Predicting Winners of the New England Patriots' Biggest Training Camp Battles

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Predicting Winners of the New England Patriots' Biggest Training Camp Battles
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

When the New England Patriots open training camp this Friday, it will mark the start of the countdown to football—real football! 

Sure, we’ve had the draft and minicamps, but those were just a taste of what’s to come. The preseason is just around the corner, and the regular season comes after that.

In the meantime, though, we get training camp—a grueling, hot and fiercely competitive series of practices and scrimmages aimed at forcing the cream of a roster to rise to the top. The rest—aka "the milk"—spoils in the summer sun and either settles at the bottom of the depth chart or gets thrown aside entirely.

The Patriots had a wild offseason that was littered with controversy, injuries and new faces. Most teams tend to stir the pot a bit, but the Patriots may as well have thrown theirs into a centrifuge. Now, we have no idea how long it will take the cream to rise back up to the top or what it will look like when it gets there.

It’s unusual for a team in New England’s position to have many starting roles available, but this year, these roles are up for grabs like clear cards in a drinking game.

With just days before camp begins, we still have no idea which players the Patriots will trot out at wide receiver or tight end, two key positions in their high-octane offense. Their secondary is largely a work in progress as well, and of course, adding Tim Tebow to any roster tends to complicate things, too.

Here’s a closer look at exactly which positions will feature the most intriguing battles in the coming weeks and which players will win them.

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