2013 Patriots Roster Projection: Draft Picks Find Their Fits

Adrian Wilson Patriots

Is Adrian Wilson a roster lock for the Patriots?

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The Patriots added some talent during the 2013 NFL Draft to a roster that was one of the four best in the NFL last year.

Come July, these players are going to be having a high-stakes competition for the last few spots on the 53-man roster.

Who made the cut?

Quarterback (2): Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Mike Kafka

Kafka offers a quality third option at quarterback, but ultimately I think the Patriots only carry two quarterbacks this year. After two years, the Patriots needs to be able to trust Ryan Mallett if he needs to come in and start.

Running Back (5): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Leon Washington, Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette Blount

Blount and Bolden might be in a competition for the final spot if Belichick decides to carry only four running backs, a battle that could go either way.

Wide Receiver (6): Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Josh Boyce, Donald Jones, Matthew Slater, T.J. MoeMichael Jenkins

T.J. Moe is going to make it very hard to cut him. If he doesn’t make the team, I don’t see any way that he makes it onto the practice squad, but I’d be excited if he did. I don’t think Jenkins has a prayer of making this team with the addition of Boyce and Dobson.

Tight End (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells

“Illinois Mike” and Fells were two tough cuts and perhaps the two I feel least comfortable about. The three tight ends that I’m keeping here are all coming back from injuries, which is sure to make Belichick wary.

Offensive Tackle (4): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Markus Zusevics, Will Svitek

Solder and Vollmer are the starters. Svitek can play both left and right tackle, while Zusevics can play both right tackle and guard. This is a very solid group of tackles – I love Zusevics’ upside with Coach Scar.

Guard (3): Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon, Josh Klein, Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald is getting a lot publicity, but I think Josh Klein is the undrafted lineman that has the best chance of making the roster. He played all five positions in college, which will endear him to Belichick and Scarnecchia. In the end, I think that the Patriots try and sneak both of the UDFA linemen onto the practice squad.

Center (2): Ryan Wendell, Nick McDonald, Matt Stankiewitch

Wendell played very well in 2012 in my opinion. McDonald offers a decent backup option here as well.

Defensive Tackle (5): Vince Wilfork, Armond Armstead, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Tommy Kelly, Marcus Forston

Wilfork and Love will man the nose / 2-gap responsibilities while Kelly and new acquisition Armond Armstead can play the 1-gap roles on this hybrid defense. Brandon Deaderick is a versatilie guy that can play in an even or odd front.

Defensive End (5): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Justin Francis, Michael Buchanan, Jake Bequette, Jason Vega, Jermaine Cunningham

In my opinion, this is going to be the hottest competition in camp, with the possible exception of strong safety. Vega and Bequette could very easily switch roles, but I’m going to give the former 3rd round pick the benefit of the doubt. I think this is a do or die year for Cunningham. If the Patriots finally land John Abraham, this competition is going to get even tougher.

Linebacker (5): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins,  Steve Beauharnais, Dane Fletcher, Jeff Tarpinian

Collins does a lot for this linebacker group. He can play inside if he needs to, can rush standing up or with his hand in the dirt from the edge and everything in between. He is almost like having 1.5 players on the roster instead of just 1. Beauharnais gets the nod for me over Fletcher (injury return) and Tarpinian (limited in defense) due to his ability to play in the nickel defense and be a core-four special teams player.

Cornerback (5): Aqib Talib, Alfonzo Dennard, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan, Marquice Cole

I’d be fine with Cole as a special teams player and fifth corner if one of the top five guys gets injured. If Dowling is healthy though, he is by far the superior player.

Safety (5): Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Duron Harmon, Adrian Wilson, Nate Ebner

I have Nate Ebner being the cut here, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Adrian Wilson is the guy. If Tavon Wilson wins the SS competition and Duron Harmon looks decent in the “money” role, Wilson might be the odd-man out. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Wilson still has a lot to offer, but there is a youth movement afoot in Foxborough. If the competition is close, they might error on the side of the younger player. If cut, Wilson would count $1 million against the cap.

