2014 New England Patriots: Final Roster Projection

Aaron Dobson eased concerns about his injured foot last night.

Aaron Dobson’s roster spot is secure, but there’s still plenty of uncertainity on the team.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The preseason ended last night in the Meadowlands with a 16-13 loss to the New York Giants and with roster cuts due on Sunday, it was the final opportunity to earn a roster spot. At least 22 players will be cut from the roster between now and Saturday afternoon, even after final cuts are completed more transactions will follow as the Patriots piece together their 2014 roster. Last night we learned a lot about the players who played, but we also learned a lot about the players Bill Belichick decided to sit out. As we approach final cuts a few things are clear. This is a much deeper roster than last year, especially on the backend, and this team is not without areas of weakness. Here’s how I project the initial 53 man roster to shake out.

 

Quarterback (3) 
Tom Brady
Jimmy Garoppolo
Ryan Mallett

Garoppolo has shown enough signs during the preseason to move on from Ryan Mallett, but ultimately I don’t believe that will happen. By carrying three Quarterbacks another roster player is forced out the door and that is likely a Wide Receiver or Running Back.

Running Backs (3)
Stevan Ridley
Shane Vereen
James White

The Patriots kept four total RB/FB on the final roster during the majority of years that Bill Belichick has been coach. The breakdown of three running backs and one fullback would be exactly how they chose to set up the backfield in 2007 when Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, and Sammy Morris were the running backs and Heath Evans was the fullback. This is all a result of keeping three Quarterbacks on the roster, which of course the Patriots did in 2007. To add protection at the position I expect Jonas Gray and Roy Finch to be added to the practice squad.

Fullbacks (1)
James Develin

Develin was one of the players who made the trip to New York, but didnt’ play last night. Further proving that the organization values Develin and his ever-improving skill-set.

Wide Receiver (5)
Julian Edelman
Aaron Dobson
Danny Amendola
Brandon Lafell
Kenbrell Thompkins

This is a nice blend of receivers. All five receivers have different body types and bring a unique skill-set to the field. The receiving corps looks significantly more comfortable, capable this preseason and that will lead to the Patriots playing faster and with more multiplicity. I’ve been a big believer in Josh Boyce, but there isn’t room for six receivers on the roster at this point. I hope Boyce can find his way to the practice squad, but I’m not holding my breath.

Tight End (3)
Rob Gronkowski
Tim Wright
Michael Hoomanawanui

The position looks significantly better and more complete with the addition of Tim Wright. The fact that Wright was able to contribute Thursday night is a testament to his smarts and breeds optimism that he can add another dimension to this offense. A “flex” tight end was absolutely imperative to offensive improvement and the Patriots went to the ends of the earth trying to acquire one. Steve Maneri will be released, but if Hoo-man goes down at any point, Maneri will find his way back to Foxboro.

Offensive Tackles (3)
Nate Solder
Sebastian Vollmer
Cameron Fleming

Fleming has shown enough during the preseason to be a stop gap Right Tackle if an injury should occur. Marcus Cannon and Jordan Devey can also slide into the starting Tackle position if the need arises.

Interior Linemen (6)
Marcus Cannon
Dan Connolly
Bryan Stork
Ryan Wendell
Josh Kline
Jordan Devey

Don’t ask me how these six will occupy the three starting interior line spots because I don’t have a clue. Connolly could start at Center or Left Guard. Marcus Cannon could start at either Guard position and Wendell could be the starting Center or be cut. Rookie 6th Round pick Jon Halapio is the odd man out in this projection, but if he makes the roster it won’t be a major surprise. Halapio will find work whether it’s on the practice squad or with another NFL team.

Defense

Defensive Ends (5)
Chandler Jones
Rob Ninkovich
Dominique Easley
Michael Buchanan
Zach Moore

Easley will obviously play on the interior as well, but the Patriots announced him as a Defensive End during the draft and I see him playing a pass rush specific role to start his career. One of his strengths is his ability to play multiple alignments on the defensive line and create pressure from all of them. Zach Moore can play both on the outside and on the inside, but he’s still very raw. Buchanan is the lone “pure rush end” behind Jones and Ninkovich. This is a position that should be targeted as other teams cut down their rosters.

