The New England Patriots’ joint practices with the New York Giants are in the books. The two teams held their second and final session together on Thursday morning, once again practicing in hot conditions while wearing full pads.
While practice lacked the same intensity it had on Wednesday, it still was an eventful one. Let’s therefore take a look at the players who stood out, for better or worse.
Winner: LB Josh Uche
After missing Tuesday’s practice for undisclosed reasons, Josh Uche was back on the field on Thursday and quickly made his presence felt. The second-year linebacker was the most disruptive defender on either side, and appeared to be unblockable at times.
During the Giants’ first 11-on-11 series, Uche notched a would-be sack of quarterback Daniel Jones and then drew a holding penalty in back-to-back plays. Later, he registered another would-be sack and also forced an incompletion while covering running back Saquon Barkley. The former second-round draft pick had an impressive day, and lived up to the “Little Judon” nickname Dont’a Hightower bestowed upon him.
Winner: QB Cam Newton
Cam Newton was forced to sit out the Patriots’ last three practices, including the first joint session with the Giants. On Thursday, however, he was back on the field and promptly resumed his role as the team’s number one quarterback in all drills.
The veteran had a solid day, leading one drive during 11-on-11s. He went 4-for-6 while leading the offense to a touchdown. Newton may not have stood out in his limited opportunities, but it was a good overall day for him.
Loser: DB Joejuan Williams
New England’s former second-round draft pick had some solid performances recently, and seemed to have established himself as a potential candidate for the final spot in the defensive backfield. Thursday, however, was not a particularly good day for him. Not only did Giants QB Daniel Jones repeatedly target him with success, Williams also later saw the Patriots acquire fifth-round rookie Shaun Wade via trade.
Winners: WR Jakobi Meyers & WR Kendrick Bourne
On a day that saw the Patriots’ pass catchers drop their fair share of throws, Jakobi Meyers stood out. The third-year man was New England’s most consistent receiver, and ended up catching five of the six passes thrown his way, including a 2-point conversion from Mac Jones. Meyers is a savvy route runner with sure hands and has developed some good chemistry with both Jones and Cam Newton.
Kendrick Bourne, meanwhile, was also productive on Thursday. The first-year Patriot hauled all four of his targets in, and made some of the biggest plays of the day. Bourne caught a third-down throw from Cam Newton, reeled in a fourth-down conversation from Mac Jones, and also had registered a touchdown from the rookie that saw him make a nice adjustment to keep his feet in bounds for the score.
Loser: WR Nelson Agholor
The good news is that Nelson Agholor was back after departing Wednesday’s practice. The bad news is that the high-priced free agency addition had a pretty forgettable day.
Agholor finished with only one reception on four targets between the Patriots’ two top quarterbacks, and saw three of the passes get broken up by the defense. At least one of those plays — a pass from Jones on an out route — should have been a catch, despite the defender making a good play.