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New England Patriots Roster Projection-Final

A little late on this and since things are happening as we speak, we’d better get cracking!!

Offense:

QB (3):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham

In:  Brian Hoyer

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

Comments:  I’d personally cut Hoyer.  Even if Stidham isn’t completely ready, it’s not like the Pats are winning a Super Bowl with Hoyer if Brady goes down.  Besides, couldn’t you get him, or someone like him, off the streets if something catastrophic happens to Brady?  I think so.  But alas, the Pats won’t do it…I don’t feel like it anyway.

RB (5):

Locks:  Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, James Develin (FB)

In:  None

Out:  Jakob Johnson (FB)

Way Out:  Nick Brossette

Practice Squad:  Johnson

Comments:  Pretty easy here.  Burkhead didn’t sniff the field last night, so I imagine he gets back up to the “lock” category.  Johnson won’t count against the 10-man practice squad limit as an international signing.  Plus, he played some linebacker last night.  So he will ultimately stick in this capacity.

WR (6):

Locks:  Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, N’Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett

In:  Jakobi Meyers

Out:  Braxton Berrios, Gunner Olszewski

Way Out:  Damoun Patterson, Ryan Davis

PUP:  Cameron Meredith

Practice Squad:  Berrios, Olszewski

Comments:  Big change from the last projection.  Didn’t think Gordon and Thomas would be there for Game 1 with their respective situations.  And with Dorsett not playing last night, that pretty much makes him a lock.  Meyers probably did enough this preseason that he won’t slip through waivers to the practice squad.  Berrios has been all hype, no results for 2 preseasons now.  Gunner is a nice story, but there is no room.  He should be able to work on his skills on the practice squad.  Played cornerback in college and found himself there in the second half last night.  So he could be one of those jack of all trade guys to reach down and get as needed.  Big fall for Maurice Harris as well.  Big time hype all offseason and into the preseason games, disappointed a bit on the field, got hurt and was released a week or so ago.

TE (2):

Locks:  None

In:  Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo

Out:  Stephen Anderson, Eric Saubert, Andrew Beck

Way Out:  None

Suspended:  Benjamin Watson (4 games), Lance Kendricks (1 game)

Practice Squad:  Beck

Comments:  LaCosse hasn’t played much, but again…the contract.  Izzo didn’t play last night, so that tells me he is in.  I’m not sure Anderson has practice squad eligibility, but if he does he could end up there.  Beck can play fullback apparently, so that may get him on the p-squad himself.

OL (8):

Locks:  Isaiah Wynn (LT), Joe Thuney (LG), Ted Karras (C), Shaq Mason (RG), Marcus Cannon (RT),

In:  Korey Cunningham (T), Jermaine Eluemunor (G), Russell Bodine (C)

Out:  James Ferentz (C), Dan Skipper (T), Cole Croston (T)

Way Out:  Tyler Gauthier (C), Martez Ivey (T), Cedrick Lang (T), Tyree St. Louis (T)

IR:  David Andrews (C), Hjalte Froholdt (G)

NFI:  Yodny Cajuste (T)

Practice Squad:  Skipper, Croston, Ferentz

Comments:  Huge changes here as well since the last projection.  Bill apparently saw enough of Skipper, Croston and Ferentz this preseason to realize they are not the answer to anything.  Combined with the unexpected and unfortunate medical situation of Andrews, the Pats made trades for the three offensive linemen in the “in” category.  The compensation given up would seem to indicate they all make the squad despite not really seeing them play.  We noticed Froholdt a little bit this preseason, not necessarily a good thing for an O-Lineman.  So his injury last night would seem to have come at a fortuitous time for both he and the team.

Defense:

DE (4):

Locks:  Michael Bennett, John Simon, Chase Winovich

In:  Deatrich Wise

Out:  None

Way Out:  Nick Thurman

IR:  Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis

Comments:  A lot of talk about Wise not making the cut.  And his inclusion in the game yesterday may not be a good sign.  But he has some talent, so I am not sure he gets tossed aside so easily.  Rivers is hurt…again…and that may buy him another year.  But there is the possibility the Pats just cut bait and let him have a fresh start elsewhere.  I thought the Pats released Davis, but he shows up on their roster as being on injured reserve, so there’s that.

