About the Author
Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain
Anyone who saw the Patriots’ first preseason game saw what observers have noticed at training camp — first-round DE Chandler Jones is the real deal. Jones has ascended up the depth chart since the spring and he pushed around Saints OLT Jermon Bushrod in the preseason opener.
Jones is not the only young D-lineman showing flashes in camp. Two undrafted rookies, we hear, have earned notice — Justin Francis and Marcus Forston.
Francis was a college teammate of Bill Belichick’s son, Stephen, at Rutgers, and the two are friends. On the field, Francis has long arms and is versatile. He had 6½ sacks last season.
Forston’s final season at Miami (Fla.) ended prematurely because of a knee injury, and is a big reason why the early entry was undrafted. Forston had been a mid-round talent.
Both players are fighting for roster spots. Francis sits behind fellow youngsters Jermaine Cunningham, Trevor Scott and Jake Bequette on the DE depth chart and Forston is behind a group of veterans at defensive tackle. However, the Patriots are no strangers to keeping undrafted rookies on the 53-man roster and often rotate D-linemen, which gives Francis and Forston a chance to crack the squad.