Three preseason games down, one meaningless one to go. Well, “meaningless” for some people…I guess it’s pretty meaningful for the dudes trying to win jobs here or elsewhere. Either way, time for the 2nd roster projection. 88 players on the roster…wait, 86…I just read about two departures. We will cover everything here, so don’t you worry.
Locks: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer
Out: Danny Etling
Way Out: None
Comments: Nothing to see here. Hoyer stinks, we do know that, but he ain’t going anywhere. Unless Etling throws for 600 yards in the preseason finale, I guess…
Locks: Rex Burkhead, James White, Sony Michel, James Develin
In: Jeremy Hill
Out: Mike Gillislee, Ralph Webb
Way Out: Henry Poggi
Comments: Only change here is adding Hill to the squad. Jeremy has had a pretty good preseason, and unless his injury from late in the last game is serious, the consensus is he will make the squad. Seeing that Burkhead is always hurt and Michel has been hurt (and apparently has underwhelmed, to boot) this training camp, I actually tried to find a way to hang on to Gillislee too. But with Belichick loving his 19 special teams only guys, I couldn’t find the space for him. Not yet anyway. Oh wait, there is another difference: Poggi is added to the last group. He wasn’t here for the first projection. And he won’t be here much longer, especially after his one touch in the last game resulted in a fumble.
Locks: Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson
Out: Riley McCarron, Devin Lucien
Way Out: Paul Turner
Suspended: Julian Edelman
Injured Reserve?: Braxton Berrios
Released: Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Britt, Jordan Matthews
Retired: Eric Decker
Comments: Abysmal. There is no other way to put it. Even when Edelman comes back. And who is to say he even is the same guy these days, post-injury? This group is brutal.
The amazing thing though, is I think they get through it. I think the team uses more backs and tight ends in the passing game and things will be ok. Why do I think that? No f’n idea…just a hunch. Maybe they get someone on waivers. But we saw how that went with Dorsett last year, after he was acquired a few days before the season. Didn’t do much last year. So we really can’t expect something different this year. Dez? Looks like that ain’t happening. But would he be the right fit anyway? And how much does he actually have left? Not sure on either count.
In any event, this is what we have. Dorsett hopefully takes a step up…Patterson too, for that matter. What are the chances of either of those happening for real though? Berrios has been hurt and it may make sense to stash him on IR. Britt, Mitchell and Matthews were hurt and it made no sense to stash them. Still feel bad about Mitchell, but looks like he is still a free agent, so I suppose every other team feels the same way. Decker was apparently so bad, he literally just retired. Prime opportunity for him to come here and make something happen, but alas, it didn’t happen. Turner? Who?
I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see McCarron stick, at least to start the year. We’ve heard about him, though haven’t necessarily seen much. But maybe he’s the guy that returns punts while Jules is out. Who the hell knows? I tried to put him on actually, but again…the special teams guys…
Locks: Rob Gronkowski
In: Dwayne Allen, Jacob Hollister
Out: Will Tye
Way Out: None
Injured Reserve?: Ryan Izzo
Released: Troy Niklas, Shane Wimann
Comments: So much for Niklas living up to his draft position. He was cut a month ago and remains unemployed. Wimann never had a chance either I guess. The praise for Hollister has been effusive at times, so I guess he has to be in. No idea how Allen still keeps his spot. But there has been no indication that he is in danger of losing it. Izzo seems like a nice IR stash.
Locks: Trent Brown (LT), Joe Thuney (LG), David Andrews (C), Shaq Mason (RG), Marcus Cannon (RT), LaAdrian Waddle (T)
In: Ted Karras (G/C), Cole Croston (T)
Out: Matt Tobin (T), Luke Bowanko (C/G), James Ferentz (C), Jason King (G), Ulrick John (T)
Way Out: Brian Schwenke (C)
Injured Reserve: Isaiah Wynn (T/G)
Released: Nate Theaker (G)
Comments: Starting five remains intact. Too bad about top pick Wynn being shelved for the year. But every team has their injuries I suppose. Wynn’s injury makes Waddle a lock. And I changed my mind on the “In’s”. Now, I can’t say I study offensive line play. But I read and listen to a lot of analysis. It seems the Pats brought in guys like Bowanko, Tobin and John to improve upon last years’ backups in Karras and Croston. I haven’t seen or heard anything that has indicated that they will actually will be improvements. With Cannon being hurt, maybe they find space for one or two more initially. But with the last couple of spots, honestly, you’re guess is as good as mine.
Next: Defense and Specialists