DT (4):

Locks:  Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Danny Shelton

In:  Byron Cowart

Out:  Ufomba Kamalu, David Parry, Trent Harris

Way Out:  None

Practice Squad:  Harris

Comments:  Shelton was such a non-factor last season that it was kind of a shock he was eventually re-signed.  It will be an even bigger shock when he makes the team.  Both he and Cowart apparently played their way on to the team this preseason, making arguably the Patriots’ biggest free agent signing, Mike Pennel, expendable and released already like a week ago.

LB (5):

Locks:  Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts

In:  None

Out:  Calvin Munson, Christian Sam, Scooby Wright

Way Out:  Terez Hall

IR:  Shilique Calhoun

Practice Squad:  Munson

Comments:  Some big buzz around Munson, but I don’t see it.  Yeah, I suppose it is as a special teamer, to replace a guy like Brandon King.  But my sense is he could go through easily to the practice squad and you could go get him when you really need him.

CB (6):

Locks:  Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams

In:  Keion Crossen

Out:  Ken Webster

Way Out:  None

IR:  D’Angelo Ross

Traded:  Duke Dawson

Practice squad:  Webster

Comments:  Rapid fall for Dawson.  Second round pick last year then got hurt and missed most of the year.  When he got healthy, he couldn’t crack the active roster.  Then the Pats took Williams in the second round this year and all of a sudden he gets dealt for like 20 cents on the dollar today to Denver.  Ouch.  At least they got something.  Crossen has been a mixed bag defensively this preseason, but they also like him on special teams.  And you know how Bill feels about his special teamers.

S (4):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Terrance Brooks

In:  None

Out:  Obi Melifonwu

Way Out:  A.J. Howard

IR:  Malik Gant

Practice Squad:  Melifonwu

Comments:  Moved Brooks to safety in this projection.  That is his primary position, but it seems the team will spot him at safety some too.  Gant got carted off last night, so he gets to go on IR instead of the street.  Chung’s legal issues won’t likely affect him this year.  Not sure if Obi is eligible for the P-squad but if he is, I think he will be there…unless he is claimed by another team of course.

Specialists (6):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Jake Bailey (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Nate Ebner (ST), Brandon Bolden (ST)

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

IR:  Brandon King

Comments:  Not much to say here.  We already knew Bailey beat out incumbent Ryan Allen.  We will always have last years’ Super Bowl Ryan!!

Lots of moving pieces still to come.  But this is where I see it for now.

New England Patriots Roster Projection, v3

Let’s get right to it:

Offense:

QB (2):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer

In:  None

Out:  Danny Etling

Way Out:  None

Comments:  Welp, Etling didn’t throw for 600 yards in the finale.  Not only that, but it looks like he stinks.  But it could be also that his receivers stink too.  Maybe they should have drafted the kid the Giants took, Kyle Lauletta, who was linked to the Pats all spring.  Whatever…it was a helluva an 86 yard run by Etling at the end of the game though.  We know Brady ain’t doing that this year.

RB (6):

Locks:  Rex Burkhead, James White, Sony Michel, James Develin

In:  Jeremy Hill, Mike Gillislee

Out:  Ralph Webb

Way Out:  Henry Poggi, Kenneth Farrow, Khalfani Muhammed

Comments:  Hill is probably a lock actually.  Gillislee did not play in the preseason finale.  Combine that with the uncertain health of Burkhead and Michel and I think he gets on the squad to start the year.  Farrow and Muhammed were signed a couple of days ago…it was nice of the Pats to do that.

WR (4):

Locks:  Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson

In:  Riley McCarron

Out:  Devin Lucien

Way Out:  Paul Turner, K.J. Maye

Suspended:  Julian Edelman

Injured Reserve:  Braxton Berrios

Comments:  As I said in the last projection, it wouldn’t surprise me to see McCarron stick.  And the fact that he didn’t play in last night’s game tells me he makes it…at least at the start.  Maye was signed a few days ago as well.  Good to see him again, as he was with the Pats in the preseason last year.  And I will say that I was shocked as sh&t to find out that Turner actually has some NFL experience from 2016.  But that shouldn’t help him here.

