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Joe Thuney looks like an immediate impact player for the Patriots

The former Wolfpack offensive lineman is probably going to be a starter for New England this season.

Chicago Bears v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

I don’t think anyone who has closely followed NC State football over the last few years would be surprised to learn that Joe Thuney is adjusting well to life in the NFL. But he’s done much more than that—he’s gone quickly from promising prospect to a near-lock week one starter.

Thuney has been so impressive during preseason camp, he’s had New England media call him a first-round talent. (Thuney was selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.) Not bad for a guy who’s only been on the job for a few months.

His combination of talent, intelligence, and awareness are paying big dividends so far, and he’s been the starter at left guard for New England in each of the team’s first two preseason games. He’s done nothing in those games to damage his status as a first-stringer.

In this profile of Thuney, the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe notes some of the rookie’s recent accomplishments:

Thuney turned in a nearly flawless performance Thursday against the Saints, and he was solid again yesterday when the Patriots hosted the Bears in a fully padded joint practice. The 23-year-old pancaked defensive tackle Eddie Goldman in an 11-on-11 rep and stonewalled Mitch Unrein by the left sideline on a screen pass to James White.

Future’s looking bright for the Tune Man.