Monthly Archives: August 2015

Patriot’s roster projection, v2

Three preseason games down, one to go.  Cut to 75 players on 9/1.  Seems like a good time to do version number two:

Offense:

QB (2):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  Ryan Lindley

No changes.  Again, Lindley makes it if Brady is suspended.  I cannot believe there has not been a resolution to that whole thing yet…

RB (5):

Locks:  LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Jonas Gray

In:  James White, Dion Lewis

Out:  Tavaris Cadet (Injured Reserve?), James Develin (IR)

Way Out:  Tony Creecy

Lewis replaces Cadet, cuz as they say, “can’t make the club from the tub”.  Not sure what the injury is, but if Cadet isn’t practicing now, his time may be up one way or the other.  Gray seems like a lock now.  I’m not ruling out them keeping Develin on the original roster, then putting him on Long-Term IR, Designated to Return when they can after rosters are initially set.  My opinion is that it is not worth using that spot for the one time you can use it each year on a guy that plays like 15% of the snaps when he is healthy, so I just put him on IR here.  But wouldn’t surprise me if they think differently.

WR (4):

Locks:  Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola

In:  Reggie Wayne, Aaron Dobson

Out:  Josh Boyce, Chris Harper, Jonathan Krause

Way Out:  Zach D’Orazio

Four is thin here, but technically Slater could run a few routes, a couple of kids can land on the practice squad and be elevated in a pinch, one of the TE’s can split out wide if needed…one of the RB’s as well.  LaFell looks like he is starting on the PUP list.  They didn’t sign Wayne to a decent bonus to cut him a couple of weeks later.  Dobson has of course been a disappointment, but at least he suited up last game.  I’m not ruling them out keeping Harper on the original roster, then as other teams set their rosters the week before the games start, then they waive him to make his landing on the practice squad a little easier.  Still could be a lot of moving pieces here the first few weeks…too many questions and health issues remain at this point.

TE (4):

Locks:  Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler

In:  Michael Hoomanawanui, Michael Williams

Out:  Asante Cleveland

Way Out:  Jimmay Mundine

Based on what I’ve heard, Williams seems like he has a great chance of sticking because he allegedly can play tackle too.  Also been hearing Hoo-Man may step into Develin’s role somewhat.  So the extra TE here seems like the right call.  If you want to list Williams as an OL instead…whatever floats your boat.

OL (10):

Locks: Nate Solder (LT), Sebastian Vollmer (RT), Bryan Stork (C), Ryan Wendell (G/C), Marcus Cannon (T), Cameron Fleming (T/G?), Shaq Mason (G), Tre’ Jackson (G)

In:  Josh Kline (G/C), David Andrews (C)

Out:  Chris Barker (G), Ryan Groy (G)

Way Out:  Caylin Hauptmann (T), Chris Martin (T)

The Andrews dude keeps getting a ton of run and certain writers are in love with him.  It’s like I am forced here to add him.  Then again, the Pats have a history of having undrafted free agents make the roster…and this year it appears he is the one.  Other than him, seems pretty much cut and dried here.  Just thank the Good Lord Jordan Devey got traded.  Though reports are he may not make the Niners…so don’t rule him out coming back here.  Please…no…

Specialists (4):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Ryan Allen (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST)

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

No changes.  No competition.

 

Defense:

DE (4):

Locks:  Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Trey Flowers

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

No changes.

DL (5):

Locks:  Dominique Easley, Malcolm Brown, Sealver Siliga, Geneo Grissom

In:  Zach Moore

Out:  Alan Branch, Joe Vellano, Casey Walker

Way Out:  A.J. Pataiali’l

No changes…just a gut feeling on Branch, that’s all.  I suppose they may be able to get Moore on the practice squad and keep Branch, but I am siding with keeping the kid…for now.

LB (6):

Locks:  Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Jerod Mayo

In:  Jonathan Freeny, James Morris, Rufus Johnson

Out:  Darius Fleming, Dekoda Watson,

Way Out:  Xzavier Dickson, DJ Lynch, Eric Martin

Guessing on Rufus…feel like he has shown up in the preseason.  At least when I have been watching.  Other than that, no changes.

