Last year, undrafted rookie Gunner Olszewski was making the transition from D-II defensive back to NFL wide receiver.
It was clear he had a ton of athleticism, but didn't really look like a NFL receiver. After all, he was six feet tall and less than 200 pounds.
But, after a lot of work over the last year, Olszewski looks the part of a NFL wide out and it has carried over onto the field, as he looks like he belongs and has made a number of plays this summer.
"I was around here – lifting weights, ran conditioning," he said Sunday when asked about his offseason. "All the stuff that was given to us by the Patriots strength staff and I caught some footballs. I just kind of did what I thought was necessary to do and what the Patriots gave me. It really wasn’t a lot of thinking on my part. Just doing what I was told. Staying with it day in and day out."
Olszewski added: "I know that coronavirus is tough on everybody and stuff, but I liked this offseason more than I liked the last offseason. We were wasting our time – rookies coming into the league are wasting your time running 40-yard dashes and seeing how many times you can bench 225. I mean, this offseason I knew what I was doing so it was more fun to just get in shape and what not."
The Bemidji State product has been one of the more impressive players at training camp all summer. With some receivers missing time, he's made the most of his increased reps and it could be argued he's looked like the second-best wide out at times behind Julian Edelman.
"Yeah, of course I’m further ahead of where I was last year," Olszewski said. "That’s what’s expected. I didn’t do anything special this offseason. I just did what was expected out of me. Building on that speed and quickness was what I focused on this offseason. I’m definitely a lot further ahead of where I was last year."
While he is not a lock to make the roster by any means, it certainly feels like he's well on his way to making his second straight 53-man roster.
"You know, I feel like I’m getting in there and doing my job when I’m called upon and opportunities are coming, trying to take advantage of them the best I can," Olszewski said. "I think that’s pretty much all that is – opportunity."