Per reader request, we’re going to look at who NEPD, and our great readers, think will be the last five Patriots to make the 53-man roster. Conversely, we’ll also speculate on who will be the last five to be seen by “the Turk.”
Torry Holt – We see the competition for the the last WR spot coming down to Holt’s consistency against Aiken’s special-teams prowess. With some of the newcomers likely to play special teams, we see Holt winning out.
Brandon Deaderick – You really can’t have enough young depth and developing players at the 5-technique.
Kyle Arrington – Our true special-teams ace, who can actually fill in for spot duty on defense, at least better than Slater.
Ted Larsen – This hinges on the Mankins contract situation. If he goes, it opens up a spot for a young guard to make the team.
Pierre Woods – If the Patriots think they can sneak a young guy onto the practice squad, I think Bill will want to keep Woods around. he knows the system and plays well on ST.
Thomas Williams – Promising player at a crowded position.
Sam Aiken – Barring injury to a WR, we don’t see Sam making the team.
Terrence Wheatley - Bill has a fondness for Wheatley, but we have better options on ST and at CB now.
Matthew Slater - I think Arrington out-shone Slater on ST last year, which doesn’t bode well for his chances of making the squad.
Dane Fletcher - Could develop into a decent “Mike” in the coming years, a la Tedy Bruschi. I’d rather keep him than Shawn Crable or Pierre Woods, due to his DE/OLB/ILB versatility. Could be another Dan Klecko, but I see a promising future for Fletcher.