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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DE Geneo Grissom

With the abundance of blows hitting New England’s defensive end group, 2015 third-round pick, Geneo Grissom, will see his odds at cracking the roster increase substantially.

Grissom’s become somewhat of an afterthought among the Patriots 2015 draft picks, amassing just eleven tackles and one sack in 25 games. Despite his shortcomings, it appears Grissom has come into his own in his third offseason with the New England.

On Monday, when asked about the third-year edge rusher’s versatility and development, Bill Belichick responded:

"“Well, that’s something that Geneo’s worked really hard on this year in the spring and in training camp. We’ve used him inside as a rusher, used him outside. He’s got some versatility. He can fill in at some different spots for us depending on where we need him, even some linebacker responsibilities. So, he definitely understands how valuable that is to our team and our defense to be able to combine those defensive roles with the kicking game and multiple roles on defense. He’s worked hard at that, and I think he made a jump this year, just really understanding, now that he solidified his special teams role last year, understanding how he can move to the next step defensively.”"

Grissom was not active for New England’s matchup with the Texans last Saturday but was limited in his return to practice, on Tuesday.

While the possibility of New England trading for defensive end depth is still open, the team may be more intrigued by Grissom due to his experience and knowledge of the defense.

With rookie defensive end Derek Rivers expected to miss the season due to a knee injury and fellow first-year pass rusher Deatrich Wise not guaranteed to play on Friday, Grissom should see a bigger role versus Detroit.