New England Patriots: 5 players to watch vs Detroit Lions

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 16: Mike Gillislee (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 16: Mike Gillislee (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 16: Adam Butler /

DL Adam Butler

Chatter surrounding undrafted defensive lineman Adam Butler has increased throughout the summer and the rookie could make a case for a spot on the Patriots 53-man roster.

According to Doug Kyed, the Vanderbilt product finished Saturday’s contest versus Houston with one quarterback hit and one hurry along with a drawn holding penalty. Kyed discussed Butler’s performance, saying:

"“[He] could find a role as a pass-rush specialist given all the injuries on the defensive line. Butler’s natural position is defensive tackle, but he was playing on the edge Saturday night.”"

Butler, who stands 6-foot-5, 300-pounds, per the team’s website, was heavily talked about on Twitter during the Patriots’ second preseason contest.

Pats Pulpit’s Oliver Thomas shared this clip of Butler using an “impressive spin move” while lined up at left defensive end:

Head coach Bill Belichick commented on Butler’s frame during Wednesday’s press conference, telling reporters:

"“Adam is a young player. We’ll see how it all turns out. He has a good frame. He’s tall. He has the frame to put on weight. Some of the weight that he had wasn’t quality weight. I’d say his weight now is better than what it was.” He added, “We’ll see how it all goes. Right now he’s just competing to make the team and see how all of that works out, but he’s a young player with a good frame.”"

Doug Kyed pointed out on Twitter Wednesday that defensive end Deatrich Wise was one of 10 Patriot players “without shoulder pads packed for Detroit.

If Wise is held out of Friday’s game versus the Lions, Butler could see increased playing time at defensive end. He’ll be a guy to watch out for, regardless.