Why you shouldn't fall in love with Patriots preseason stars

Two Patriots rookies, wide receiver Austin Carr and tight end Jacob Hollister, stole the show in Thursday night’s 31-24

Two Patriots rookies, wide receiver Austin Carr and tight end Jacob Hollister, stole the show in Thursday night’s 31-24 preseason opening loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both undrafted free agents, they combined for 12 catches and 160 yards, plus one spectacular, leaping touchdown by Carr in the second quarter.

But you shouldn’t get too excited about them just yet.

Over the years, there have been many preseason standouts who failed to do much in a Patriots uniform once the real games started. Here, in chronological order, are 10 players who fall into that category:

Michael Bishop, QB, 1999

An electric signal-caller out of Kansas State, Pats fans still fondly recall how the seventh-round draft pick made such an early impression that it sparked short-lived talk of a quarterback controversy with Drew Bledsoe. He completed 17-of-34 passes for 299 yards in the four exhibitions, but appeared in just eight NFL games before a stint in NFL Europe with the Frankfurt Galaxy. He was ahead of Tom Brady on the depth chart in 2000, but that didn’t last long.

Bam Childress, WR, 2006

An undrafted free agent out of Ohio State in 2005, Childress did not truly state his case until the fourth preseason game of 2006 — a 31-23 loss to the New York Giants. He caught six passes for 116 yards, a 19.3 yards-per-catch average, but never made waves in the regular season. He mostly appeared on the practice squad and played three regular-season games in his two-year career.

Darnell Jenkins, WR, 2010

A journeyman out of the University of Miami, Jenkins played primarily on practice squads from 2008-2011 and appeared in just one NFL game his rookie year with Houston. However, he joined the Pats practice squad late in 2009, and flashed in the final 2010 preseason game against the Giants, when he took a swing pass to the right side from Brian Hoyer and turned on the jets for a 66-yard touchdown. He finished that preseason with five receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Zach Sudfeld, TE, 2013

For seemingly the entire training camp, this undrafted rookie free agent out of Nevada made highlight catches. He turned in a solid exhibition season with eight receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown and made Pats fans dream he’d be nice company next to Rob Gronkowski. Sudfeld found his way on the field for three games with the Pats before being released, then claimed off waivers by the New York Jets, with whom he played 27 games over the course of two seasons.

Brian Tyms, WR, 2014

An undrafted rookie out of Florida A&M in 2012, Tyms spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns before coming to the Pats in 2014. He caught five passes for 119 yards, including a long of 53, and a 26-yard touchdown from Jimmy Garoppolo in the preseason opener against Washington. Then he made a 43-yard touchdown catch from Tom Brady in the regular season and earned a Super Bowl XLIX ring, though he was inactive. He now plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League.

Chris Harper, WR, 2015

An undrafted rookie out of Cal, Harper became one of Garoppolo’s favorite targets in the preseason, but he may best be remembered for a regular-season gaffe on special teams. In a critical game at Denver, the 10-0 Pats had a 21-7 lead in the fourth quarter when Harper muffed a punt that led to a Broncos touchdown. Denver won, 30-24, in overtime. Harper played last season with the 49ers and is currently with the Jets.

Rufus Johnson, DE, 2015

Drafted by the Saints in 2013 out of Tarleton State, a Division 2 team in Texas, Johnson came to the Pats last in 2014 and impressed off the edge in the ’15 preseason, netting two sacks and four quarterback hits. While he made the initial 53-man roster, his season ended in October when he was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list due to an illness. He was waived during final roster cuts the next season and is currently with the Oakland Raiders.

Tyler Gaffney, RB, 2016

Injuries kept Gaffney off the field after being drafted by Carolina in 2014. The Pats got him on waivers and he spent 2015 and ’15 on IR. In his first professional action in the ’16 preseason opener vs. the Saints, the Stanford product followed a crushing down block by Cameron Fleming for a 44-yard touchdown. But Gaffney, who made a brief appearance on the 53-man roster during the season, has yet to record a carry in an NFL game.

Anthony Johnson, DT, 2016

When Dominique Easley did not pan out at defensive tackle, the Pats looked as if they had another quick, penetrating interior presence in this LSU product who entered the league with Miami. Johnson made the 53-man roster after recording 21⁄2 sacks, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup in the preseason, but was released after appearing in four games.

Barkevious Mingo, OLB, 2016

A No. 5 overall pick out of LSU by Cleveland, Mingo came to the Pats in an August trade for a fifth-round and had an explosive final preseason game vs. the Giants, making six tackles while playing multiple positions. He hung around all season, but spent the majority of his time on special teams. He is now with the Indianapolis Colts.

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    Article Why you shouldn't fall in love with Patriots preseason stars compiled by www.bostonherald.com

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