2013 Patriots Roster Projection: Pre-Camp Edition

Aaron Dobson and a new-look receiving corps highlight some early camp battles. (Photo: ESPN.com)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

A long and eventful off-season finally comes to an end next week when the Patriots get back to work on the practice fields in Foxboro. At last we can talk about football and roster decisions. A lot of talk early on will be centered on players that are no longer in New England.

Nevertheless, the 2013 Patriots features an extraordinary amount of young depth across the roster. It’s never easy to cut down to 53 players and this year may prove to be one of the hardest.

Here’s an early look at what the Patriots roster could look like.

Offense

Quarterbacks (3)
Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Tim Tebow

Running Backs (4)
Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Leon Washington, LeGarrette Blount

Tight Ends (4)
Rob Gronkowski, Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui, Zach Sudfeld

Wide Receivers (6)
Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Julian Edelman, Donald Jones, Matthew Slater

Offensive Tackles (3)
Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Will Svitek

Offensive Guards/Centers (4)
Logan Mankins, Marcus Cannon, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell

Defense

Defensive Tackles (4)
Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Armond Armstead, Marcus Forston (or DT TBD)

Defensive Ends (5)
Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Justin Francis, Jake Bequette, Michael Buchanan

Linebackers (6)
Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Steve Beauharnais

Cornerbacks (5)
Aqib Talib, Alfonzo Dennard, Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan, Ras-I Dowling

Safeties (5)
Devin McCourty, Adrian Wilson, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Duron Harmon

Special Teams (3)
Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken

Last Cuts: Daniel Fells, Jermaine Cunningham, Marquice Cole, Marcus Bernard, Brandon Bolden, LaVelle Hawkins

Practice Squad (8): Markus Zusevics, Chris McDonald, Mark Harrison, Kenbrell Thompkins, George Winn, Cory Grissom, Brandon Jones, Stephon Morris

Quick Thoughts

- Defensive Tackle is the thinnest position on the roster right now.

- Keeping four RB to save roster spots for the WR position. All four RB are known commodities.

- The WR position, although inexperienced, is much faster and more dynamic than last year.

- Forced to keep 5 safties, including Steve Gregory. Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson can handle special teams duties and provide sub-package value, unlike Nate Ebner.

- Offensive Line should be a force. Complete unit returns plus the addition of a solid swing tackle in Will Svitek.

- Biggest competition in camp will be among the DE/OLB group. Jermaine Cunningham, Michael Buchanan, Justin Francis, Jason Vega, Marcus Bernard, Jake Bequette fighting for three spots.

- As long as Alfonzo Dennard is on the field and Ras-I Dowling is healthy the CB position looks set for week one.

- Linebacker is deep and talented.

Tags: Patriots Roster Projection

25 Responses to “2013 Patriots Roster Projection: Pre-Camp Edition”

  1. Chris says:

    I see more o linemen. The injuries pile up with those guys. And someone people don’t realize is Nick’s younger brother, Chris, is the real deal who had one of the weaker Big Ten offensive line coaches in Mark Stanton. They suffered injuries and had obvious mistakes that were repeated all season, which must go back on the coach. But if you look at Chris’s pro day results, it’s surprising he wasn’t drafted. He bests the Penn State kid, Stankiewich, in every category. It’s no disrespect to Stankey, who is a good fit for the practice squad, but I think Chris McDonald can be more versatile than people realize, by playing either guard or center.

    Look for him to flourish with the great Dante’s coaching. He may even be better than Nick. Most people right now give the edge to Stankiewich in making the team for his ability to play center. But his physical liabilities hurt him. Check out his Vince Wolfork-like 40 time.

    http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=83661&draftyear=2013&genpos=OG
    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1688810/matt-stankiewitch.

  2. MacMahler says:

    QB (2) Brady, Mallett (Tebow would take up a needed space)
    RB (4) Ridley, Vereen, Bolden, Washington (Winn on practice squad)
    WR (7) Amendola, Dobson, Edelman, Boyce, Jenkins, Thompkins, Slater (Harrison on practice squad)
    TE (3) Sudfeld, Ford, Hoomanawanui (Gronk on PUP for 6 games)
    C (2) Wendell, N. McDonald (Stankiewitch on practice squad)
    G (3) Mankins, Cannon, Connolly (Chris McD in practice squad if eligible)
    T (3) Vollmer, Solder, Svitek
    DE (4) Jones, Ninkovich, Francis, Bequette
    DT (4) Wilfork, Kelly, Armstead, Forston
    ILB(4) Mayo, Spikes, Hightower,Koutouvides (Beauharnais on practice squad)
    OLB(3) Collins, Fletcher, Cunningham
    CB (5) Talib, Dennard, Arrington, Dowling, Cole (they need Cole for ST-Ryan on
    SS (3) A. Wilson, T. Wilson, Ebner
    FS (2) McCourty, Gregory (Harmon on PS)
    ST (3) Gostkowski, Aiken, Mesko
    Last cuts: Fells, Haslam, Blount

    • Trev says:

      2 problems: I think Buchanon makes it. He has a lot of talent for a seventh rounder. Also, Harmon has to be there. He would not clear waivers to make the PS. What about Ballard? Otherwise not bad!

      • MacMahler says:

        I think you are correct about Buchanan-maybe instead of Cunningham. Or they keep both, and have only 6 WR’s. (Maybe Jenkins doesn’t make it if both Dobson and Boyce recover from summer injuries to have enough time w/ Brady to get in sync. Harmon I couldn’t place outside of PS…was just guessing with him.

        • MacMahler says:

          With Ballard, I get the feeling something’s not in sync. he may be borderline IR still or not fast enough. Good blocker though.

  3. td says:

    I saw somewhere that some so called expert said the Pat’s were going to a 3-4, but they no longer have the type of 5-tech DE to go there.

