NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
Where does Jeff Demps fit in? Where does the OL stand? Will Hoyer get traded?
Those are some of the questions I’ll be answering in my weekly “Too Long For Twitter” Friday mailbag where I take questions from Twitter that warrant, deserve or need answers longer than 140 characters
If you have a question about anything, tweet it to me @DougKyedNEPD, and I’ll try to include it in the column on Friday. If you aren’t on Twitter, feel free to throw in a question in the comments section.
I wouldn’t expect much movement in the next few days. As players get healthier, some of the problem spots for the team will go away. The first cut downs will be in ten days on August 27th when they’ll have to cut the roster to 75. That will be very interesting to see which players come off the roster first and if there will be any surprise veteran cuts.
News just came out today that he’s decided to sign with the Pats. It’s an interesting move since he’s going to be added to an already crowded RB/WR situation. I love the potential for Demps to return kicks, but he didn’t do much of it at Florida. It would be great for Demps to get onto the PUP and learn the playbook for six weeks and wait for players to get hurt to free up a roster spot.
I think they definitely carry three QBs this season. I think New England fans have probably overvalued Hoyer a little bit over the years. He’s a good backup and could start for a team at some point, but it’s a little late in the game for a QB trade.
I also think Mallett isn’t 100% ready to take over the backup role. He’s looked average at practice and struggled behind a weak offensive line against the Saints. He’ll need to fair a lot better in the remaining three preseason games in order to be considered the backup.
My practice squad prediction from last Monday was Eric Kettani, Jeremy Ebert, Tyler Urban, Matt Kopa, Derek Dennis, Marcus Forston, Nate Ebner and Ross Ventrone. I’ll keep with that for now, but you’ll have to watch out for my next roster projection to see an update.
That’s tough, I think I’ll say the rookies on defense. While Lloyd and Gaffney should be both starters on offense and improvements over what was there last year, there’s only so many balls to go around in this Pats offense. The defense struggled last season and Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower should immediately make a big impact.
Jabar Gaffney would be the biggest surprise vet WR cut, but at this point, I’ll still say either Deion Branch or Donta Stallworth. The position is a lot more interesting with Jeff Demps coming in. He could provide a real spark as either a WR or RB and his versatility to take a surprise player off the roster.
There’s not much out there at this point in the game. They could look at some OL once cuts start being made, maybe some guys with history on the team that other teams snagged up last year during cuts. I think the OL will wind up being fine, especially once Waters and Vollmer return. At that point, the interior depth will be a strength and Cannon should be a good reserve OT. If and when Vollmer goes down, OT depth will be an issue, but Nick McDonald should be a fine fourth tackle.