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

Mesko might get a bit of competition this off-season, but ultimately I think the specialists stay the same this year.

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69 Responses to “2013 Patriots Roster Projection: Draft Picks Find Their Fits”

  1. psw says:

    But if by opening day Gronk, Hernandez, and Ballard are healthy and the 2 rook recievers are getting the offense, then g-d have mercy on the leagues defenses

  2. alan says:

    Btw talking about compromising photos…for me Kyle Arrington must be quite the closet shutterbug to have robbed the patriots treasury on a 4 yr deal!

  3. alan says:

    Hernandez will be more of a wideout than a TE therefore there will be 4 TE’s ie gronk/Hernandez in name only/ballade/ and hooman…the impact will fall to the wideouts….and tj moe is a player … perfect slot guy for short/intermediate passing game…amazed he was not drafted….will either be a surprise roster player or immediately grabbed up …will not be a PS guy …

  4. Pete says:

    If you are looking for a UFA player to root for, this article on Ian Sluss is a fun read.

  5. mike t58 says:


  6. JP87 says:

    S Nate Ebner
    OL Matt Stankiewitch
    WR TJ Moe
    OL Josh Klein
    TE Daniel Fells

    S Steve Gregory
    DT Kyle Love
    T Will Svitek
    RB LeGarrette Blount
    WR Donald Jones

    • Bcas25 says:

      Hooman def makes it, BOLDEN is cut.
      Moe is practice squaded.
      I think they only carry 8 OL, Markus Zusevic is PS eligible i believe. They have the starting 5 with McDonald as a backup C/G, Cannon as a G/T, and Svitek as the Swing OT

      Gregory should be cut over A Wilson. but i think Wilson is cut in camp losing the SS job to T Wison

  7. kdog says:

    This exercise clarified for me why they took a safety in the 3rd round. They are now set up to have real competition for roster spots (or absorb an injury) at every position, except maybe interior OL.

  8. Gaurav says:

    Agreed almost entirely except for

    TJ Moe makes it over Donald Jones (always one UDFA on the team)
    Hooman makes it over LaGarrette Blount
    Fletcher makes it over Zuesvekis
    Ebner makes it over Gregory

    • MaineMan says:

      One-to-one (out of context of the rest of the roster), I’d agree with Ebner over Gregory, though it actually be Harmon and/or Adrian Wilson who take the snaps on defense. I think we’ve seen Gregory’s ceiling at safety and it’s not very high. He also wasn’t nearly as good on special teams as I expected. Ebner, OTOH, probably has more upside – maybe never ascending to starter level, but possibly as a reliable reserve. And, apart from his very early season miscue in punt protection (that wasn’t exclusively his fault, according to the film junkies I know), Ebner has also been much better than Gregory on special-teams. That combination of upside and ST play may be enough to put Ebner ahead of Gregory already.

  9. J H TARBORO says:

    DT Joe Vellano
    WR Kenbrell Thompkins, Andre Holmes over Jones,Jenkins,and Edleman.
    TE Brandon Ford and Sudfield make the squad.
    RB Quentin Hines sub 4.4 40yds 42″vert and tough over Blount

  10. Ken W says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if they stashed a few UFA on IR with “injuries” Bill is known for taking advantage of that.

  11. Matt says:

    I like this projection outside of a few quibbles. I don’t see how you can have Jake Bequette over Jermaine Cunningham. Cunningham was one of the most improved players on the entire team heading into last season and he was starting to show it in the regular season until his suspension. He let the team down and never got out of BB’s doghouse. However, provided he learned his lesson and has a similar off-season, there’s no reason to think the arrow isn’t still pointing up on him. Meanwhile Bequette showed absolutely nothing last year and it’s quite a projection to say he will all of a sudden show he belongs (although, not impossible).