CB (5):

Locks:  Malcolm Butler, Tarell Brown

In:  Bradley Fletcher, Robert McClain, Logan Ryan

Out:  Dax Swanson, Darryl Roberts (IR)

Way Out:  Brandon King

This is still a highly questionable group.  No comfort at all for me with this cast of characters.  Butler has his moments and Brown looks like he will be the one opposite him.  Fletcher seems to be getting better.  Ryan has been putrid, but I don’t see them cutting him.  Looks like a redshirt season for Roberts.

S (5):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards

In:  Tavon Wilson

Out:  Nate Ebner

Way Out:  None

No changes.  But Ebner is a staff favorite, so if they can squeeze him in somehow, he will be there.

Physically Unable to Perform (3):  Chris Jones, Dane Fletcher, Brandon LaFell

Injured Reserve (5):  A.J. Derby, Tyler Gaffney, Brandon Gibson, Brian Tyms, Jake Bequette

Non-Football Injury (0):

Practice squad (10):  Barker, Boyce, Cleveland, Dickson, Groy, Harper, Krause, Mundine, Swanson, Walker

Added bonus!  Roster is at 84 and needs to get to 75 on 9/1.  I say the 9 guys are:  Creecy, D’Orazio, Dickson, King, Lynch, both Martin’s, Pataiali’l, Watson

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Patriot’s roster projection, v1…the rest…

Defense:

DE (4):

Locks:  Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Trey Flowers

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

I wanted to split out the defensive ends and defensive tackles, but with the way the Patriots kind of shuffle these guys around, maybe that wasn’t such a smart idea.  In any event, it looks as if the team has more DL types than pure DE types as of right this second.  The possibility also exists that if Jamie Collins, Don’t’a Hightower and Jerod Mayo are all healthy, either Collins or Hightower will rush the passer more from this position.  So I went with all 4 pure DE types being locks.  Obviously changes if Flowers’ injury from the exhibition opener is serious.

DL (5):

Locks:  Dominique Easley, Malcolm Brown, Sealver Siliga, Geneo Grissom

In:  Zach Moore

Out:  Alan Branch, Joe Vellano, Casey Walker, Antonio Johnson

Way Out:  A.J. Pataiali’l

Not many people loved the Grissom pick…where it happened in the 3rd round anyway.  So regardless of how well he does now, it’s unlikely he won’t make the squad.  Moore seemed to have some potential last year and I wouldn’t think he would be cut either.  Though I do wonder why they moved him inside this year.  But he would seemingly be DE depth as well.  Branch is the vet on D that I could see them moving on from kind of unexpectedly.  I don’t think the salary is prohibitive.  But if they wanted to keep all of these younger bodies in tow it may be a move that has to be made.  The other vets are fringe guys anyway.  And A.J. Pahkjnafanjknj…I admittedly know nothing about.

LB (5):

Locks:  Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Jerod Mayo

In:  Jonathan Freeny, James Morris

Out:  Darius Fleming, Cameron Gordon, Dekoda Watson, Rufus Johnson

Way Out:  Xzavier Dickson, L.J. Fort, Eric Martin

Can’t get any more solid than the locks above.  Yet again though, the backup LBs are a weak group.  Belichick seems to basically use his backup LBs as special team linchpins every year.  Even the 4 “outs” are probably known more as special team guys.  Anyway, didn’t think much of Freeny until they played him a ton in the first game and he was lauded by Bill this past week.  Morris was kept on IR all of last year and I’ve heard whispers that they seem to like him.  In any event, don’t be surprised to see Chris White back here once his injury heals.  I know, L.J. Fort was already released today.  But since I had the bulk of this written before I found out, I’m leaving him here.  Proves I got one thing right anyway.  Well, maybe it proves nothing, but…

CB (5):

Locks:  Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan

In:  Tarell Brown, Robert McClain, Darryl Roberts

Out:  Bradley Fletcher, Dax Swanson

Way Out:  Jimmy Jean, Brandon King

Letting go of arguably their 4 top cornerbacks on paper this offseason (Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Kyle Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard…ok, you can fight me on Fonzie) seemed to be a dicey proposition.  That hasn’t changed for me, sorry.  Butler goes from 5th or 6th CB to Super Bowl hero to now top CB…just like that?  Ryan played ok as a rookie, not so much in his sophomore year.  Brown and McClain are veterans who don’t seem to be special.  Roberts is a 7th round rookie.  If you want to add Fletcher here, throw him in the same category as Brown and McClain.  I have Bradley out since I’ve heard nothing from him since the start of camp.  He may still make it, especially if they stash Roberts on IR after his injury in the opener.  But you can’t tell me that you have any comfort with this group at all.  Scary.

