Patriots vs. Saints: Offensive Players to Watch

Brandon Lloyd will be one Patriot to watch when the Patriots take on the Saints in tonight's preseason opener.

Five players to watch on the offensive side of the ball as the Patriots prepare to take on the Saints in tonight's 2012 preseason opener:

Ryan Mallett, QB: At this point, Brian Hoyer has become somewhat of a known commodity to Patriots fans. Ryan Mallett, entering his second season, is a relative unknown. It will be intriguing to see where his development is, as Mallett should see his most extensive action of the preseason tonight.

Brandon Bolden, RB: Bolden has been a pleasant surprise at training camp thus far, even earning himself some first team reps after going undrafted in April's draft. Tonight will be his first chance to see live game reps.

Ryan Wendell, C/G: With Robert Gallery retired, Brian Waters on the reserve/did not report list, and Logan Mankins still rehabbing from an ACL injury, Ryan Wendell could be thrust into a starting role on the interior line at the start of this season. His development, therefore, will be key.

Brandon Lloyd, WR: Lloyd is the Patriots' prized free agent addition at the wide receiver position, and he has simply torn it up during training camp thus far. From a pure hype standpoint, I can't wait to see Lloyd get his first reps with Tom Brady as quarterback.

Marcus Cannon, RT: Much like Ryan Wendell, Marcus Cannon is a relatively unknown commodity who could be thrust into a starting role on the offensive line this season. He's had a solid training camp, with the occasional missed block. It'll be interesting to see how far along he is in his development, and if the Patriots can rely on him to start until Sebastian Vollmer is back and healthy.

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