2011 Patriots Roster Prediction 3.0

Tom Brady Patriots

I'm relatively certain this guy makes the roster, but that hair has already been cut.

This is our third of at least five annual predictions (we hit 50/53 in last year’s final prediction) for who makes the New England Patriots opening-day roster.

Quarterbacks – Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett (3)

Running Backs – Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Kevin Faulk (5)

Wide Receivers – Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Brandon Tate (6)

Tight Ends – Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Lee Smith (3)

Offensive Line – Sebastian Vollmer, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Dan Koppen, Matt Light, Nate Solder, Steve Maneri, Ryan Wendell (8)

Defensive Line – Albert Haynesworth, Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis, Kyle Love, Myron Pryor, Mike Wright (6)

Defensive Line / Linebackers – Jermaine Cunningham, Eric Moore, Andre Carter, Rob Ninkovich, Markell Carter (5)

Linebackers – Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, Gary Guyton, Jeff Tarpinian (5)

Cornerbacks – Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Darius Butler (5)

Safeties – Pat Chung, Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Sergio Brown (4)

Specialists – Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Matt Katula (3)

PUP/NFI: Marcus Cannon, Ron Brace

Last three in: Markell Carter, Jeff Tarpinian, Kevin Faulk

Last three out: Matthew Slater, Sammy Morris, Mark Anderson


Four hybrid DE/LB’s give the Patriots the flexibility they need to play 4-3, 3-4, and anything in between. It essentially gives them
11 defensive linemen and 10 linebackers.

Jonathan Wilhite is the odd man out for us at cornerback – his ceiling is too low. Josh Barrett can’t stay on the field, so Sergio Brown wins the backup safety job in our opinion. Brett Lockett is a darkhorse if they REALLY love his special-teams play.

If the Patriots are really hard-up for a roster spot, Lee Smith and Rob Ninkovich can both long-snap, although Matt Katula has done a spectacular job.

Marcus Cannon’s readiness to hit the field determines whether or not he could overtake Ryan Wendell or Steve Maneri for the final OL roster spot.

Wendell’s ability to backup Koppen gives him a roster spot for now. We like Maneri’s upside over long-time veteran swing-tackle Mark Levoir.

With Shane Vereen turning up a bit gimpy and the emergence of Stevan Ridley as a powerful runner, we’ve completely flip-flopped on the Faulk vs. Morris debate. If he is healthy, we see Faulk making the team.

Mark Anderson was the hardest choice in this exercise. While he does bring some legitimate pressure off the edge, we feel that the youngsters Carter and Tarpinian bring a bit more to the table.

Both of the rookies are fantastic special-teams players. Tarpinian would add some depth as a linebacker with experience in a patient 4-3. Carter has the flexibility of playing 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE.

If the Patriots feel that they can slip one of the rookies onto the practice squad, Anderson could get a reprieve.

Slater was a tough one for us as well – his gunner role is seen as pretty important by the coaching staff. That said, we just couldn’t drop Brandon Tate or Kyle Love off the roster. The depth that they give the Patriots is very useful.

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23 Responses to “2011 Patriots Roster Prediction 3.0”

  1. Dan says:

    I made a bold prediction on Monday about Haynesworth not having a secure job; meaning, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were cut, although I want him to come through and dominate like the player he was.
    I’m going out further on a limb and saying that if Chad Ocho doesn’t have permission for this “living with a fan” self-promotion he may be cut also.
    There’s no way I see BB putting up with this kind of contrived distraction and side-show from anyone. He’ll keep tate, let Price play, pick someone off the cut heap, and let 85 walk, especially if he’s dropping balls. I just don’t see a reality show being “ok” while this team is trying to pull together and win games…make a run at winning a play off game.

  2. Nicky F says:

    Why not “IR” Mallett? He isn’t going to see the field this year anyway and it opens up a roster spot.

    • Dan says:

      I think the question there would be could he practice? I would guess they want him to be fully involved in development, even though Brady doesn’t allow many snaps any time, and Hoyer would have to take his reps to keep fresh, seeing he’s the back up.

  3. psw says:

    dont count out brace yet, the guys in front of him are old, and some not healthy. he can fall into a job as easily as win one.

  4. TD says:

    I think there will be surprising cuts all around the league between now and start of season.

    BB usually cuts and adds right up to and after the first game.

    It may be bad news for: Brace, Butler, Tate, Wilhite, Price, Morris, Faulk and some of the other newer additions. Although some of them could end up on PUP or Practice Squad.

  5. TD says:

    I think there will be surprising cuts all around the league between now and start of season.

    BB usually cuts and adds right up to and after the first game.

    • Dan says:

      I agree…this could be a very wild final cut week. I’m thinking that we could find our safety and corner then, and possibly a linebacker. So, even the final 53 isn’t safe for long.

  6. D. T. says:

    I’d take Slater over Tarpinian, but that’s because Slater has great ST value and we’re pretty healthy at LB. Tarpinian is an unknown quantity with some ST value.

    Tarpinian, Jeremy Ross, Josh Barrett are all practice squad candidates. There’s no way the Patriots went to all that trouble to obtain Barett and aren’t going to keep him in some way.

    Faulk may also have a chance. I’d hate to see LeVoir go. Rumor is that the OL is really banged up right now.

