Patriots Roster Projection: Matthew Jones

Dan Koppen Center

Will Dan Koppen make the team this year? (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Staff Writer: Matthew Jones

After watching all the other NEPD writers take a crack at the opening-day Patriots roster, I decided to take a crack at it myself. Here is what I thought the ideal mix would look like.

Quarterback (3): Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett

Running Back (4): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Brandon Bolden

Wide Receiver (6): Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Julian Edelman, Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth, Matthew Slater

Tight End (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Visanthe Shiancoe

Offensive Tackle (3): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon

Guard (4): Logan Mankins, Brian Waters, Donald Thomas, Dan Connolly

Center (2): Nick McDonald, Ryan Wendell

Defensive Line (10): Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Ron Brace, Brandon Deaderick, Jonathan Fanene, Jake Bequette, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jermaine Cunningham, Trevor Scott

Linebacker (6): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Bobby Carpenter, Dont’a Hightower, Tracy White, Niko Koutovides

Cornerback (5): Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore, Alfonzo Dennard

Safety (4): Pat Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, James Ihedigbo

Specialist (3): Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken

Injured/PUP: WR Jeremy Ebert, TE Jake Ballard, TE Daniel Fells, TE Brad Herman (IR), OT Markus Zusevics, C Jamey Richard (IR), DT Myron Pryor, LB Dane Fletcher (IR)

Toughest cuts: FB Spencer Larsen, WR Deion Branch, TE Alex Silvestro, OT Matt Kopa, C Dan Koppen, DT Gerard Warren, DE Justin Francis, CB Will Allen

Other cuts: FB Eric Kettani, WR Britt Davis, WR Jesse Holley, TE Tyler Urban, OL Derek Dennis, OL Kyle Hill, OL Kyle Hix, OL Dustin Waldron, OL Darrion Weems, DT Marcus Harrison, DE Tim Bulman, LB Aaron Lavarias, LB Mike Rivera, CB Marquice Cole, CB Ross Ventrone, FS Sergio Brown, SS Josh Barrett, SS Derrick Martin, K Chris Koepplin

Practice squad: WR Jeremy Ebert, TE Alex Silvestro, OT Matt Kopa, OG Jeremiah Warren, DT Marcus Forston, LB Jeff Tarpinian, CB Malcolm Williams, SS Nate Ebner


-Spencer Larsen could make a strong case for a roster spot if he gets on the practice field; he has a previous relationship with Josh McDaniels and could potentially play a little bit of linebacker in a pinch.

-Donte’ Stallworth gets the slight edge over Deion Branch at this point because he may be a little bit more explosive at this point; Stallworth has been practicing more often as well.

-Don’t be surprised if Alex Silvestro beats out Visanthe Shiancoe for a roster spot; Silvestro is a promising DE-to-TE conversion project.

-Dan Koppen could very well be one of the surprise cuts; he is strictly a center and nearing the late stages of his career.

-Gerard Warren was a tough cut at defensive tackle; Ron Brace’s impressive training camp practices give him the edge for now, especially because Myror Pryor may be able to return in week seven.

-Losing Dane Fletcher hurts; Niko Koutouvides is projected in his spot as a special teams player and depth linebacker.

-Will Allen was tough to cut; Julian Edelman could function as the team’s sixth cornerback if needed.

-The Patriots seem to be high on James Ihedigbo; Nate Ebner could potentially close that gap with some strong preseason performances.

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7 Responses to “Patriots Roster Projection: Matthew Jones”

  1. JMC says:

    Is Dennard going on IR?

  2. John Courtney says:

    I agree with most,but Spencer Larsen at RB and Bolden to Practice Squad. Kopa as 4th Ot and Brace out as DT. Nate Ebner in and Inhedgibo out. Practice Squad to be Bolden,Ebert,Jeremiah Warren,Marcus Forston,Kyle Hix,Jeff Tarpinian,Alex Silvestro and Malcolm Williams

  3. BT says:

    NO to Ron Brace. Time to move on – for good.

    • BT says:

      Also, I have Ebner and possibly Tarp (over Niko) on the roster. If Vollmer isn’t back and stays on PUP, need to add an OT (Kopa?).

  4. dave2323 says:

    -I feel like belichick is going to have the convo with branch that rex ryan had with laverneus coles in the jets episode 4 of hard knocks where he basically says, you’ve been great for us, but we need the spot and you’re in your early 30s.

    -Last year we learned that the Patriots 65th man in training camp is another teams 38th man (butler, wilhite, tyrone mckenzie, ect), I have no doubt that despite what happened with the trade up in the draft and the “win now”approach, some players will be dealt to recover picks. In a league where the motto is Not For Long, if you’re another coach, do you want to give up a 7th round pick for a lineman like Kopa or Francis that could mean the difference between going 7-9 and 8-8 or making progress from 6-10 and out of it to 7-9 and at least in the hunt the last month of the season?

    -there are a lot fewer young high level patriots draft picks on that cut list this year than there were the last few years. This is a good sign of improved drafting by the team.

    -there are 10 1st or 2nd round picks listed on the first 2 levels of the defensive depth chart, mostly from the last few years. The parcells patriots teams and early belichek title teams never had anywhere close to this level of inhouse young drafted defensive firepower. There are 5 on the offensive end.

    -the shortage of young wide recievers on that list and impending potential departure of wes welker I think makes that position the first obvious potential need in next years draft. Belichek’s record there has been abysmal the last 8 years and they don’t have the picks to acquire a young gun.

    -the closest comparison to me of this year for the patriots is the first bledsoe team to go to the super bowl. At almost every position on the roster you have young players as you did then either poised to break out or get cut. With the departure of faulk and light, this is almost really the start of a completely new era.

  5. Larry says:

    They won’t keep that many def lineman……………….One of them gets dropped for another OT their big weak point…………………..

  6. Billy C says:

    I’m thinking Tarpinian over Niko

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