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

DT: Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Jonathan Fanene, Myron Pryor

Ron Brace, Pryor and Fanene were all non-participants in practice on Sunday. When Kyle Love left the field after apparently getting poked in the eye, the Patriots were suddenly shallow at the position with Brandon Deaderick playing 3-technique DT.

Ron Brace needs to have a very strong camp to make the team and sitting on the sideline isn’t going to get him anywhere. He needs to be on the field to avoid becoming a second round bust.

Love and Wilfork continue to impress and should be very stout up the middle in 2012. Gerard Warren is a strong veteran presence, but other players offer more upside on this team. I’d say he’s 50-50 to make the team, but I’ll take the latter 50.

DE/OLB: Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, Trevor Scott, Jake Bequette, Justin Francis

Chandler Jones has already acclimated himself as a starter on this team at RDE opposite Rob Ninkovich and it will be difficult to grasp that spot from him as he continues to impress. Trevor Scott and Jake Bequette haven’t stood out too much, but I suspect we’ll see Trevor Scott on third downs similar to how we saw Mark Anderson last year.

Jermaine Cunningham will likely bounce on and off my roster prediction all preseason. At times he flashes and at others he’s invisible. He looks to be in great shape and a step faster than we’ve seen before. He seems like he slimmed down a lot over the offseason.

Justin Francis may be a surprise addition, but he’s getting play all over the defense. I’ve seen him play inside, outside with his hand on the ground, outside standing up and even playing middle linebacker today. Belichick loves Rutgers guys and he loves versatility. What could go wrong?

LB: Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Spikes, Bobby Carpenter, Dane Fletcher, Tracy White

The hardest decision I have to make here is Tracy White or Jeff Tarpinian. The Patriots always keep one of those special teams linebackers around and while Fletcher can play on ST, he’s not the same kind of player.

Dont’a Hightower looks like he’s been in the NFL for five years already out there. I knew he could come in right away and play, but even I didn’t expect him to look this good this early. The Patriots linebackers are going to be a force.

CB: Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling, Sterling Moore, Alfonzo Dennard

If Dennard doesn’t get back onto the field soon, he’s going to be coming off my next roster projection. Fortunately, I know how talented he is and that talent is what’s putting him on this list. Will Allen gets removed this time, only because I see how far down he is on the depth chart from practice. He was only out on the field for half of practice.

Sterling Moore continues to impress me big time. Hopefully his competition pushes the starting CBs to get even better. Dowling is a guy who flashes good and bad, there were times he looked a bit lackadaisical.

This is going to sound crazy, but Ross Ventrone looked improved out there today at cornerback. The former Pitt walk-on, Villanova transfer, undrafted free agent, practice squad frequent cut could even find himself on the roster if Belichick wants to keep a defensive back strictly for special teams like he did last year with Sergio Brown. I don’t believe Ventrone had played cornerback before, but he looks comfortable and physical out there so far.

S: Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, James Ihedigbo

Speaking of Patriots defensive backs that can’t cover… I couldn’t stop thinking about how many defensive backs the Patriots carry who can’t cover worth a lick. Sergio Brown, Marquice Cole, Nate Ebner, Ross Ventrone and Malcolm Williams should all be strictly special teamers, but they make up almost half of all of the Patriots DBs.

Ebner was on the field today and lined up at safety with the second team. He looked uncomfortable and obviously lacked the football IQ needed to play the position. If he makes the team it will be strictly as a special teamer early with the potential to coach him up to play safety.

Chung and Gregory remain the starting safeties and look good together, but Wilson is gaining steam on the second team. He could be starting sooner than later at FS. Ihedigbo shed the red non-contact jersey and could be back after starting most of last season.

ST: Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken

No surprises here, but Chriss Koepplin looks pretty good behind Gostkowski at kicker.

Last three cuts: Ryan Wendell, Gerard Warren, Jermaine Cunningham

Practice Squad: Jeremy Ebert, Alex Silvestro, Matt Kopa, Jeremiah Warren, Marcus Forston, Jeff Tarpinian, Ross Ventrone, Nate Ebner

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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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