    My best guess is that they will go heavier with the run game with the twin tower OT’s and road grader G’s like Mankins and Cannon. This may also give the young WR’s time to gel with Brady and offset the loss of the TE no longer talked about.

    I don’t see how they get rid of Mesko & D. Aiken. Those guys have been super reliable and performed well.

  4. carlo strada says:

    Vellano is makin the 53, he can play 2 gap, and so its valuable for belichick s hybrid D scheme. About cunningham, hell probably be out, i mean now that armstead is here, and Justin Francis (Francis is bigger and showed he can play outside) played great subbing cunningham s suspension, hes not but disposable (be cause hes not a threat on the edge, he s shown nothing)

  5. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Interesting group, I like Joe Vellano DT over Grissom. WR Harrison will be a surprise, and this Kid Sims at WR also, tho P-Squad. RB Winn looks promising.
    MY Patriot Cuts are; S Gregory, TE Fells, DT Grissom, CB Dennard, RB Blount, P Mesko, DE Cunningham, WR Hawkins, LB Tarpinian, WR Kamar Aiken,LB Rivera and LS Danny Aiken.

    Guys I like for roster or P-Squad; CB- Brandon Jones ,CB Morris, DT Joe Vellano, P Ryan Allen, LS Zupancic, LB Vega, OT Fisher, TE Sudfeld, S Kanorris Davis

  6. I think Michael Jenkins is going to make it and either Harrison or Thompkins. Thompkins has the better chance of clearing waivers. And TE Brandon Ford could be a surprise that is put on the practice squad. Also, I’m very skeptical about Steve Gregory’s future, I’m expecting him to either take a big pay cut and restructure his deal, or be released. But, all in all this is a really really solid projection. Great job.

  7. dslave says:

    With Donald Jones getting cut yesterday, that tell me Harrison may be the guy their targeting to make the final 53.He didn’t get drafted because he was hurt and was courted highly as an undrafted free agent. He’s 6’3 and goes 230.chucks about a 4.6 fourty, with ok hands.

  8. azdude says:

    What is the point of keeping Tebow on the 53 man roster? All he does is take a spot from someone that can contribute this year on either side of the ball. He isnt going to beat out Mallet for TFB’s backup so let him run 3rd team reps in camp and preseason and then tell him thanks for the effort. I would rather that spot being used on the DL, it is a long season to only go into it with 4 guys! Also, I dont think they cut Ebner. He is a ST freak and I think has the atheletic ability to make some plays on the D.

  9. menelvagor says:

    So Donald Jones out, i think M. Jenkins in, he will be veteran presence for younger guys

  10. Charles says:

    I might be a little off but I think Winn and Thompkins are going to force the issue regarding their hopes of making the squad, also don’t be shocked if Dennard is thrown in jail and unable to play this year, if that’s the case you can pencil in the name Brandon Jones or CBTBA.

  11. USMarine75 says:

    Well, one down… Donald Jones to be released? Does that mean Kenbrell Thomkins and/or Kamar Aiken are looking good enough in camp? Doesnt Donald Jones have some kind of a mystery disease that he missed time for?

  12. Warren says:

    Stephon Morris is the surprise of camp. Great special teamer replacing Marquise Cole. Great speed and vision. He will cover smaller slot receivers.

  13. McTash says:

    WOW! Only 7 OL?? I see 9 OL. 8 maybe. No way they only keep 7.

  14. rte says:

    Ebner makes the team as a core special teams player. He also may surprise in getting snaps at safety

  15. kevin says:

    i was mistaken Steve Beauharnais was not an udfa

  16. kevin says:

    Steve Beauharnais will have practice squad written all over him UDFA out of rutgers he can develop in system with no stress. Mark Harrisonwill takes his spot on roster his athletic ability is off the charts with a few more pounds he could fill a hybrid joker/receiver role for this team. has great hands and above average blocking.
    Donald Jones is a good player but micheal jenkins has been running with the first team his knoweldge and dependability get the nod over jones.
    Steve Gregorys time in new england is up he was brought in when mcourty was still at corner his salary cap hit is a tempting one to cut. Brandon ford gets the nod to take over that joker role behind hooman to make sure someone can play that role in the offense. If not him i see them taking kamar aiken he has impressed so far in camp and its his last chance if not now then never he will play the x receiver role or a y

    • Henry Carmen says:

      See this is why tim tebow making the roster would be a mistake. Jermaine Cunningham will and should make this team. He will because of a combination of Versatility and favorability in the coaching staffs eyes. He should because he adds interior pass rushing ability which he did quite well last year until his suspension. I would switch out Blount for Bolden, Tebow for Cunningham, Jones for Hawkins, Ballard for Fells, Forston for Vellano, Gregory fort Nick McDonald. I am Extremely suprised you left of McDonald. Harrison is so overrated glad you didnt put him on the roster, he can’t catch the ball consistently. All the rookies should make the roster this year, lots of talent.

      • Henry Carmen says:

        i have no idea why i responded to your comment, that was meant as a comment for the article

  17. Chase says:

    Fells over Sudfeld and also, I just don’t think BB is ready to cut ties with Cunningham yet. A lot like Dowling, has showed flashes of brilliance, and just needs some chances. I think he will show up in preseason.

    • Steve says:

      I’m not so sure about Fells over Sudfeld. Fells comes with a pretty high price tag and I’m not sure he’s worth the cap hit. As long as Sudfeld looks as good with pads on as he did in mini-camp, he’ll provide a much better return on investment.

  18. Ryan says:

    Connolly is my surprise cut this year. Wasn’t that good last year and has a decent contract. I think Thompkins or Harrison makes 53. Maybe both.

  19. Phil says:

    Only change I would like is Brandon Bolden in over Blount.



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