GM Andrews/Associated Press
Last year it was punter Ryan Allen who beat out veteran Zoltan Mesko due to a strong leg and a rookie contract. This year's version could be Tyler Ott.
Mike Reiss from ESPN.com has the pertinent contract figures:
That leaves the competition at snapper as the main area to watch -- undrafted free-agent Tyler Ott of Harvard against incumbent Danny Aiken. If it's close, it wouldn't be a surprise if the team goes with Ott because he's signed for three seasons at cheaper dollars ($420,000 this year) than Aiken (one-year deal at $645,000).
Incumbent long snapper Danny Aiken had a decent 2013, although sailing one snap over Ryan Allen's head was a bit shocking. It wasn't a perfect year by any means—a few other snaps left Allen struggling to get the ball placed for Stephen Gostkowski—but Ott still has a long way to go. It might be skills other than snapping that decide an otherwise close competition.
Ott isn't an NFL-caliber tight end—he caught 15 balls for 188 yards and four touchdowns at Harvard in 2013—but that versatility could help break any ties. The New England Patriots are extremely thin at tight end right now, so having a potential fourth tight end ready to go on the 45-man active roster is a nice luxury to have.
Ott has the functional size and strength to be a serviceable blocker on occasion and could even contribute in jumbo packages near the goal line. His lack of speed and agility won't afford him many opportunities in the passing game—he is a poor man's Matthew Mulligan—but he is still an option.