2012 Patriots Roster Prediction: Doug Kyed 2.0 – Sunday Practice Notes

Tom Brady Stevan Ridley

Get used to this sight, Ridley looks firmly entrenched as the starting halfback. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

It’s wise to remember one thing in the NFL, a lot can change in a week.

Yes, that even includes during training camp. Between going to camp twice last weekend and both Wednesday and Sunday this week, I blew up my roster prediction and started all over again.

Sunday’s practice was perhaps the most concerning that I’ve been to this year and I’ll be using this roster prediction for what I saw at training camp Sunday. Be sure to check out my Twitter timeline (@DougKyedNEPD) for all practice observations.

QB: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett

Brady had a rare rough day Sunday at camp, over shooting many throws and cursing himself out on more than one occasion. Obviously he shined at times, most notably throwing to Julian Edelman, Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Lloyd, but whether it was the heat or the wind dragging him down he wasn’t at his best.

Hoyer probably had the best day Sunday, but it’s also obvious when watching him that he doesn’t have the same set of tools that Brady and Mallett do. His accuracy and experience still trumps Mallett, which keeps him at no. 2 on my depth chart.

Mallett looks better on deep balls than he does on short or intermediate throws, but he’s still not completely there. I’m sure plenty of NFL teams would disagree and start him in a second though.

RB: Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, Spencer Larsen

Ridley still looks like the no. 1 option in the Patriots running back battle, but all of the backs looked good Sunday. Now that Tony Fiammetta and Kareem Huggins have come off the team in two straight days, it will be interesting to see if the Patriots sign another running back before their first preseason game on Thursday.

Spencer Larsen wasn’t on the field Sunday, so Eric Kettani got most of the snaps at fullback and struggled a bit.

WR: Wes Welker,Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater

Deion Branch was out in uniform and pads, but he barely participated in practice Sunday. Branch might be my toughest cut right now, but he was a very weak spot for the Patriots until the team got into the red zone last season. With more talented players all over this roster, it will be his familiarity in the system that could keep him on this team.

Brandon Lloyd looked good on a deep throw, but also jumped offsides and had to go for a lap. He’s still a star of training camp so far though.

Gaffney was being used on a double reverse, throwback to the QB. It was practiced so often that I would be surprised if it was used in a game.

Jesse Holley and Britt Davis are obviously the weak points at the position so far and Stallworth hasn’t flashed enough at practice for me to include him on the roster either. My chief reason to keep just five WRs is one man, Aaron Hernandez.

TE: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells

I’m still on the Daniel Fells bandwagon, and Visanthe Shiancoe standing on the sidelines on Sunday at practice helped to reinforce that for me. Fells is the more talented TE and should make the team if he can get healthy before September.

Alex Silvestro has been impressive in his transition to TE. The former DE has made the full transformation wearing number 49 and he looks comfortable catching the ball. The move to TE should help him slide onto the Patriots practice squad.

Hernandez continues to look like one of the best players out on the field. The team ran a drill today where skill position players went up against linebackers and safeties. Hernandez made Mayo and Hightower look foolish with his stutter steps. Gronk looks Gronk-like despite his recovering ankle.

OT: Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Markus Zusevics

What’s that saying about the unknown being better than the bad? Is there one? There should be if there isn’t and it applies to Markus Zusevics. Kyle Hix and Darrion Weems were less than impressive on Sunday, and it didn’t help that both came off the field due to injury.

Zusevics was a nice prospect coming out of Iowa and has been hindered by injury all offseason. Kopa was off the field with an injured leg.

With Vollmer’s continuing back injury, I feel that it will be necessary for the Patriots to carry a fourth tackle. That seemed all set since Robert Gallery had played the position earlier in his career, but with his retirement, it makes the position even more shallow. Solder and Cannon have had a strong camp so far, and Vollmer is an All-Pro when healthy, but he’s almost a guarantee to get injured at some point in the season and the Pats can’t be left without a backup tackle.

OG: Logan Mankins, Brian Waters, Donald Thomas

Thomas was getting the majority of Mankins’ reps at LG Sunday. His showing was hot and cold, jumping offsides and struggling to keep Brandon Deaderick at bay. Dan Connolly was getting RG snaps in place of the absent Waters. Nick McDonald was back on the field Sunday, but wasn’t a full participant. Rookie Jeremiah Warren was getting some first team snaps as well, but also struggled.

