Chandler Jones: The first-round pick showed what he could do this preseason, reeling off a series of impressive practices and in-game efforts. He'll be an important player to watch this season. Grade: B
Rob Ninkovich: One of New England's best pass-rushers last year is in the midst of a transition to end, where he'll be able to better utilize his pursuit skills. With linebacker a thin position this year, however, Ninkovich will likely remain a fallback option on the outside. Grade: B
Trevor Scott: The free-agent pickup and former Raider had himself a solid preseason, making 10 tackles, notching two sacks and forcing a fumble. He did a good job of standing out whenever he was on the field; the team just played better as a whole with him out there. Grade: B
Jermaine Cunningham: Entering this season, Cunningham would have been a candidate for one of the lower grades on the roster. But boy, what a preseason for the former second-round pick, who recorded two sacks, and like Scott, just made things happen when he was on the field.
It'll take more than a good preseason, however, to complete a turnaround for a player who, so far, has been a bust. Grade: B-
Brandon Deaderick: It's impressive that Deaderick has emerged as a good 3-4 end in his time in New England, considering he was a seventh-round pick in 2010. The Patriots appear to be transitioning to a lighter front, however, which Deaderick, like Ty Warren last year, is not a fit for. Grade: C+
Jake Bequette: Bequette, a third-round pick out of Arkansas, finished the preseason with seven tackles and a sack and projects as a player who can help the Patriots put pressure on the quarterback from both the end and linebacker positions. Grade: C
Justin Francis: With eight tackles and a sack during the preseason, Francis, an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, became one of the more surprising cut-day survivors. Grade: C-