Roster Projection: Matthew Jones (7/26)

NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

Can undrafted rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins secure a roster spot? (Photo: US Presswire)

As New England begins training camp, it’s time for an initial 53-man roster projection, taking into account injuries as well as any recent news attributed to Patriots personnel. Read on to find out who’s projected to make the cut.

OFFENSE:

1. QB Tom Brady
2. QB Ryan Mallett
3. QB Tim Tebow
4. RB Stevan Ridley
5. RB Shane Vereen
6. RB Leon Washington
7. RB Brandon Bolden
8. WR Danny Amendola
9. WR Michael Jenkins
10. WR Aaron Dobson
11. WR Kenbrell Thompkins
12. WR Josh Boyce
13. WR Matthew Slater
14. TE Jake Ballard
15. TE Michael Hoomanawanui
16. TE Zach Sudfeld
17. TE Brandon Ford
18. OT Nate Solder
19. OT Sebastian Vollmer
20. OT Will Svitek
21. OG Logan Mankins
22. OG Marcus Cannon
23. OG Dan Connolly
24. OC Ryan Wendell
25. OC Nick McDonald

NOTES: Tim Tebow is generally considered something of an underdog, but inviting the media circus which trails Tebow suggests to me that they intend to give him a real shot at making the roster; factor in Robert Kraft’s comments regarding the quarterback, as well as Josh McDaniels’ prior relationship with the former first-round pick, and he seems like a real possibility.

LeGarrette Blount doesn’t make the cut; as a low-average rusher with some character concerns, he may not be the best investment despite his natural talent.

New England would be wise to leave Julian Edelman on the physically unable to perform list in order to get Kenbrell Thompkins aboard. Rob Gronkowski is projected to land on the PUP list as well, paving the way for undrafted free agents Zach Sudfeld and Brandon Ford to make the final roster; Sudfeld has reportedly been impressive thus far, while Ford is probably the most logical successor to Aaron Hernandez at the “F” position based on his style of play.

Carrying eight offensive linemen may seem light to some, but Will Svitek can play either tackle position, Marcus Cannon can play either tackle or guard, and Dan Connolly and Nick McDonald both have center/guard versatility.

DEFENSE:

26. DT Vince Wilfork
27. DT Tommy Kelly
28. DT Armond Armstead
29. DT Marcus Forston
30. DE Chandler Jones
31. DE Rob Ninkovich
32. DE Justin Francis
33. DE Jake Bequette
34. DE Michael Buchanan
35. LB Jerod Mayo
36. LB Dont’a Hightower
37. LB Jamie Collins
38. LB Brandon Spikes
39. LB Dane Fletcher
40. LB Steve Beauharnais
41. CB Aqib Talib
42. CB Kyle Arrington
43. CB Alfonzo Dennard
44. CB Logan Ryan
45. CB Ras-I Dowling
46. CB Marquice Cole
47. FS Devin McCourty
48. FS Tavon Wilson
49. SS Duron Harmon
50. SS Adrian Wilson

NOTES: There shouldn’t be many surprises along the defensive line, with the possible exceptions of Marcus Benard and Jermaine Cunningham missing the cut. Of the two, Benard seems like a better choice for the final roster, as New England already knows what they have in Cunningham. By shifting those snaps to players such as Justin Francis, Jake Bequette, and Michael Buchanan, the Patriots can get younger and develop players who are signed for the foreseeable future.

If they do opt to retain a player such as Benard a la their decision to carry Trevor Scott last year, it’s possible that rookie linebacker Steve Beauharnais could miss the cut, although for now he is included on the final roster ahead of competitors such as Jeff Tarpinian and Niko Koutouvides.

The most interesting position defensively is probably safety, where the team has a wealth of talent. Steve Gregory was respectable last year, but represents one of the most substantial opportunities to save salary cap space; Nate Ebner doesn’t seem like he will have many chances to earn playing time on defense behind the likes of Tavon Wilson and Duron Harmon.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

51. PK Stephen Gostkowski
52. PN Zoltan Mesko
53. LS Danny Aiken

PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM:

WR Julian Edelman
TE Rob Gronkowski

INJURED RESERVE:

WR T.J. Moe

MISSED THE CUT:

RB LeGarrette Blount
RB George Winn
FB James Develin
FB Ben Bartholomew
WR Kamar Aiken
WR Mark Harrison
WR Lavelle Hawkins
WR Quentin Sims
WR Perez Ashford
TE Daniel Fells
OT Kevin Haslam
OT R.J. Mattes
OT Elvis Fisher
OG Markus Zusevics
OG Tyronne Green
OG Josh Kline
OG Chris McDonald
DT Cory Grissom
DT Anthony Rashad White
DT Joe Vellano
DE Marcus Benard
DE Jermaine Cunningham
DE Jason Vega
LB Jeff Tarpinian
LB Niko Koutouvides
LB Mike Rivera
LB A.J. Edds
CB Stephon Morris
CB Brandon Jones
CB Justin Green
FS Steve Gregory
SS Nate Ebner
SS Kanorris Davis
PN Ryan Allen
LS Mike Zupancic

Tags: New England Patriots, NFL, Roster Projection

3 Responses to “Roster Projection: Matthew Jones (7/26)”

  1. MaineMan says:

    Tebow needs to demonstrate some extraordinary value at a position other than QB, and on special teams as well, in order to make the roster.

    Edelman is not a lock at WR.
    Kamar Aiken, Harrison and Ashford are not automatic cuts at WR.

    Bequette and Buchanan have yet to show any reason to make the cut. Forston hasn’t shown much yet, either and has some competition from Vellano and White (and 5 DTs may make the cut anyway).

    Fletcher, Beauharnais and Cole are among several special-teamers on the bubble (Rivera, Ebner, etc.).

    Blount was a very solid lead RB and pass-protector for Tampa until Martin came along, and he’s also shown much more as a pass-catcher out of the backfield than Bolden.

  2. azdude says:

    cant see them cutting Ebner. Dude is a beast on special teams. Tebow brings nothing to the table at this point. I say Ebner his spot.

  3. Trev says:

    Not bad. I really like that you have Ford on there. Not many are giving him a chance, but I think he has a chance to surprise. His skill-set could help fill the void left by Hernandez. I would exchange Tebow for Hawkins, too.



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