All of the focus was on the healthy return of veteran pass-catchers Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola but the rookie from Marshall wound up being Tom Brady's favorite target against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rookie or not, any receiver catching passes from Tom Brady can emerge as a relevant NFL player. Thompkins was Brady's favorite target against the Eagles and has earned rave reviews during training camp.
The Patriots hit it big with two former Marshall receivers in Randy Moss and Troy Brown. Does second-round pick Aaron Dobson have the combination of size, speed to give Tom Brady the vertical option this offense is missing?
The good news for Patriots fans is that they still have Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and exciting young talent on defense. The bad news? They only have five picks in the 2013 draft, including zero in rounds 4-6, which could once again make the Patriots one to watch for trade activity.
Attempting to prove he's well on his way to recovering from the torn ACL suffered on Nov. 24, Florida State pass rusher Cornellius 'Tank' Carradine worked out for scouts on Saturday. He was clocked at 4.93 seconds in the 40-yard dash, according to a high-ranking league source.
Could a provision in the collective bargaining agreement which gives clubs the option of adding a fifth year to rookie deals spark draft-day trades and push the value of quarterbacks? Some in the league think so.