Patriots Roster Projection: Mike Loyko Version 4.0

Ron Brace may have solidified a roster spot with a strong training cam.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The Patriots made some news yesterday with the release of DT Jonathan Fanene, which shakes up most roster projections. On Monday night against the Eagles we got to take a long look at the second and third teams, with some players solidifying spots and some losing jobs. With two preseasons in the books here is how I project the Patriots roster to look in two weeks, based on what we’ve seen so far.

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

Running Backs (4): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Jeff Demps

Tight Ends (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells

Wide Receivers (6): Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Julian Edelman, Deion Branch, Matthew Slater

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

Offensive Guard (4): Logan Mankins, Brian Waters, Dan Connolly, Nick McDonald

Center (2): Dan Koppen, Ryan Wendell

Defensive Tackle (4): Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Ron Brace

Defensive Ends/Rush LB (5): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Trevor Scott, Jake Bequette, Jermaine Cunningham

Linebackers (6): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Bobby Carpenter, Tracy White, Jeff Tarpinian

Cornerbacks (6): Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore, Alfonzo Dennard, Marquice Cole

Safties (4): Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner

Specialists (3): Steven Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken

Last Cuts: Brandon Bolden (RB), Donald Thomas (OG), Justin Francis (DE/LB), Gerard Warren (DT), Donte Stallworth (WR), James Ihedigbo (S), Will Allen (FS)

Practice Squad: Justin Francis (DE/LB), Alex Silvestro (TE), Mike Rivera (LB), Jeremy Ebert (WR), Brandon Bolden (RB), Matt Kopa (OT), Ross Ventrone (DB), Marcus Forston (DT)

Placed on PUP: Myron Pryor (DT), Markus Zusevics (OT)

Injured Reserve: Jake Ballard, Dane Fletcher

Breakdown: A couple changes from my last roster projection, I have added Dan Koppen back to the roster. I think based on his experience and the fact that it will allow Dan Connolly to rotate keeps him around. Connolly would be able to play OG and keep someone like Brian Waters fresh at times throughout the season. It comes down to having Koppen or Donald Thomas and I’d want Koppen.

I have cut both Brandon Bolden and Justin Francis, both started off camp with a bang, but have slowed down. Bolden isn’t very explosive and showed an inability to return punts last night. Francis just hasn’t shown much in the games. I have a feeling he would make it through to the practice squad.

I kept 10 defensive backs again, but kept a 6th CB Marquice Cole, who did a very good job as a gunner last night, over James Ihedigbo who struggles in coverage. The Patriots are thin after the top four cornerbacks and Cole who played on three special teams units last night can be active on game days to provide depth.

Nate Ebner’s play in the secondary also makes me more comfortable keeping only four safeties. With Fanene being released I have added Ron Brace who played really well last night, and has had a strong training camp. I ultimately think  the team keeps Tracy White over Niko Koutivides, despite the fact he has missed alot of training camp. He was second on the team with 18 special teams tackles and appears closed to returning. Koutivides was beaten out last year by both White and Tarpinian for ST LB spot and it will be the case this year.

Jeff Tarpinian is the last player added. He is the 6th LB and a core special teams player, but with Dane Fletcher lost for the season the team needs a LB who can play on defense if injuries occur and Coach Belichick was confident enough in Tarpinian to throw him into the Jets game last year as a rookie. I was much more impressed with Tarpinian than Rivera and he was in the game early on.

Tags: Patriots Training Camp, Ron Brace, Roster Projection

16 Responses to “Patriots Roster Projection: Mike Loyko Version 4.0”

  1. Nik says:

    My stab at it:

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

    Running Backs (4): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Jeff Demps

    Fullback (1): Spencer Larsen

    Tight Ends (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells

    Wide Receivers (6): Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Julian Edelman, Deion Branch, Matthew Slater

    Offensive Tackle (4): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, someone else

    Offensive Guard/Center (5): Logan Mankins, Brian Waters or Donald Thomas, Dan Connolly, Nick McDonald, Ryan Wendell

    Defensive Tackle (4): Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Ron Brace

    Defensive Ends/Rush LB (5): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Trevor Scott, Jake Bequette, Jermaine Cunningham

    Linebackers (6): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Bobby Carpenter, Jeff Tarpinian, Niko Koutivides

