Ten To Watch: How they fared

Before the Giants game we gave you 10 players who had something to prove on Thursday night. We watched them live and watched them again on the tale of the tape. Here's a recap of how they fared and if they improved their stock… enough.

OFFENSE

Quarterback:
Matt Gutierrez - Gutierrez turned in a decent game with the time allotted to him. On four drives, Gutierrez had Marcellus Rivers fumble to end his first drive. He guided a 13-play, 73-yard drive for a field goal on his second drive. His third attempt was a 4-play 23-yard drive culminating in a touchdown pass to a wide-open Bam Childress. Gutierrez finished 7/9 for 48 yards and a touchdown.

Gutierrez may have elevated his stock, but we're guessing unless the front office feels another team will pick him up off waivers, then Gutierrez will be released and they will try to sign him to the practice squad.

Expectation: PS Candidate

Wide Receiver:
Kelley Washington - Washington did not play Thursday night. His preseason performance the week before against Carolina showed that he had a quick burst and the ability to stretch for extra yardage after making the tough catch.

The Patriots could use Washington, especially over developmental players like Bam Childress, Kelvin Kight and C.J. Jones.

Expectation: Keeper

Running back:
Quinton Smith - Smith struggled to break through arm tackles at the line. He has decent speed but was unable to capitalize on it when turning the corner. When running through traffic he could have used a little more patience to gain extra yardage.

Although he scored a touchdown, Smith's 14 carries for 46 yards (3.2 avg.) aren't enough to win him a roster spot.

Expectation: released

Offensive Line:
Clint Oldenburg - Oldenburg move the pile well a couple of plays, but overall his performance was nondescript. He actually had difficulty establishing position and looked a bit raw against some of his opponents. He did report as tackle eligible on a goal line short yardage play where he did get position on his assigned defender. It doesn't look like he did enough to win a roster spot.

Expectation: PS Candidate

Corey Hilliard - Hilliard has size to play in the league, but he's really raw. He'll need a full year of development to build enough strength to be competitive at the tackle position.

Expectation: PS Candidate

Tight End:
Garrett Mills - Mills had some nice catches again. He has ability and could very well fill a role on the team. He finished Thursday night's game with 4 receptions fro 22 yards. Where Mills needed to stand out was in blocking. He managed to clear the path for Heath Evans' 1-yard touchdown plunge with ease, knocking his defender 2 yards back from the point of attack. Mills could snare a roster spot if it weren't for Marcellus Rivers and questions about Kyle Brady's health.

Expectation: PS Candidate

DEFENSE

Defensive Backs:
Dante Wesley - Wesley impressed in the Giants game. He had a pair of solid pass deflections to prevent touchdowns in the game. His size and speed as a corner are what the Patriots look for in defenders. He showed good awareness on a tipped pass over the middle in the fourth quarter to snuff out a late Giants push to tie the game. Wesley also showed his special teams prowess by downing a punt inside the Giants' 5 yard line in the first half.

Expectation: Keeper

Safeties:
Mel Mitchell - It may be too hard to get a real read on Mitchell. He's played well on special teams. He managed 3 tackles (2 solo) in both the Giants game and the previous week against Carolina. Mitchell's value comes at adding safety depth. If rookie defensive back Brandon Meriweather is better suited to play safety (which is our opinion), then Mitchell could be waived. The injury to Eugene Wilson will have an impact on whether Mitchell stays or goes. He's played well enough to take Artrell Hawkins' roster spot.

Expectations: Released

Defensive Line:
Santonio Thomas - Thomas did what he had to do, and had a solid game against the Giants. 6 tackles (5 solo) and a pair of sacks put Thomas in the mix on the defensive line. His ability to crash inside from the end position was on display as he repeatedly beat his blockers to the point of attack even if he didn't make the tackle. Smith almost had Reuben Droughns tackled in the end zone for a safety until Pierre Woods chipped in and stripped the ball.

Although Thomas played well to deserve a roster spot ahead of rookie Zach West or free agent Rashad Moore, there may not be enough room on the roster for Thomas.

Expectation: released

Linebackers:
Corey Mays - Mays filled in early for an injured Oscar Lua. The fact that Lua started ahead of Mays did not bode well for the second year player out of Notre Dame. Mays was active in the game, getting into the action to record 6 tackles. The trouble Mays faces is being strong at the point of attack, something he struggled with. He also spent time looking for his assignment. When Mays bounced off Jeremy Shockey on the Giants' first possession allowing the 6-foot-5, 251-pound tight end to continue down field, it was indicative of how far Mays still has to go to be physically ready to man the inside of the defense.

Aggressive and energetic, Mays could become another developmental linebacker in the mold of Eric Alexander if the team wants to give him a chance. Depending on Lua's future, Mays may back into a roster spot.

Expectation: PS Candidate


Jon Scott has covered the NFL since 1995. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long time contributor to the Scout.com network. A New England native, Scott has followed the Patriots for over two decades and covered the team since 2001. He can be found in the Insider's Lounge under the handle JSinCT

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