Two years ago, when they were both going through the draft process, Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton were at opposite ends of the spectrum.
The Patriots took Mayo out of Tennessee with the 10th overall pick. Guyton, a Georgia Tech product, had the fastest 40-time of all the linebackers at the 2008 combine, but went undrafted, ultimately working his way into the league by catching on with the Patriots.
Though they took different roads to get to the league, Mayo’s knee injury brings them to an odd intersection, where the undrafted free agent will fill the shoes of the Top-10 pick.
“It’s been a long road. I have come far,” Guyton said. “I’ve achieved some things here. I’m happy. I’m enjoying it. I don’t look back as much, just always forward.”
Guyton will assume many of the duties Mayo held, including wearing the green dot, indicating that Guyton will be the one relaying the plays from the Patriots sideline to the players on the field. Guyton said he and Mayo would often watch film together prepping for opponents. Guyton said seeing Mayo go down Monday affected him, but at the same time he knew he had to be ready.
“I’m always preparing,” he said. “Always trying to be the better player, always trying to get a jump, knowing the material. That’s what I’ve been doing.”