clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Patriots vs. Ravens rookie review: New England sees some solid contributions from its first-year players

Related: Patriots vs. Ravens snap counts: Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Jabrill Peppers see increased action in Week 3

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The New England Patriots came up short in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens, losing their home opener with a final score of 37-26. There was a lot of good and a lot of bad in the game from a Patriots perspective, and a lot of rookies.

Let’s quickly go through all of the first-year players currently on the team, starting with first-round draft pick Cole Strange and going all the way to the undrafted free agents.

G Cole Strange (1-29): Once again starting at left guard, the Patriots’ first-round pick went wire-to-wire again. Being on the field for all 66 offensive snaps, Strange’s third game as a pro looked a lot like his first two: he had some impressive reps, but also showed some inconsistency as both a run blocker and pass protector. Overall, though, he continues to keep trending in the right direction.

CB Marcus Jones (3-85): After being a surprise healthy scratch in Week 2, third-round rookie Marcus Jones did take the field in Week 3. His contributions were limited to seven special teams snaps, but they gave a glimpse at his possible future role: Jones returned a pair of kickoffs for a combined 45 yards and had to watch five others sail above him for touchbacks. He did not see any action on the defensive side of the ball.

CB Jack Jones (4-121): Another day, another heavy workload for Jack Jones. The Patriots’ CB3 in terms of playing time, the fourth-rounder helped spell injured Jalen Mills. He was on the field for 26 of 60 defensive snaps and looked competitive in coverage: the lone pass thrown into his coverage fell incomplete.

RB Pierre Strong Jr. (4-127): Despite the Patriots carrying only three running backs on their active roster at the moment, Strong Jr. is not making any impact on the offense. On Sunday, he took the field only twice with both of his snaps coming in the kicking game; Jones served as a vice player on the punt return team.

QB Bailey Zappe (4-137): Zappe entered the week as the third quarterback on the Patriots’ depth chart behind starter Mac Jones and veteran backup Brian Hoyer. He was named a game-day inactive yet again, but Jones’ ankle sprain might lead to him being elevated to the QB2 spot for the upcoming games.

DT Sam Roberts (6-200): The Patriots activated five interior defensive linemen on Sunday, and Roberts was not among them. The sixth-round rookie has now been a healthy scratch in three straight weeks weeks and will likely only see limited action, if any, moving forward.

OL Chasen Hines (6-210): After back-to-back healthy scratches, Chasen Hines finally made the game-day roster for the first time in his career. However, he spent the entire game on the bench and so no action on offense or special teams. He remains the fourth option at guard at the moment, behind starters Cole Strange and Michael Onwenu as well as veteran backup James Ferentz.

S Brenden Schooler (UDFA): While he did not make any game-changing plays this time around, Brenden Schooler still had an active day. The undrafted free agent played 17 special teams snaps and was used on four units again: Schooler saw action on the punt return, kickoff return, punt coverage and kickoff coverage squads — a continuation from his first two games.

LB DaMarcus Mitchell (UDFA): Different week, same story for DaMarcus Mitchell. Like Schooler, he too saw all of his action in the kicking game on Sunday. He played 21 total snaps in the game’s third phase: he was again used on kickoff return and coverage as well as on the punt return team, and also saw some increased opportunities on the field goal/extra point blocking squad.

Of course, the Patriots’ rookie class extends beyond those nine 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 Pittsburgh, meaning that they all still have three standard elevations available.

Additionally, two rookie players are on the Patriots’ reserve lists. Second-round wide receiver Tyquan Thornton remains on injured reserve for at least one more game (but likely more), while offensive tackle Andrew Stueber is on the non-football injury list.