    I also think Ebner makes the team, most likely at the expense of Steve Gregory. Ebner was one of the better special teams players last year and knowing his make-up, I think will show improvement on the defensive side of the ball after a full off-season. Gregory offers nothing on special teams and seems to be a reliable player who has reached his ceiling. Harmon and Wilson likely make him expendable.

  12. Tom says:

    Bill will probably carry an extra TE vs. an extra RB, and if someone gets hurt, quality veteran RBs are much cheaper and easier to find that quality TEs

  13. Pete says:

    So Koutouvides gets cut as well?
    agreed with the comments below on keeping 4 TEs and 4 RBs. Also think A. Wilson stays over Gregory at safety.
    If we sign Abraham, I can’t see us keeping Buchanan unless he slips to the practice squad or outperforms Francis and/or Bequette in camp.
    if Beauharnais has the athleticism to play outside in a 4-3 and contribute on special teams, he’s a lock. We’ll see if he beats out Fletcher for the inside spot.

  14. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I think T.J. Moe will make the roster as a WR.

  15. kevan says:

    larry is right no way a.wilson doesnt make this team. forgot to say that

  16. David L says:

    I really like this article. You put a lot of thought into it.

    My big concern is the health of Gronk and Hernandez. For that reason I think they keep at least 4 tight ends. Of course they could go with more 3 wide receiver options while waiting for guys to get healthy.

    I think Dane Fletcher likely stays if healthy. Having two inexperienced rookies as the depth at linebacker seems risky to me.

    Cannon can play tackle so maybe Svitek will be let go to make room for another position player.

    Looking over your list this team is really young at defensive end. I’m thinking a veteran addition may be on the way.

    Great job.

  17. Larry says:

    Coach keeps another tight end over a running back…………..Adrian Wilson is making the team take that to the bank……..If they keep Ebner Gregory will be the one to go……………..

  18. kevan says:

    im in agreement till te position. due to injuries pats will need a 4th guy. on the oline i got zusevics as the odd guy out because cannon could play guard or tackle. the dline i have no idea lol. alot up for grabs here though abraham is on the team imo. he is perfect to show these young bucs how to do it while providing awesome depth.think andre carter on steroids. fletcher makes the team as well giving the pats 6 lbs` 2 that could play de if need be. in the secondary i have ebner in and gregory out. i think wr tj moe has a good chance makin this team 2. all this being said im wrong every off season.

    • David L says:

      You make a good point about 2 linebackers can play DE. That would be Collins and Hightower of course. That being the case then it would seem at least one of the DE’s on the list will go to make room for Fletcher.

    • Dan says:

      I do think they keep 4 TE’s…Hooman can play and maybe a rookie, but 4 are needed.
      I don’t see Gregory making the team…especially being owed $2 million plus, and Ebner has to show he play the safety position with a huge step up from last year….too much competition for his spot to keep him just as a special team player.
      I see Love making this team…he can play the game and is in his prime.
      Boldin is making the team at RB…don’t care about Blount…he’s in here for a shot.

  19. El Jaime says:

    D End competition will be absolutely savage if we bring in John Abraham.

  20. kevan says:

    cicada100 is or was in the special classes.

  21. CICADA100 says:


    • Jim R says:

      That would be awesome, I agree you could see the defense starting to do a lot of that last year. I think it continues.

  22. CICADA100 says:



    • Jim R says:

      Are you on the Cowboys scouting department?

      • Jeff M says:

        I know right? These are the dumbest comments I’ve seen in a long time…it’s like being on a Jets related blog.

        • momauguinjack says:

          I love CICADA100 what a passionate nutty guy. really hates the pats, billy b and weeble boy bob k. fun to be a h8ah and the pats are such easy targets. they are the best franchise on the 2000’s

    • Jeff M says:


    • mike t58 says:

      8 AND 8 ? must be a jets fan this team is better than last year

  23. James says:

    Quentin Hines RB??

  24. SportsChatChuck says:

    I tend to agree with those that think BB will keep an extra tight end-Hona-due to injury concerns with Gronk, Hernandez & Ballard. That means one less RB with Blount having the edge over Bolden barring injury to any of the other 3.