S (5):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards

In:  Tavon Wilson

Out:  Nate Ebner

Way Out:  None

Same goes for the safeties.  McCourty is a good one, but one of the highest paid?  Not so sure.  Richards was a reach in the 2nd round, according to everyone (nice reminder of how well Tavon Wilson has worked out as an unheard of 2nd rounder…oops).  The other guys?  Unexciting.  That may be the kindest word to describe them.  These DB’s scare the bejesus out of me.  That about sums it up.

Physically Unable to Perform (2):  Chris Jones, Dane Fletcher

There are 4 dudes on the preseason PUP list.  Keeping these 2 on for the regular season.  LaFell and Wendell tentatively break camp with the team.  Since no one really knows how their injuries are progressing, this could obviously change.

Injured Reserve (2):  A.J. Derby, Tyler Gaffney

At least we know these 2 guys are here.  Already on the list going forward.  And so much for the Gaffney Hall of Fame push.  All I heard was that Tyler was going to be a major cog in the backfield this year once healthy.  That they stole him from Carolina last year.  Listen, if Carolina absolutely wanted to hang onto the guy, they wouldn’t have exposed him to waivers at the time that they did.  They would have carried him and then put him on IR when they didn’t have to expose him to waivers.  They took a chance that no one would claim him.  They were wrong, but if he was that invaluable, he wouldn’t be here in the first place.  Plus, he wouldn’t have been a 6th round pick either.  But what do I know?

Non-Football Injury (1):  Caylin Hauptmann

I think this guy is still on the NFI list and I don’t even know what for.  Nor do I care.  The Pats did care enough about him to carry him on the practice squad for however long last year.  But I’m not expecting him to be a factor at any point, no offense to him or his family.

Practice squad (10):

Andrews

Barker

Bequette

Boyce

Gordon

Jean

Rufus Johnson

Krause

Mundine

Swanson

Total shots in the dark here, as obviously it is early in the preseason.  But also because of the eligibility rules.  I am not going to pretend I know who exactly is eligible for the practice squad and who is not.  Sure, I could do all the research.  But, ummmmm…no thanks.  Not for this projection anyway.  I did just briefly look at the eligibility rules though, for the record.  All sorts of stuff about accrued seasons and 46 man game day rosters and third practice squad seasons and changes for 2014 & 2015 that will revert back to 2013 rules for 2016 if there is no extension and blah blah blah.  For this exercise, I will just assume anyone with less than 3 year’s experience is eligible.  Thank you so much for your understanding…

That’s about it…along with Fort being released there was a trade today and some more roster moves.  So I guess I won’t be perfect…

Patriot’s roster projection, v1

Projections can be silly.  Especially when there are 3 exhibition games left to play and plenty of jobs to be won or lost at the back end of the roster…or the front end…if your team is brutal.  Not to mention the injuries that always happen across the league.  As well as that stupid “air in the football” thing that is somehow still yet to be resolved.

But since I want to talk some actual football and there was nothing earthshattering to speak of in their first exhibition game…let’s do this today…and tomorrow.

Offense:

QB (2):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  Ryan Lindley

Lindley makes the squad if Brady gets suspended for any length of time.  Or maybe it’s Matt Flynn.  Or some other dude on another teams’ roster right now.  Either way, does it matter who is #3?

