Dark-horse candidates understand the value of chances. The best among them seize those rare chances and overachieve. They dazzle the coaches by outperforming the competition, they swipe roster spots from potentially bigger-name players, and they make themselves indispensable.
The New England Patriots collect those types of players. Guys like Tom Brady (drafted in the sixth round), David Givens (seventh round), Troy Brown (eighth round) and David Patten (undrafted) began as relatively unwanted merchandise, until they made the most of their opportunities and went on to become the audacious architects of a dynasty.
Before the newest generation of dark horses follow in the footsteps of legends and become heroes in their own right, they first need to make the team.
Here are six dark-horse candidates that could make the Patriots' final 53-man roster.