  7. mark says:

    Tough Cuts – Moore, Meriweather (trade), Tate (trade) M Carter, White and Love

    9 OL – I Think Wendell is hurt more than they are letting on. Pats went out and got two OG/C types in Morris and Compas when Wendell went down. I keep LeVoir – Solder will be inactive all year, he is that raw.
    8 DL – Wilfork, Haynesworth, Ellis, A. Carter, Anderson, Pryor, Warren and Wright. Brace and Deaderick to PUP.
    7 LB – I still consider Cunninghame nad Ninkovich as LB plus the 5 LB posted. Tarpinian makes the team if he can stay healthy.

    4 S Meriweather out and the last spot goes to either Barrett or Ventrone. Barrett intrigues me with his LB size and could be used in a big Nickel type of defense.

    • Dan says:

      I don’t see trades happening this time of year, especially for players that are looking like they may be cut. Merriweather…maybe? But, I don’t know what you’d get for Brace or Tate, neither has done very much; maybe a 6th or 7th rounder so you can be assured of getting them, instead of hoping you get them after being cut?

      I’m trying to think back, are there many of these type trades this time of year?

  8. TD says:

    Unfortunately, on this team, the rooks probably have 2 years max. to prove they belong. BB is putting guys on the roster that can compete and make plays and/or provide backup while they get better.

    He has a history of letting guys go that are not ready after year 2 and I think Brace may be at the top of the list.

    • Dan says:

      Amen, but putting a time table on it is just an illusion…if they show they can’t play they are gone year one, and this has happened. Of course, if they see potential and the player needs time they will have make a decision to keep them around and invest a roster spot and resources to bring the player along.
      But, if someone can’t perform they are not making the team over someone who can.
      I think the cuts that will be coming will be full of surprises, and there will be more players picked up from other teams cutting players we feel can help us.

    • Dan says:

      The sad truth is now we are looking at Brace & Butler being complete busts, adn they were nice 2nd round picks at the time. I realize the draft is hit or miss for all teams, but that will sting if it’s the case, and we’re about 3 weeks away from finding this out, if not days.

  9. Dan says:

    I see Tate being in trouble, if he doesn’t pull it all together (meaning, no more “potential” talk) then he has no place on the team; someone else will handle kick returns.
    I agree with Morris and Faulk, but I think Faulk may stay on the PUP list for a while, if that’s possible…keeping him as an option.
    I feel Mike Wright could be in trouble because of his concussion issue alone…love the guy, and I believe they do to, but I feel with Warren signing he may be waived towards the end…hope I’m dead wrong.
    Also, with Warren signing (and Ellis) I feel they are not 100% sold on Haynesworth…I wouldn’t be shocked if he was cut either. I’m sure they are doing everything to max this guy out…huge upside and all, but if he can’t play then having a guy like Warren and/or Ellis out there would have to do.
    I do agree that Anderson has an uphill battle.
    I’m hoping that Butler has learned to cover and makes the team, but he could be gone if he doesn’t show the same as Tate; again, end of the “potential” tag…either he can play or not. I could see them bringing in a few more d-backs to fill these spots like they almost did with the dude from the 49ers, but more cuts will be made and better players than Butler will be available…the competition will continue, same with safety.

    • Hunter says:

      I would give a guy at least 3 years to show up if he has potential, i.e. Butler, Brace, Tate, have all shown potential and were all high draft picks. Let’s see if the light goes on this year. (this is what I hate about BB’s itch he gets every few years to load up on free agents, it kill’s the young guys’ ability to develop. They’ve brought 33 guys in through the draft in the last 3 years, plus UDFAs, dont push them out the door before they get a chance.

      • Dan says:

        This is a Super Bowl contending team…saying a guy should get 3 years is a nice thought, but it’s not reality. As soon as they show they don’t have it here they should be cut. It’s not little league where everyone gets an at-bat. Guys fail all over this league, not just with the Pats. Drafting is not perfect by any stretch; again, league wide. And, players fail to make clubs for many reasons…it’s not personal; some are injured, some can’t run the system, some have better players in front of them, and some can’t play special teams.

        If a kid like Tate gets cut he’ll be picked up shortly after, so he’ll have his next shot to show what he can do. The same is true for anyone else that gets cut, Butler, Brace etc….(if it’s them). They may have amazing careers in another system…it happens every year.

  10. Tom says:

    Keeping Slater over Tate feels like classic BB.

    • MikeQ says:

      Exactly right! Bill will not give up a special teamer like Slater.
      He is arguably there best on that squad.

  11. Troy says:

    Pretty similar to the roster I made. Kept Slater over Faulk (still not completely sold on it though) and Anderson over Moore. Also any chance we see Brace on the PUP list or do we just cut him?

  12. Liam says:

    I like your thoughts. I too see Anderson making the club ahead of guys like Tarkinian or Markell Carter, who are good practice squad guys for mine. Exciting times ahead I think.

    • JMC says:

      I think you have a good point about Anderson.

      I also would not be surprised to see Kevin Faulk start the year on the PUP and Sammy Morris keep his roster spot.

      I don’t think they are done in free agency; maybe another in the secondary and/or an OG.

  13. Marco says:

    I think Anderson will make the team, Brock and Ellis are 34 and if they get injured a young and speedy guy like Anderson who once motivated by Billy B will become clutch later in the season on the Dline.

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