  25. Michael says:

    I like it but I do think he keeps four tight ends, given the injury woes of Gronk and Hernandez – especially with the question marks at receiver. Bolden and Blount will have to slug it out in my opinion for the fourth RB spot. Also Harmon’s addition at safety makes it likely A.Wilson and Gregory are in competition for one spot. I think BB would be inclined to keep either Nate Ebner or Marquise Cole for special teams.

  26. Barkevious says:

    Look at how young that defense is! Obviously injuries will mix this up, but I can’t get over how much younger [and faster] that defense would be. I just hope the youth doesn’t come back to bite us. Especially on the back end.

  27. Trev says:

    First of all, nice projection. Man, this is going to be one tough team to make. Great competition and depth across the board. I love it. The only change I would make here would be to swap Boldin for Moe. I think 4 good RBs is good enough. I would also maybe swap Gregory for Fortson, but that one is tough.

  28. CoachLarry says:

    I agree w/ most of this except i think Stephon Morris makes the roster over Dowling and i could see Joe Vellano beating out somebody on the Dline.

    All of a sudden Nink is the least athletic edge guy. Would love to see him in coverage more since Hightower could play DE on 3rd downs. If only Spikes was a better 3rd down defender, might want to trade him now get something for him.

    Love the draft, i feel as if they knew what their weaknesses were and addressed them w/ freak athletes on the edge(should bode well when teams spread us out) Steve beau..should be a good coverage guy, depth at cb and some of these UFA and Cfl guys in a situational role may do the trick.. Getting Abraham should keep a vet at a key position instead of a rookie.

  29. jahnelss says:

    The next pst of ks that you have making the roster., I would like for you to include practice squa as well please. I think vega makes the cut. I think love and deaderick get cut or atleast one. I think tj moe on either practice squad or he has to make the cut over donald jones or edelman. Cut fells. Keep 3-4RB. Cut ras & call him back when needed to the team.

  30. El Jaime says:

    Not a chance Wilson is the guy that’s cut at safety! If you’re going with the “youth movement” perspective, wouldn’t Gregory be the cut? He’s 30 (vs. 33 for Wilson), struggled heavily in coverage down the stretch last year, and can’t play as well in the box as Wilson.

  31. Big Dan From Maine says:

    I like the post but have a couple of changes that I think I would make:

    First Dane Fletcher over Beauharnais. Beauharnais can be stashed on the Practice Squad

    Second Marcus Forsteon over Tommy Kelly. I really think Kelly will show how lazy he is, just like he did in Oakland.

    Third I think this is the year that Slater gets cut. When you have talent at other positions, (Moe, possibly for example) or a veteran FA that can help out in an area of need (Pass Rush, Wide Reciever) then why keep a one trick pony like Slater. Slater couldnt catch a cold, and can’t cover a wide out in a phone booth.

    Keeping a roster spot open for a special teams only player makes no sense. There are other players that can contribute on Offense and Defense that could cover his spot on Special teams.

    • James says:

      Slater getting cut… Ha

    • Tommy G. says:

      Matt Slater is a 2-time Pro Bowl special team gunner. He is not going to be cut. He’s the backbone of our special teams defense.

      • Big Dan From Maine says:

        2 time pro bowl special teams guy, when is the last time he caught a pass. There are other players that can contribute as back ups at other positions, who could take over the same roll on special teams.

        Dont get me wrong, I love his effort on ST, Just cant understand why you keep a one trick pony like Slater, when BB lover versatility at every other position.

        • cc says:

          *Clearly, Cunningham & Slater both have copies of the disc with incriminating photos of BB on it!
          OMG, “Slater sucks” as a Wide Out & 1/2 of all else he does can be done by another with 1 eye closed…..I just don’t get it?
          Cunningham. ……..Now where really getting into the comedic realm here! Love how one of his relatives friends chimed in about how he’s supposedly somehow “Soooooo Improved”-Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Yeah, and after 1…… & only 1 play that he’s ever made, Cunningham, then gets popped for PED’s!!
          Wonder how he even made that 1 single play…….? Wow

      • Jim R says:

        I keep thinking at some point he cuts him loose too however he is one of BB’s locker room guys.

