NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
Training camp moves fast and the roster is in a constant state of flux until early September. Even though the Patriots are only through the first week of practices and a pre-season game hasn’t been played — the roster has changed.
With an expanded roster it doesn’t take much to go from on the 53 man roster to the roster bubble or from the roster bubble to the streets. Performances on the field have already altered what the roster will look like when the Patriots take the field against the Buffalo Bills on September 8th.
Here’s the 2013 Patriots projected roster after the first week of camp.
Offensive Roster (24)
Quarterbacks (3) – Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Tim Tebow
Running Backs (4) – Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount, Leon Washington
Tight End (4) – Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Jake Ballard, Zach Sudfeld (Daniel Fells if Gronk on PUP)
Wide Receiver (6) – Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins, Matthew Slater
Offensive Tackles (3) – Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Will Svitek
Interior Linemen (4) – Logan Mankins, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly
Defensive Roster (26)
Defensive End (6) – Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Justin Francis, Jake Bequette, Michael Buchanan, Marcus Benard
Defensive Tackles (4) – Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Marcus Forston, Jermaine Cunningham*
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
Specialists (3) – Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Danny Aiken
Last Players On: Marcus Benard, Jermaine Cunningham, Ryan Allen, Steve Beauharnais, LeGarrette Blount
Final Cuts: Kamar Aiken, Nate Ebner, Brandon Bolden, Marquice Cole, Daniel Fells, Niko Koutouvides
Practice Squad (8): Markus Zusevics, Kamar Aiken, Joe Vellano, Cory Grissom, Jason Vega, George Winn, Mark Harrison, Brandon Jones
PUP or Short-Term I.R. Candidates: Armond Armstead, Rob Gronkowski
– Defensive Tackle is still very thin. With only three true DT standing out, the team maybe forced to keep Jermaine Cunningham who can play inside in sub-packages. This is a position where I expect the Patriots to be proactive picking up and trying out released and FA DTs.
– Ryan Allen over Zoltan Mesko. Going out on a limb here, but Allen has a stronger leg and makes much less money. In time he could be a superior punter to Zoltan.
– It looks like the team could keep up to seven wide receivers. Kamar Aiken and Michael Jenkins are likely fighting for the last spot.
– The versatility of the entire offensive line allows the Patriots to keep only seven linemen.
– Marcus Benard sneaks on as a situational rusher, but his spot is very tenuous in my opinion.
– Defensive End is still bunched up. The Pre-Season games are going to be crucial to sort things out.
– The secondary looks locked in at this point. Only players that could fight their way on are Nate Ebner and Marquice Cole.
– All draft picks make the roster. It will be very tough to get Buchanan or Beauharnais to the Practice Squad so they make the roster.
– If Rob Gronkowski starts the season on the PUP list, then Daniel Fells will make the roster as the 4th TE.
– Because the team used a 2nd and 3rd round draft choice on Safeties, Wilson and Harmon’s spot are locks to be on the roster. Both Harmon and Wilson will play large rolls on special teams, which makes Nate Ebner expendable. Especially since he contributes little to the defense.
– Tim Tebow makes the roster without much consideration.