Patriots rookies who stood out in Week 5 against the Lions – Pats Pulpit

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Related: Patriots vs. Lions snap counts: Rookie Tyquan Thornton sees prominent action in his debut
The New England Patriots were able to win their second game of the season on Sunday, beating he visiting Detroit Lions with a final score of 29-0. The contest was a pretty successful one from a Patriots perspective, especially considering that their rookie class again had a sizable hand in the victory.
With that said, let’s quickly go through all of the first-year players currently on the team. As always, we will start with first-round draft pick Cole Strange and move all the way down to the undrafted free agents.
G Cole Strange (1-29): Same old, same old from the Patriots’ first-round pick. Cole Strange had another quality performance as the starting left guard, being on the field for all 60 offensive snaps and looking good as both a run blocker and especially as a pass protector: the Chattanooga product did not give up a single quarterback disruption all game.
WR Tyquan Thornton (2-50): After missing the first four weeks of the season on injured reserve, second-round pick Tyquan Thornton was back from the fractured clavicle that kept him out — making his NFL debut just four days after returning to practice in the first place. Thornton was immediately incorporated, playing 25 snaps and catching a pair of passes for a combined seven yards. His numbers may not be eye-opening, but Thornton was able to show off his elite speed even when the ball did not come his way.
CB Marcus Jones (3-85): Again serving as the Patriots’ punt and kickoff returner, Jones saw limited opportunities courtesy of the Lions going 0-for-6 on fourth down and not scoring any points. That said, he did return a punt 12 yards in the late second quarter (although a penalty against New England ended up pushing the team back). Additionally, Jones also saw some increased work on defense late: filling in for Myles Bryant in the slot, he played 15 snaps on that side of the ball.
CB Jack Jones (4-121): One week after registering his first career pick, fourth-round pick Jack Jones had his second. The Arizona State product was able to peel off of his assignment to intercept a Jared Goff throw intended for tight end T.J. Hockenson at the New England 3-yard line — helping the team stay up top 3-0 in the first quarter. The play was a huge one for the Patriots and their young cornerback alike, with Jones continuing to prove himself a serious playmaker in the secondary.
RB Pierre Strong Jr. (4-127): The Patriots decided to carry only two active running backs on their game-day roster, and Strong Jr. was not one of them. Despite his status as a healthy scratch in Week 5, he might be getting some increased playing time soon: fellow back Damien Harris is expected to miss time due to a hamstring injury, which would seemingly move the fourth-rounder to the RB2 spot behind Rhamondre Stevenson for the time being.
QB Bailey Zappe (4-137): After already filling in for the injured Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer last week, Bailey Zappe received his first NFL start on Sunday against the Lions. The Western Kentucky product did not light up the stat sheet but he had another promising performance. Zappe ended the day having completed 17 of 21 pass attempts for 188 yards as well as a touchdown and an interception. Most importantly, he did not make many glaring errors on the day.
DT Sam Roberts (6-200): Roberts made his NFL debut against Green Bay in Week 5, playing one snap on the field goal blocking team. One week later, he did not see any special teams action but instead received his first defensive opportunities: with the game out of reach and New England missing veteran Lawrence Guy, he was inserted into the lineup late and ended up playing 17 snaps. He was credited with one quarterback hurry.
OL Chasen Hines (6-210): Even though he was part of the game-day roster for third straight week, Chasen Hines spent all of it on the bench again. The LSU product is the fifth interior offensive lineman at this point in time, backing up starters Cole Strange, David Andrews and Michael Onwenu as well as IOL4 James Ferentz.
S Brenden Schooler (UDFA): The Patriots’ undrafted free agent had a relatively quiet day, not registering any stats on special teams. Make no mistake, however: he was a mainstay yet again. The Texas product played 16 kicking game snaps and was again employed on the punt return, kickoff return, punt coverage and kickoff coverage squads.
LB DaMarcus Mitchell (UDFA): A core special teamer, Mitchell was unable to participate in the contest against Detroit because of a concussion. He missed all three practices this week and was already ruled out on Friday.
Of course, the Patriots’ rookie class extends beyond those 10 players; running back Kevin Harris, offensive lineman Kody Russey, defensive linemen LaBryan Ray and Jeremiah Pharms Jr., and defensive back Brad Hawkins are all on the practice squad. New England did not elevate any of them to the game-day team versus the Lions, meaning that they all still have three standard elevations available.
Additionally, seventh-round offensive tackle Andrew Stueber remains on the non-football injury list. At this point in time, it appears as if he is in the middle of a redshirt campaign.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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