RB (6):

Locks:  LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden

In:  Jonas Gray, Tavaris Cadet, James White, James Develin

Out:  Dion Lewis

Way Out:  Eric Kettani, Tony Creecy

6 runners is a little heavy, but Blount is definitely suspended for 1 game.  So I’m taking 54 guys in this roster projection and so there is room for 6 backs.  Plus Develin is included here, even though he kind of has his own position of fullback/H-back/small tight end/whatever.  He’s realistically a lock I suppose.  Gray isn’t a lock because I feel like he is always a hair away from Bill Belichick’s doghouse.  Plus, when you think about it, there is probably a reason he was on the practice squad for half the season last year when anyone could have had him for nothing.  White apparently is the darling of camp again this year, but nothing has been impressive thus far about him when the lights are on.  I suppose that’s why I keep Cadet in, despite him being hurt so far.  Could be Lewis in Cadet’s spot, for all we know.  It surely isn’t going to be Creecy.  Or Kettani, despite the whole Navy thing…

WR (5):

Locks:  Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell

In:  Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Aaron Dobson

Out:  Josh Boyce, Brian Tyms

Way Out:  Zach D’Orazio, Chris Harper, Jonathan Krause

Some question marks here.  Edelman has been banged up, but hopefully that is not serious.  Who knows?  LaFell is on the preseason PUP list.  That means he can be transferred to the regular season list and must miss 6 games as a result.  Don’t rule that out.  Dobson is hurt again, but is not on the preseason PUP list.  So if he is out, then it’s IR for the year…or cut.  Think they will give him one more chance.  Amendola is realistically a lock.  But something in the back of my head tells me he could be one of those veterans cut at the end of camp that you don’t see coming.  With all the doubts at the position now though, it appears unlikely.  Gibson?  Whatever.  But I like him better than Boyce and Tyms.  I’m already sick of Boyce.  He’s never been good, yet they threw to him all night last Thursday.  Maybe hoping he could earn a spot.  And he came up small.  Tyms is probably still better than Boyce on what either would make the roster for…getting open deep and spreading the field…like 3 times a game.  Maybe one of the kids is worth something.  Though since they only played late in the first exhibition game, something tells me they ain’t that highly regarded.

TE (3):

Locks:  Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler

In:  Michael Hoomanawanui

Out:  Jake Bequette

Way Out:  Jimmay Mundine, Logan Stokes

I always want to move on from the Hoo-Man…but the team seemingly loves him.  Bequette probably still sucks at this position too.  But you know how the Pats love versatility.  Don’t even know the last 2.  Can’t imagine they will crack the lineup.

OL (10):

Locks: Nate Solder (LT), Sebastian Vollmer (RT), Bryan Stork (C), Ryan Wendell (G/C), Marcus Cannon (T), Cameron Fleming (T/G?), Shaq Mason (G), Tre’ Jackson (G)

In:  Josh Kline (G/C), Ryan Groy (G)

Out:  Chris Barker (G), Jordan Devey (T)

Way Out:  David Andrews (C), Mark Asper (G)

A little bit in flux here as well.  Solder, Vollmer, Stork and Cannon have missed some time, though I believe Solder and Cannon are back at practice now and none of these injuries appear to be serious.  Wendell is on the preseason PUP list though and Jackson apparently got carted off at practice today.  Barker has been on and off the roster for a couple of years and of course Devey somehow stuck all of last year despite being putrid, so they could end up sticking.  Groy just got here and even though the kid they traded for him (6th round pick, LB Matt Wells) wasn’t anything special, Groy could be some needed depth at this time.  The team seems to like this Andrews lad.  But I don’t know how the team actually likes any of the youngsters after Garoppolo had zero seconds to throw last Thursday night behind them.

Specialists (4):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Ryan Allen (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST)

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

I’m sorry, I cannot list Slater as a wide receiver.  This is what he is.  But…no complaints at all.  The guy is excellent at what he does.  No competition at the other 3 spots in camp, so even I could pick these right.  Though Cardona can suck total arse, they can cut him a day before the opener and someone else can step right in without a hitch.  I’m sure it’s happened before.  They cut Danny Aiken in the final cuts last year.  Of course they brought him back like 2 days later, but they still cut the long snapper.  Not unheard of.

Next:  Defense and injury lists…and maybe a total stab at the practice squad if I’m feeling it as well…

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