New England Patriots: Looking back at recent preseason standouts

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Malcolm Butler
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Malcolm Butler /
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots /

Let’s take a look back at how some of the recent preseason standouts for the New England Patriots have down since bursting on to the scene.

Every preseason a couple of players seemingly come out of nowhere for the New England Patriots and flash in a game or more. This prompts the inevitable over-projecting of these performances against second or third string players.

So far this year Adam Butler, Austin Carr, Devin Lucien Jacob Hollister and Harvey Langi have all made strong cases to make the roster. The future for these guys is difficult to determine. Some of them will make the roster, others won’t. Some will go on to have Pro Bowl caliber seasons; others will fall out of football within a year.

Lets take a look at some of the players that have passed through New England over the last few years. They all seemed destined to do great things, but several didn’t even make the team.

Armond Armstead – DT – USC

Armstead was an unfortunate victim of circumstance rather than an overrated preseason player. His heart attack suffered while at USC saw him go undrafted and play a season in the CFL where he earned All-Star honors.

His six sacks from the interior line earned him a 3-year contract with the Patriots in 2013. Fans were intrigued to see what he could do, but he mysteriously (at the time) stayed away from the practice field. The longer he stayed away, the more his legend grew. He was projected to step in and provide much needed help to a maligned defensive interior.

The help never arrived. It turned out Armstead had an infection relating to his initial heart attack and retired having never taken the field as a Patriot at the age of 23.