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Here is a look at how the Patriots' first-year players performed in the team's Week One win over the Dolphins.
OT Nate Soldier (first round, 17th overall) — With starting ORT Sebastian Vollmer out with an injury, Solder got the call and performed admirably in his debut. He allowed just one sack to Cameron Wake and picked up one holding call, but his pass protection helped Tom Brady throw for 517 yards. The Patriots have to be pleased with Solder's performance, as he was considered a developmental prospect.
CB Ras-I Dowling (2, 33) — It was a bit of a surprise to see Dowling start, and even more of a surprise to see him play 66 of the 76 defensive snaps, according to ESPN Boston. Dowling finished with two tackles and had good position on the Dolphins' failed 4th-and-1 fade pattern to Brian Hartline. His size is something the Pats like, and it appears he will get a lot of playing time in his rookie season.
LS Danny Aiken (undrafted) — The team's third long snapper since the start of last season, Aiken did not botch a snap and recorded a special-teams tackle after a punt.
Notes: RB Stevan Ridley (3, 73) was active but did not play. ... QB Ryan Mallett (3, 74) and RB Shane Vereen (2, 56) were inactive.