TE (3):

Locks:  Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen

In:  Jacob Hollister

Out:  Will Tye

Way Out:  None

Injured Reserve:  Ryan Izzo

Comments:  Allen’s recent pay adjustment locks him in.  Hollister has been chatted up frequently, so I guess he is in.  But maybe his injury keeps him off.

OL (8):

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)

Comments:  John was getting some love, but he limped off last night and who knows how serious his injury is.  Bowanko is also hurt.  The top 6 are locked in, but you can pick whoever you want as the 2-3 backups and honestly, I couldn’t tell you who is better than who.  Should I be able to?  I don’t know.  But can you?

Defense:

DE (5):

Locks:  Trey Flowers, Adrian Clayborn, Derek Rivers, Deatrich Wise

In:  Keionta Davis

Out:  Eric Lee

Way Out:  Frank Herron

Comments:  I’m keeping Davis on, despite some questions during the telecast about him not making enough plays against backups in the preseason.  Just a hunch.

DT (4):

Locks:  Malcom Brown, Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton

In:  Adam Butler

Out:  Vincent Valentine

Way Out:  John Atkins, Trent Harris

Comments:  Still would like to find room for Valentine.  But maybe they think that they can slip him through to the practice squad, seeing that he missed all of last year.

LB (4):

Locks:  Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts

In:  None

Out:  Marquis Flowers, Christian Sam

Way Out:  None

Injured Reserve:  Harvey Langhi

Comments:  First three are no-brainers.  Roberts didn’t play in the finale, so, unfortunately, it looks like he is a lock too.  Sam apparently wasn’t dressed last night, so maybe he is hurt and he ends up on IR?  Flowers is brutal, but he is a “core special teamer”, who actually also, very, unfortunately, does play some linebacker too.  He’s out for now, but my guess is that he’s a guy they can cut, not get claimed and be back for Week 1.  Maybe not, but he played a ton in the last preseason game.  That’s usually not a good sign.  And I think his 1.75 mil salary is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too high.  There’s some room for him to come down there.  Taking a stab here…

CB (6):

Locks:  Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones, Duke Dawson

In:  Cyrus Jones, J.C. Jackson

Out:  Jason McCourty, Ryan Lewis, Keion Crossen

Way Out:  Jomal Wiltz

Comments:  No changes here.  McCourty is a guy that they could cut and re-sign in Week 2.  And he was playing a little safety in the preseason finale.  Maybe that’s a long-term thing.  But doesn’t help him for Saturday.  Crossen still has a shot to make the squad, at least temporarily.  But I think that may be a stretch at this point.

S (4):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon

In:  Jordan Richards

Out:  Damarius Travis

Way Out:  A.J. Moore

Comments:  If Jason McCourty could ever supplant Richards, I’d love it.  But I don’t see it.

Specialists (7):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Ryan Allen (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Nate Ebner (ST), Brandon King (ST), Nicholas Grigsby (ST)

In:  None

Out:  Brandon Bolden (ST), Geneo Grissom (ST)

Way Out:  Corey Bojorquez (P)

Comments:  “Bojo” couldn’t even punt in the last meaningless preseason game.  I think they play the same game with Bolden this year as they did last year…cut him for 2 days, keep a kid longer so they can sneak him on the practice squad when other teams have their rosters set, then he’s back in uniform before Week 1.

Final comment:  There will be some bottom of the roster movement, cuts and re-signings and all.  We know that.  But we also know that there will be some trades, probably minor, but still some trades.  I will say, I love this time of year!

Practice squad:  Etling, Webb, Lucien, Ferentz, Lee, Harris, Valentine, Sam, Lewis and Crossen.