    • David L says:

      You make a good point. Slater did make the pro bowl so I would prefer to keep him for now.

    • momauguinjack says:

      big danny! glad you made the move from New Bedford. agree that slater is a ST guy and not like the typical BB multi facet guy but if not slater then who?

    • mike t58 says:

      agree on slater… too many other guys we need to keep with multiple talents slater and the phone booth…. thats preety funny BUT TRUE

    • mike t58 says:

      kelly sticks did anybody play hard for the raiders last year ? would you ? not you, YOU

  32. kevin says:

    Bolden will be cut we kept 4 backs last year and with boldens’s mistakes last year blount takes that posistion battle which means we keep hooman. He has flexiblilty which we preach he can play lead full back, and back up tight end and ST. the defense looks good and so do the linemen allthough i think connolys injurys put him right there on the cliff

    • Terrance says:

      I’d like to see us keep Blount. He’s the biggest and most physical back by far (247 pounds). Also unlike bolden he can catch the ball very well out of the backfield. Ridley has shown he can carry the load but Blount would be fantastic to put the 4th quarter and slow down physical teams like the Ravens, Steelers, 49ers, Seahawks etc.

    • Jim R says:

      Bolden will be a PS guy

    • Pats Fan says:

      I think Leon Washington gets cut

      • mike t58 says:

        AGREE 100% edelman and boyce are enough especially if blount shows up in shape

  33. Charles says:

    I know BB will keep 4 TE’s and as for Abraham he ain’t walking through those doors. Adrian Wilson won’t be cut. Don’t count out TJ Moe. JMO

  34. CJ Sousa says:

    I may not be smart enough to figure this out, but heres what I would do.

    Cut L. Blount to keep TJ Moe. Blount I just dont see much, had one 1000 year in TB, not much since. All he would do is take carrys away from Ridley and Bolden, who I like more then Blount.

    I’d keep one of the TE’s cut, and let go of a reciever, probably Donald Jones. Doing that would mean a rookie would start at reciever, but I just like Moe as an upside more then Jones, and I think we need another TE.

    Jermaine Cunningham is a really hard cut to me, Vega too.. If we land Abraham then I get ti, but Cunningham is versitale. A powerful bullrusher who can play in or out, and was having a great year last year before the suspension.

    Just some thoughts

    • David L says:

      I watched some video on Blount. He is a load to bring down and seemed to have decent speed. He did seem to look to dance a little too much for a big back. Trying to find a hole instead of making his own.

  35. Hunter says:

    I don’t get why both people seem to count out Dane Fletcher? He has been solid in his previous seasons and shown growth. His injury was early enough last year that he should be fully recovered.

  36. TD says:

    What does gregory count against the cap if cut?

  37. Terrance says:

    James I agree with a majority of what you’re saying but I don’t think Adrian WIlson will be cut. He’s a great veteran presence and hard hitter. I think Steve Gregory should be cut he just hasn’t made too much of an impact in my opinion.

    • Yesares says:

      Totally agrede.

      Whith respect to LB, I don’t see Beauharnais over Fletcher, and seems that James has forgotten about Marcus Benard, who I believe will be a serious and legit option for a roster place.

      Otherwise, i believe that there will be 4 RB and 4TE, so i don’t count Blount and after Gronk, Hernandez & Ballard, one of hardest figth will be for 4th TE, including the two ones UDFA, Sudfeld (Nevada) and Ford (Clemsom), later has tied TD college récord whith highly estimated Dwayne Allen

      • Terrance says:

        I think with Gronk and Hernandez’s injury history they should keep hooman for depth.

  38. menelvagor says:

    hmm I think 3 TEs is not enough for BB, i like Homa a lot, cut Blount instead of him

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