Ryan Wendell is another tough cut in this roster projection, but that will happen on a deep team like the 2012 Patriots.

OC: Dan Koppen, Dan Connolly

Dan Koppen is still getting all the Patriots first team snaps, so for now, I’ll pencil him in there. It’s going to be a battle for that starting job because Connolly, Wendell and McDonald all looked adept starting last season.


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8 Responses to “2012 Patriots Roster Prediction: Doug Kyed 2.0 – Sunday Practice Notes”

  1. Steve says:

    Cutting Wendall is asine. He may very well be starting if Waters and Mankins are not back. Koppen has been running with the second team full of undrafted rookies, even with all these injuries. McDonald will be kept, especially if injury concerns still reside, because of his ability to play all 5 OL positions.

  2. kevan says:

    Good Stuff. Alot of good comments too. At first I had a hard time leaving Branch and Stallworth off the 53, but i’ll roll with it because the Pats do have Araon Hernandez(good point)and Pats will be in alot of 2 TE sets anyway. They could just have Branch and Stallworth on speed dial. Fells might start on PUP clearing the way for Shiancoe, and Ill take Ryan Wendell over Zusevics. As long as Vollmer is ready to go week 1 im cool going into the season with him Solder and Cannon. Have a guy on the Practice Squad too. I like Ron Brace to make the team, Pats need another goaline presence ya know? If Pryor makes the squad, he will be taking Deadricks spot. Which is looking unlikely, because Pryor hasnt played. I think Cunningham and Francis both make the squad, and Ill take Tarpinian over White as well. I like Barret or Allen to be the 4th Safety. Gerrard Warren on speed dial as well.

  3. Mac says:

    One factor to consider in roster decision making is the likelihood of a player we cut being signed by another team. Will Warren be a hot commodity – probably not. How about Ebner and Ebert? Probably not? Allen or Cole? Maybe? Brace, Tarpinian, Wendell and Cunningham – probably.

    Also, how many of the current players on PUP stay there for the first 6 weeks? I could see Mankins and Fells both staying leaving Shiancoe on the team and under this scenario Wendell. I actually think Wendell and McDonald will make the team regardless. OL depth is an issue and I agree we need two back up T’s.

    Since Tarpinian and White would seem to both striclty be ST’s at this point and we know White is very limited on D I would think Tarpinian is the choice over White.

  4. Tim says:

    Still like G.Warren over Pryor. Cunningham and Francis are gonna battle it out this preseason.

    • qwerty says:

      Cunningham already proved that he could play well in his rookie season. He already proved he could shut down his side of the edge. So he is already a proven commodity. Last year he was handicapped dealing with injuries and veteran talent ahead of him. Cunningham won’t have any problem finding a job and career if cut since he already has enough positive game film in rookie year.

      Camp reports have rated both UDFA Bolden and Francis very high.

      BB has shown he will cut talented players and talented UDFA players so predicting final roster is very difficult.

      Cutting a proven player like Deaderick would be absurd but BB does seemingly surprising things.

      I’d rather BB err in favor of younger players and non ST players then assess the players based on injury history.

    • qwerty says:

      Warrens got one year left so I’d rather gamble with Brace or Pryor

    • qwerty says:

      better to keep warren on speed dial and call him in if injuries mount. odds are low that another team will want him at the current stage of his career. he just needs to stay in shape.

  5. dave2323 says:

    Thanks for putting the last 3 guys out and practice squad. I really continue to believe that there will be deals to recover some of the picks lost with the ochocinco and haynesworth deals. There’s just too much talent in this camp through probably the 70-72nd guy where a team is going to say, we have a lot of young guys and picks, we can get a veteran starter from new england’s trash heap or rotation player the way a lot of the pats trash last year-butler, wilhite, mckenzie, merriwhether ended up on other rosters. So one of the db’s, losers in the OL/DL shuffle, and perhaps player we’re not even thinking of, where the pats will say, we’d rather have a 6th round pick in 2013 and feel good enough about the next guy after this guy we are trading on the depth chart to swing this deal.

    On the plus side for the pats, it doesn’t seem like this year they’re going to be cutting entire draft classes the way they summarily executed the 06,07,08,09 classes in recent cut days.

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