PHOTO: New England Patriots first round rookie draft
pick Logan Mankins (70), an offensive lineman, sports a partially shaved head
at practice during Patriots summer camp in Foxboro, Mass., Tuesday afternoon Aug.
16, 2005. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Patriots Rookie Report
Scout.com and Patriots Insider Staff
round (32) -- OL Logan Mankins had a solid preseason opener at left guard
and looks like he is on his way to solidifying that starting spot. Bill Belichick
cited his ability to stay on the field during camp as a key to his development.
Mankins has the build to play both tackle and guard positions, with Belichick
saying that some experts even think he can eventually be a starting center in
the league. Mankin's versatility to play numerous positions is something Belichick
3rd round (84) -- CB Ellis Hobbs played in the subpackages
against the Bengals with the first unit in both the nickel and dime. He looked
solid in run force, but struggled playing bump-and-run at the line, particularly
in the slot. He played with the regular defense later in the game and gave up
a touchdown near the goal line by allowing the receiver an inside release. He
was O.K. overall but has a ways to go.
3rd round (100) -- OL Nick Kaczur held his own at tackle with the reserves in the preseason opener even though
the group struggled as a whole. He played some at both tackle spots and looks
like he is behind Brandon Gorin and Tom Ashworth in competition for a starting
job. Kaczur has been spending time with the first unit at the RT position in drills
4th round (133) -- S James Sanders also played in the
dime package and went mostly unnoticed, which is not a bad thing for a rookie
in his first game. But he has been impressive enough in camp to earn time with
the first dime unit. He was slow making his reads in the preseason opener and
chalked it up to inexperience. Sanders will be hard pressed to earn a roster spot
with Dexter Reid and Rodney Harrison ahead of him. If he is unable to improve
his cover skills, he may be on the outside looking in.
5th round (170)
-- LB Ryan Claridge missed practice last week and did not play in the preseason
opener. He hasn't impressed in camp to date so any injury is a setback that limits
his preseason opportunity to make a positive impression. As a fifth round pick,
Claridge was no lock to make the club, and the team decided to put him on the
reserve / injured list effectively redshirting him for the season.
round (230) -- QB Matt Cassel saw his first pro action and guided a two-minute
drive that ended in a 20-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Jason Anderson.
He completed 6 of 10 passes for 60 yards and ran three times for 26. He also was
almost picked off twice, including once in which he stared down his receiver and
threw an out that was close to being a defensive touchdown. His scoring throw
came when he checked to a hitch against single coverage on the outside. Overall,
he was 13 of 21 for 135 yards and a score. He also lost a fumble. If end results
were all that mattered, Cassel would have a roster spot locked up. Unfortunately,
head coach Bill Belichick has focused on the multiple things Cassel is doing wrong
in an attempt to temper the media hype surrounding the former USC Trojan.
-- WR Bam Childress was the third receiver with the first unit thanks to the absence
of Deion Branch, Troy Brown, Bethel Johnson, David Terrell and P.K. Sam. He dropped
one pass when he was hit from behind as the ball arrived and finished with three
receptions for 39 yards. Childress continues to make impressive catches in camp
in camp, although free agent acquisition Jason Anderson has been the benefactor
of increased reps with the first unit lately.
INJURY REPORT: Eighteen
players did not dress for the preseason opener, a list that included quarterback
Tom Brady; wide receivers David Terrell, Deion Branch, Troy Brown, Bethel Johnson,
P.K. Sam and Cedric James; running backs Chad Morton and Cedric Cobbs; linebackers
Andre Torrey, Tully Banta-Cain and Ryan Claridge; tight ends Joel Jacobs and Benjamin
Watson; and defensive linemen Santonio Thomas, Richard Seymour, Ty Warren and
Mario Monds. The Patriots have not disclosed the reason for their absence or any
injury information. Mike Vrabel injured his left leg or ankle while blocking on
a kickoff return against the Bengals, but the team provided no information regarding
the injury. It did not appear serious, although Vrabel did not return. CB Duane Starks was not seen on the sideline during the second half, but the team provided
no reason for his absence.
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