2013 Patriots Final Roster Projection: James Christensen

Patriots Roster

Brandon Bolden is firmly on the roster bubble.

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

After four job interviews, the Patriots are ready to hire 53 players to compete this year. Some were easy decisions, while others are going to have the interview teams locked in debate well into the night.

Here is my last prediction of how Bill Belichick is going to assemble his team.

Quarterback (3): Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Tim Tebow

Beyond being a 3rd quarterback, Tebow does so much more. He is a positive locker room presence, can run the “look” team when the Patriots are facing an option team and can contribute in other phases of the game. I’d be disappointed if Belichick gave up on Tebow this early.

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

This is one of the harder competitions to figure out after Ridley and Vereen. I’m going to lean towards keeping them all and hoping that George Winn can have a Lawfirm-esque stint on the practice squad.

Wide Receiver (6): Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Josh Boyce, Kenbrell Thompkins, Matthew Slater, Quentin Sims

I love this group of receivers. Sims might not make it to the practice squad, but if he does, the future of this group is even brighter. There are multiple options at X, Z and in the slot – something the Patriots have lacked the last few years.

Tight End (3): Michael Hoomanawanui, Zach Sudfeld, Rob Gronkowski

Gronkowski still could find his way onto the PUP list, but with Fells and Ballard’s release, it seems like he might be ready sooner than later. Fells just hasn’t been the receiving threat the Patriots want and Ballard is clearly not 100% yet.

Offensive Tackle (3): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Will Svitek

Vollmer and Solder have the starting spots locked up. Marcus Cannon can play a little tackle and Svitek should have the swing position well in hand.

Guard (3): Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon

Connolly and Cannon have the versatility to play multiple positions across the line if needed, which could help the Patriots keep just seven linemen… although I think they’ll keep eight.

Center (2): Ryan Wendell, Josh Kline

Wendell is the clear starter here, with Connolly his backup as needed. After these seven, I’m not sure anyone has really distinguished themselves from the pack, but Kline has the versatility to help the team.

Defensive Tackle (4): Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Marcus Forston, Joe Vellano

With Armond Armstead still on the shelf, Joe Vellano suddenly is in line to make this team – especially if Jermaine Cunningham isn’t ready to contribute or lands on short-term IR. Wilfork and Kelly have looked impressive in the pre-season.

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

With Marcus Benard’s departure, Francis, Buchanan and Bequette can breathe a little easier. Buchanan especially put on a show against the Giants, while Bequette also had his best game as a Patriot. Jones and Ninkovich are both top pros.

Linebacker (6): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Steve Beauharnais, Jeff Tarpinian

This group – especially the first five names – are incredibly exciting. Beauharnais and Tarpinian are primarily competing for a special teams spot here.

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

Ras-I Dowling’s release put a damper on this position, but if Dennard avoids an extended absence from the team they should be fine. Logan Ryan has looked very good for a rookie.

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

I will be surprised with whomever gets cut here. Wilson, Wilson, Gregory and Ebner all have good things going for them, but also have a clear reason to be released or traded. This is the cut that I’m most interested in seeing.

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

Mesko and Allen’s battle has been a good one, but I don’t think Allen has done enough to warrant taking over for Mesko. Ideally, Belichick could sneak Allen on the practice squad somehow.

PUP / NFI: Mark Harrison, Armond Armstead

IR: T.J. Moe, Brandon Ford, Marcus Zusevics, Anthony Rashad-White

Tags: Brandon Bolden, Roster Projection

7 Responses to “2013 Patriots Final Roster Projection: James Christensen”

  1. Well the waiting is over along with the Tebow era. Sanity returns to Foxboro but I can’t help feeling sorry for Tim. It’s just that he is not an NFL quality QB but a great person and athlete. I hope we see him again but next time as an H-back, RB or TE, these positions must fit his skill set better then QB. Good luck Tim.

  2. acm says:

    Today’s events make me wonder if Tebow wasn’t right all along and there is a god, after all?
    Either way, so long Timmy …

  3. steve says:

    No more Tebow talk (at least it should die down soon)…I can watch this team and enjoy the season.
    Thank god (who doesn’t even exist!)

  4. MacMahler says:

    Agree that the WR’s are the biggest improvement. Can you see Pena and Justin Green on the practice squad? Hope Sims can make it there.

  5. steve says:

    I told you this would be interesting…and he’s not done yet.

    It’s so hard for “us” to know who will make a team; we just don’t get to see these guys perform with any real game speed. We’re seeing them (if we bother) at practice and in these preseason games when they’re thrown in with all kinds of scrubs and experiments going on. It’s not fair to them really…the best way to see a player’s true ability, and the only way really, is to see them out their with the starters for several games; then you know what you have. So, there’s so much speculation going on. This is the ultimate team sport…one guy messes up and you look foolish. The greatest example of this was Cassell, all that training camp he was the subject…needs to be cut now…stinks etc…But, he’s playing with scrubs…pinch hitting, and that is never fair to a football player, never mind a QB. Once he got in with the top team, in real games, he was able to find his rhythm and his game came together in our system. I feel the same way with Mallett, we’re seeing him with partial first teamers, at best. We’re seeing some bad throws for sure, but those may go away if he were ever to find some real game situation. We fans think these guys are robots and can just run out their and turn it on with little notice. It’s hard enough in baseball to run out there and pinch hit, many great hitters simply can’t do it, and I’ve heard from basketball players…some great ones….that the same is true in that sport; many stars simply can’t come off the bench and turn it on, and that’s in real games. Being a solid 6th man in the NBA is not easy…it takes a certain mindset and skill set. Football is even more extreme, yet we judge these guys during this absolute chaotic mess of preseason games as if they’re supposed to be showing what they have to offer, and that’s just going to be deceiving, inaccurate…at best.

    Now, cut Tebow and let’s have some sanity around these parts!

  6. patsfaninthedesert says:

    cut tebow… keep ebner



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