Patriots DB Works Out With Rookie of the Year and Free Agent Target

Getty Jalen Mills

The New England Patriots haven’t made a ton of headlines with their offseason acquisitions and moves in 2022. There is still a small chance the team could swing a noteworthy trade or swoop in to sign a soon-to-be released big name, but most all is quiet on that front as we are just weeks away from the start of training camp on July 27.

As players ramp up for the 2022 season, Patriots defensive back Jalen Mills is putting in some major work to prepare himself physically.

A recent video from B/R Gridiron went viral showing Mills working out with Detroit Lions running back DeAndre Swift, Cincinnati Bengals star and reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase as well as Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back and Patriots free-agent target Leonard Fournette. The four players were doing interval workouts on the treadmill side-by-side.

Mills deserves credit for being on his grind, but is he the answer at one of the starting cornerback spots for the Patriots?

Do the Patriots Need an Upgrade at CB?

Mills was a solid starter for the Philadelphia Eagles during his time there, and he had his moments with the Patriots in 2021.

However, he isn’t exactly an ideal fit alongside Malcolm Butler in New England. The Patriots would love to see rookie Jack Jones emerge as a legitimate contributor in training camp and the preseason. Jones was drafted in the fourth round out of Arizona State, where he was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

He has all the tools to be a successful NFL cornerback, and he could provide a big boost to the Patriots’ secondary if he can develop quickly. Mills is still the favorite to start opposite Butler, but Jones will be pushing for playing time and could end up winning the job before long.

While the Cornerback Situation isn’t Ideal, the Safeties Look Solid

The Patriots corners have something to prove in 2022, but the expectations are high for the safety group. Led by a veteran in Devin McCourty and a third-year player in Kyle Dugger who seems ready to emerge as a star, the Patriots should be in good hands on the last line of defense.

McCourty re-signed with the Patriots for one year, $9 million in March. The 34-year-old is entering his 13th NFL season and is coming off a year in which he played in all 17 games, had 3 interceptions, 10 passes defended and 60 total tackles. McCourty has proven he can still compete at a high level in the NFL and will be a key piece of the Patriots’ defense in 2022. There is a chance McCourty could retire after the 2022 season, but for now, he remains an important part of the team.

After an impressive second season in the NFL, Dugger is poised to have a breakout year in 2022. The young safety proved to be a playmaker for the New England Patriots, recording 4 interceptions, 92 tackles and 5 passes defended. Dugger has the rare combination of size, speed and instincts that make him a valuable asset in the secondary.

He has the ability to not only make plays on the ball, but also to come up and support the run. Dugger is expected to be a key contributor for the Patriots defense next season, and he has the potential to become one of the best safeties in the NFL.

If the corners do their part, the Patriots’ secondary could be a major strength of their team.



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