after two straight days of players working out in full pads. Nevertheless, we did see some standout performances on Friday — for better or for worse. Let’s take a look at some of them for our latest rundown of the winners and losers from practice.
Winner: CB J.C. Jackson
While Stephon Gilmore and Jonathan Jones made the most headlines due to their outstanding play, J.C. Jackson is quietly having a terrific camp himself. The second-year cornerback was at his best on Friday when he allowed only one catch on four targets during team drills, and also registered two pass-breakups — tied for most on the team. Jackson, whose lone blemish might have been a dropped interception late during 11-on-11s, is making a strong case for becoming the number two outside cornerback opposite Gilmore.
Winner: QB Jarrett Stidham
While Jarrett Stidham is still making his fair share of rookie miscues, the fourth-round draft pick is adapting well to life in the NFL. Friday was another example of that: the 22-year-old completed eight of eleven pass attempts during team work and looked comfortable leading the second-string offense in place of Brian Hoyer. Stidham’s accuracy certainly stands out, and it will be interesting to see how he looks against the Detroit Lions next week.
Winner: RB Sony Michel
After starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list, Sony Michel now appears to be fully recovered from the knee arthroscopy that cost him large portions of the offseason. The second-year man not only continues to move well, he also saw considerable action in the passing game on Friday. All in all, he caught three passes from Tom Brady during 11-on-11 work — finishing the day with a team-high five receptions during competitive drills.
Loser: TE Matt LaCosse
While Matt LaCosse still projects to be a top-two tight end for the Patriots this season, his final practice of the week was nowhere near his best. Not only did the free agency acquisition finish the day without a single reception, he also had a bad false start during a two-minute drill and was subsequently sent on a penalty lap. LaCosse has run both hot and cold during training camp so far, but the latter has taken over during the last two days.
Winner: WR Jakobi Meyers
It probably doesn’t need to be said anymore, but Jakobi Meyers is having an outstanding camp. After stealing the show on Thursday with some spectacular receptions, no other player caught as many passes from Tom Brady on Friday as the undrafted rookie free agent: Meyers finished the day with four receptions during team drills — three of which came during 11-on-11s. Furthermore, he also saw some action in two-receiver packages alongside Phillip Dorsett.
Loser: WR Braxton Berrios
Braxton Berrios’ inconsistent training camp continues. After a sloppy Wednesday and solid Thursday, he had another forgettable outing on Friday: the second-year Patriot caught just three of his eight targets during competitive team drills, as he was unable to regularly get open (particularly against slot cornerback Jonathan Jones). Berrios, who also dropped a pass from Jarrett Stidham at one point, appears to be losing ground in the race for the final wide receiver spot.
Winner: SS Terrence Brooks
Considering his contract structure, Terrence Brooks is a lock to make the Patriots’ roster this year — and he also looked the part on Friday. He was tied with J.C. Jackson with two broken up passes and also did not allow a single reception on three footballs thrown in his direction during 11-on-11 work. Seeing reps with the first-team defense again, Brooks projects to be more than ‘just’ a core special teams player in 2019.