Patriots Roster Projection, v2

The “all-important” third preseason game has been played.  Great time to make another projection, since no regulars will really play in the fourth preseason game.  No regulars that count anyway.  A new wrinkle this year though is that there is no cut down to 75 players.  The entire 90 man roster of each NFL team will be able to play in those teams’ final preseason game on Thursday night.  Then a day and a half later, the rosters will be slashed to the regular season limit of 53.  It’ll be a crowded waiver wire on Saturday afternoon.  Good thing I don’t have to sift through all those names.  Anyway, here goes:

Offense:

QB (3):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

Comments:  Haven’t heard much lately about Brissett’s roster spot being in jeopardy.  I still don’t see that being the case anyway.  I suppose if he stinks Thursday night…

RB (6):

Locks:  Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, James White, Dion Lewis

In:  James Develin, Brandon Bolden

Out:  D.J. Foster, Glenn Gronkowski

Way Out:  LeShun Daniels

Comments:  Six running backs is pretty steep.  But I think they will find room for Bolden, as much as that pains me.  They love him too much on special teams.  And in a pinch they think he can play a little RB.  People seem to be throwing Lewis’ name out there for trade consideration, and although that wouldn’t surprise me, I don’t know if that’s realistic.  I mean, he has talent, but is injury-prone.  So who’s going to give the Pats anything for him?  And he can fill a nice role here anyway.  Side note:  it was great seeing White get tripped up by the yard lines in the last game again.  I know, he was awesome in the Super Bowl.  All the props in the world to him for that.  But has anyone seen the rest of the games in his career?

WR (3):

Locks:  Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola

In:  None

Out:  Austin Carr, Devin Lucien

Way Out:  Cody Hollister, K.J. Maye, Tony Washington

Injured Reserve:  Malcolm Mitchell (designated to return), Julian Edelman (out for the season)

Comments:  In the original projection I said this position was pretty much set in stone.  Oops.  Tough deal with Edelman.  He was flying out of the gate in that last game.  Looked primed for another big year, even with the addition of Cooks.  He is Brady’s main man, after all.  Going to be a tough loss on third downs especially.  But…every team has key injuries, so what can ya do?  Hope that opens the door for Cooks to really light it up.  But it’s a good thing that Amendola is back.  Makes him a lock now.  Mitchell was brought along slowly in camp because of a knee injury.  Then it looked to me that he aggravated it in the second preseason game.  No one is really talking about it, but he didn’t play in the last game.  I feel like he is a candidate for one of the two IR-designated to return spots that NFL teams have this year.  Get that thing fully healthy for the stretch drive.

That leave three guys there…obviously kind of lean.  People may say that guarantees a spot for Carr or Lucien, but I’m not there yet.  These guys seem to be perfect practice squad guys…if they clear waivers at cut downs that is.  The Pats dressed only 3 receivers in several games last year.  I think they may do it again early on if Mitchell ends up on IR.  Matthew Slater can play WR in a pinch, though I don’t really want to see him there.  But more importantly, one of the extra backs could always line up there too.  Then it allows the team to carry a third TE or extra lineman or someone at another spot.

TE (2):

Locks:  Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen

In:  None

Out:  James O’Shaughnessy, Jacob Hollister

Way Out:  Sam Cotton

Released:  Matt Lengel

Comments:  Still feel like the Pats start with 2 tight ends.  Develin could play there in a pinch as well as an offensive lineman, likely Cameron Fleming, who they have put there repeatedly…though not necessarily with positive results.  They are probably hoping Hollister gets to the practice squad.  But when Lengel heals (out for several more weeks with injury they are saying), they could always pick him back up.  Possibly O’Shaughnessy as well.  Not really worth talking about the third TE much more.

OL (9):

Locks:  Nate Solder (LT), Joe Thuney (LG), David Andrews (C), Shaq Mason (RG), Marcus Cannon (RT)

In:  Ted Karras (G/C), Conor McDermott (T), Cameron Fleming (T), LaAdrian Waddle (T)

Out:  Jamil Douglas (G), James Ferentz (C)

Way Out:  Cole Croston (T), Andrew Jelks (T), Jason King (G), Max Rich (T)

Injured Reserve:  Antonio Garcia (T) (designated to return?)

