Curran: Welker at No. 50 . . . that sound right?

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Curran: Welker at No. 50 . . . that sound right?

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Another 10 players were revealed Sunday in the NFL Network's list of the Top 100 players and checking in at 50 was your boy Wes Welker. Does that make sense to you? He's ranked ahead of fellow wideouts Marques Colston (53), Brandon Marshall (61), Santonio Holmes (74) and Greg Jennings (76), for instance. But he's under Dwayne Bowe (45). Now, among those players, none have ever caught more than 110 passes in a season. Welker did it three years running, an unmatched feat in league history. He has been, arguably, the most important cog not named Brady in the Patriots offensive machine since he got here in 2007. But while he plays wideout, like all the others I mentioned, his role is as different from theirs as a third-down back's is to an everydown running back. He's asked to run far different routes and the degree of difficulty on his receptions is far, far lower. His skills are outstanding. They are not unique. I would imagine opposing coaching staffs come into games a helluva lot more worried about Suh than they do Welker. Meanwhile, JerodMayo is at 62. And I'm not entirely sure an All-Pro inside linebacker is not better at this point than Colts center Jeff Saturday (59). There are five Patriots on the list so we can count on seeing Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork and Tom Brady as the process rolls on. Let's do a lockout every year!So what say you . . . is Welker where he oughta be?

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.