Top Winners and Losers of Week 1 of the Patriots Preseason
The Preseason may be a boring time for some fans, but it is where some players make or don’t make an NFL roster. These are my top winners and losers from the Patriots week 1 preseason game.
Winner - Jakobi Meyers
Jakobi Meyers went to North Carolina State for four years, one year as a quarterback and 3 years as a receiver. In his senior year of college he recorded 4 touchdowns and finished the season with 1,047 receiving yards, which he gained through 92 receptions. Meyers is an undrafted free agent and was picked up by the Patriots this offseason. Meyers is yet another wide receiver who played quarterback in 2015, but changed to a receiver in 2016 so he could be a starter on the field. This shows that he is willing to play any position on the field just so he can get a role on the team, which is what the New England Patriots have done before. In his first preseason game against the Lions, he showed the world what he could do on a professional level. He did so well in that game that the Patriots put him as a 4th string receiver on the team, for now. In Preseason Week 1 Meyers caught 2 touchdowns and finished the game with 69 receiving yards, after getting 6 receptions. He truly put on a show receiving passes from Jarret Stidham and Brian Hoyer. With the injuries that the Patriots have dealt with at the receiver position, such as N’Keal Harry and Demaryius Thomas, Meyers could find a spot on the roster or practice squad.
Winner - Derek Rivers
Derek Rivers was drafted with the 83rd pick in the 2017 draft by the New England Patriots. Rivers has not yet turned into the defensive end the Patriots hope he would be when they drafted him, but in the preseason game against the Lions, he was unstoppable. In week one of the preseason against the Lions, Rivers racked up 3 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and 2 hits on the quarterback. He led the team in sacks and tackles for loss in the preseason opener. Rivers is listed as the backup defensive end for the Patriots and may take the starting role if Bennett does not live up to expectations.
Winner - Brian Hoyer
Brian Hoyer has been a veteran backup quarterback since he was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the New England Patriots back in 2009. In the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions, Hoyer was on point, throwing 2 touchdowns, going 12 of 14, for 147 yards. Hoyer has been competing with Jarrett Stidham and Danny Etling. After this game, Hoyer is showing us that even at 33 years old, he can be a promising backup for Brady this year.
Loser - Danny Etling
Danny Etling was drafted in the 2018 draft with the 219th overall pick. He was on the practice squad all of last season and helped the Patriots prepare for many upcoming games. With the addition of Jarrett Stidham being drafted this year it bumped Etling down to the 4th string quarterback role. Most NFL teams typically do not have a 4th quarterback, especially the Patriots. Tom Brady has only been hurt once in his whole career and Hoyer is a reliable back up. They have already tried Etling at receiver this season, and it has been a terrible failure. Etling was targeted once, but could not come up with a catch in the first preseason game. Etling may be playing in the NFL this season, but not with the Patriots. Etling is 25 years old this season and I do not see him improving enough in the NFL since he is already an average age quarterback. This might be the last few games in Danny Etling’s career as a Patriot.
Loser - Andrew Beck
Beck was an undrafted free agent this season and was picked up by the New England Patriots. In his senior year, playing for the Texas Longhorns, he received 2 touchdowns and he finished the season with 281 yards, all in which he gained through 28 receptions. Beck is listed as the 6th tight end on the depth chart and needs to have some monster games if he wants to make the Patriots roster. In the preseason opener against the Lions, Beck rushed for 3 yards on only 1 carry and was only targeted once, which he did not catch the pass. He needs to impress the coaches in training camp if he even wants to make the practice squad. Since the Patriots are weak at the tight end this season, with the suspension of Benjamin Watson and the injuries of Matt LaCosse and Lance Kendricks, there's a chance he can make the roster, but only as a third string tight end or a designated blocking tight end, at best.
Jakobi Myers and Andrew Beck College Stats - sportsreference.com
Derek Rivers Drafted - NFL.com
NFL stats - espn.com