Comments:  The starters are set in stone, though Solder has been managing an injury.  Which forces me to put both Fleming and Waddle back on at the start of the season, for insurance.  As well as Fleming’s experience at TE.  Again, feel like they want to hang on to McDermott, so the thinking is they need to keep him initially before trying to waive him to the practice squad after teams have their rosters set the first week.  I have no idea if he can play, but I feel like Dante Scarnecchia will want to try to take those physical tools and try to develop him into something.  Douglas was the last guy I cut and I really know nothing about him…other than that they could use an extra guard probably.  I suppose it’s not life or death…especially if he lands on the practice squad.  Garcia has been a ghost…but as a third round pick, I believe he may be the other candidate for the “IR-return” spot.  Dante may want to work on developing him as well…and not lose practice time by having him go on long-term IR.  But maybe they save the IR-return spot for someone who gets a long-term injury early in the year…and will actually be a factor at some point THIS year…and put Garcia on ice for the year.  He won’t be able to practice, but at least he can study the playbook.

DE (3):

Locks:  Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise, Geneo Grissom

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  Michael Bart

Injured Reserve:  Derek Rivers (out for the season)

Released:  Kony Ealy, Caleb Kidder

Comments:  Welp, I suppose those early in camp rumors about Ealy were spot on.  Guess I should listen more.  But just…wow.  The guy can’t get his act together to play for the Patriots?  In a contract year?  Inexplicable.  I suppose he got what he “asked” for.  Getting claimed by the New York Jets after he was waived.  I wonder how he feels now?  Probably still doesn’t care.

Losing Rivers is a blow.  No idea how good he is or can be.  But now the team is down to three defensive ends…and one is essentially a special teamer in Grissom.  Some people are clamoring for a Rob Ninkovich return.  Not me.  With all due respect, he is probably close to done.  Even though some of the linebackers here can pretty much cover some of the depth issues here, I expect the team to look hard through the cuts this upcoming weekend and nab a guy or two.  I would think they have to.  And I’m not counting on big things from Michael Bart, who was just signed yesterday.

DT (5):

Locks:  Alan Branch, Malcom Brown, Lawrence Guy, Vincent Valentine

In: Adam Butler

Out: Woodrow Hamilton, Darius Kilgo

Way Out:  Josh Augusta

Comments:  Elevated Butler from “way out” in version #1 to “In” now.  Why?  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  He’s gotten some buzz and Belichick does love his fat guys.  Maybe he’s a guy they keep on the initial 53 and then try to slide to the practice squad after teams set their rosters.  Either way, there’s no need to talk about it more.  The rest is still cut and dried here, as noted in the first projection.

LB (7):

Locks:  Dont’a Hightower

In:  David Harris, Shea McClellin, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, Harvey Langhi, Jonathan Freeny

Out:  Trevor Bates

Way Out:  Brooks Ellis, Christian Kuntz, Nick Usher

Comments:  Dropped Harris to where I initially was going to put him.  Some people have not been enamored with his play thus far.  Freeny gets back on cuz, yup, Bill loves his special teamers too.  Langhi has shown some skills, but just like all six in the “In” section he has been up and down.  Kuntz and Usher were just signed yesterday, hope they enjoy playing Thursday night.  Not sure we can expect much else from them.

CB (5):

Locks:  Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones

In:  Cyrus Jones

Out:  Justin Coleman, D.J. Killings

Way Out:  William Likely, Dwayne Thomas

Comments:  Cyrus has not “flashed” in any way, shape or form.  But I have to believe he still gets that second year here, at a minimum.  The rest is kind of obvious and the whole lot hasn’t changed from the first projection.

S (4):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon

In:  Jordan Richards

Out:  None

Way Out:  Jason Thompson, Damarius Travis, David Jones, Kenny Moore

Comments:  I said the last time that Richards probably gets one more chance and seemed to squeak on my roster here.  Got a lot of run in the last preseason game with mixed results.  Hey, another questionable second round pick at safety in Tavon Wilson got four years here, why can’t Richards get three?

Specialists (6):

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

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

Comments:  Same ol’, same ol’.

Bonus?  Practice squad shot in the dark:  Foster, Carr, Lucien, Jacob Hollister, Douglas, Ferentz, Hamilton, Augusta, Killings, Moore.  Though half those dudes may get claimed and Bill will want to bring in five other young guys he sees on the wire anyway…

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