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

    Safties (4): Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner

    Specialists (3): Steven Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken

    Practice Squad: Darrion Weems (OT), Alex Silvestro (TE), Mike Rivera (LB), Jeremy Ebert (WR), Brandon Bolden (RB), Matt Kopa (OT), Ross Ventrone (DB), Marcus Forston (DT)

    Placed on reg season PUP: Jake Ballard (TE), Myron Pryor (DT), Markus Zusevics (OT)

    Injured Reserve: Dane Fletcher (LB)

    Tough cuts: Brandon Bolden (RB), Donald Thomas (OG) if Waters comes back – if not he makes it, Justin Francis (DE/LB) – will probably be claimed on waivers, Gerard Warren (DT) – will be on speed dial in case of injuries, Donte Stallworth (WR), James Ihedigbo (S), Will Allen (FS), Marquice Cole (CB), Darrion Weems (OT), Matt Kopa (OT)

  2. Rich says:

    Really thin at tackle. I know you’ve been saying that they could sign someone after roster cuts, I feel like they have too. I haven’t been overly impressed with Solder or Cannon and Vollmer is an injury waiting to happen.

  3. kevan says:

    Wheres BB’s undrafted rookie? Demps doesnt count, he would have been drafted. I think the Pats keep two this year, Brandon Bolden and Justin francis, take Marquice Cole off and tracy white. To make a point about Bolden on the punt return is a little over the top. Why in the heck did the Pats have him out there to begin with, right, because its the preseason. His punt returning ability will have nothing to do with him making or not making the cut, is what Im trying to say. Cutting White leaves Pats thin at Lb, but we still have some De’s that could play that position if necessary. Plus, I think BB is going all the way with this 4-3, Francis could play inside on passing downs as well. I was skeptical about Ebner, but dang was he good as advertised, atleast so far. Wouldnt be surprised if BB uses the pup for built in depth, thats what I would do, haha. Looking foward to seeing who gets cut from the other teams.

  4. qwerty says:

    if they IR dennard, that opens up a spot. I’d rather he be PUP’ed.

  5. AntoineM says:

    Way better than Doug’s projections. I would replace White with Koutivides though because of his solid preseason effort last night. I feel White’s ceiling to be much too low.

  6. Bill says:

    Looking at the 53 man roster who sits on game day roster
    Mallet
    Den nard
    Branch
    Macdonald
    White
    Ebert
    Cole
    Bequette or cunningham

  7. While I like Koppen as a very good center,that is the only possition he plays. I would keep Thomas who can play either guard position and have Connolly as starting center and Wendell as back up guard and center. Connolly can also play either guard spot making Thamas,
    Wendell and Connolly better choices to keep.

    • Mike Loyko says:

      Thats my ideal situation as well, but Connolly’s versatility might be best used at multiple positions as game. Koppen was the last guy I put on the roster.. if he’s cut I think they only go with 8 OL unless they pick up an OT once rosters are cut down, which I think is a legit possibility

  8. Hunter says:

    I agree mostly. Minor changes:
    1. I like Koutivides over White. It seems (and I’m obviously no expert) like Koutivides can play Linebacker in a pinch, and White was TERRIBLE as an LB last year.
    2. I don’t see Francis making the practice squad if he gets cut. The Buccs (with former Rutgers coach Schiano) are DE needy, and Schiano worships Belichick. Schiano may have already liked Francis, but his opinion of the player will be elevated knowing that Belichick saw something in him. I would give Francis a spot over Cole/Dennard depending on Dennard’s injury. Francis can also fill in at interior DL in a passing situations.

    I think we may still see some surprise trades in the next week, but overall this is pretty solid. I think there are a handful of emergency guys here that the Pats can bring back after an injury, such as Warren, Allen, and possibly Ihedigbo.

    • NEPD says:

      Good point on Francis. I think he’ll get picked up as well if the Patriots try and sneak him by.

      • td says:

        But we’re talking a 6th DE/7th LB here.

        Hoping Waters does what he did last year; come in after preseason & camp.

      • Mike Loyko says:

        I just haven’t been too impressed with Francis especially in the games. The Patriots have 6 ends ahead of him, but his value could be his ability to play DT as well.

    • Mike Loyko says:

      I switched Koutivides to White last minute. White really was a very good ST last year and I think that is more valuable than his LB ability. If someone got hurt the Pats could always bring in a guy






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