Interior Defensive Line (5)
Vince Wilfork
Joe Vellano
Chris Jones
Sealver Siliga
Jerel Worthy

The release of Tommy Kelly added some clarity to the roster. The fact Joe Vellano was held out last night gave us an indication of how highly he’s thought of by the coaching staff. Jerel Worthy is still unproven, but he’s shown some ability to be disruptive. Injury questions to Siliga and Jones means Worthy sticks around for the start of the season.

Linebackers (6)
Jerod Mayo
Jamie Collins
Dont’a Hightower
Darius Fleming
Steve Beauharnais
Ja’Gared Davis

James Morris was in the running for the sixth Linebacker spot until his injury last night. Even if the knee injury turns out to be minor it’ll likely cost him a roster spot. The Patriots can put him on injured reserve and stash him until next season or put him on the practice squad. Either way there is a really good chance we haven’t seen the last of James Morris. Ja’Gared Davis gets the final linebacker spot thanks to core special teams contributions and some aggressive defensive play. Darius Fleming has stood out in each of the preseason games for his strength at the point of attack and setting the edge vs. the run. He deserves to be on the roster.

Cornerbacks (5)
Darrelle Revis
Alfonzo Dennard
Logan Ryan
Kyle Arrington
Malcolm Butler

No surprises here. This is a deep, talented, and impactful group that will only get better after week four when Brandon Bronwer returns from suspension.

Safties (4)
Devin McCourty
Duron Harmon
Nate Ebner
Tavon Wilson

It’s difficult to decipher how this group shakes out. It’s tough to leave Patrick Chung off the roster, but it’s even more difficult to carry five safeties to start the year. I won’t be surprised at all if Wilson is cut and Chung makes the roster, as this is strictly a guess at this point. We’ve seen the Patriots get creative with their safety rotations during the preseason by using corners in a “hybrid safety” alignment and that signals to me they don’t need to carry the extra safety.

Specialists (4)
Stephen Gostkowski
Ryan Allen
Danny Aiken
Matthew Slater

From top to bottom one of the best groups of specialist in the NFL.

Suspended (2): Brandon Browner, Brian Tyms

Bottom Five on the Roster: Ja’Gared Davis, Jordan Devey, Jerel Worthy, Tavon Wilson, Steve Beauharnais

Final Cuts: Patrick Chung, Josh Boyce, Jon Halapio, Brandon Bolden, James Morris, Roy Finch/Jonas Gray

Likely Practice Squaders: Jonas Gray, Roy Finch, Jeremy Gallon, Josh Boyce**, Jon Halapio**, Jake Bequette, James Morris, Dax Swanson

Tags: Aaron Dobson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh Kline

54 Responses to “2014 New England Patriots: Final Roster Projection”

  1. Ryan says:

    I was very excited when Halapio fell to us in the draft and I don’t think that he will be left off the roster because that is essentially offering him up to every other team immediately after drafting him. I really doubt that we will carry 16 front seven players, as that is way more than necessary, so I think that there will be another cut on the D line that allows Halapio to stay on the roster. Besides that, I agree with this roster projection.

  2. Paul Hayes says:

    I don’t see the value allowing Mallett to eat up a valuable roster spot. Get whatever you can and move on. I would rather see Finch on the roster. He has a rare skillset that could produce some instant offense in the kicking game and even some screen passes.

  3. Paul Hayes says:

    I don’t see the value allowing Mallett to eat up a valuable roster spot. Get whatever you can and move on. I would rather see Finch on the roster. He has a rare skillset that could produce some instant offense in the kicking game and even some screen passes.

  4. Paul Hayes says:

    I don’t see the value allowing Mallett to eat up a valuable roster spot. Get whatever you can and move on. I would rather see Finch on the roster. He has a rare skillset that could produce some instant offense in the kicking game and even some screen passes.

  5. Jack says:

    Nice roster, but there is absolutely one change I would make – drop Mallet and carry Finch.

    I’m very concerned about NE’s depth at interior OL right now.

    Are there any decent guards who are going to become cap casualties? If so, NE could use some of their newly acquired caps space to grab one – or two – of them.

    Barring, that, with all the depth NE has at cornerback and receiver, could they put together a package and snatch a decent offensive guard from another team with depth along the OL?

    • Jack says:

      I should re-word that to say I’ve very concerned about the Patriots *starters* in the interior OL right now.

    • acm says:

      Depth at interior OL is not a concern, quality/talent on the other hand, could be. I would think they start the year like this and see how things turn up, adding a vet FA down the road, if needed.
      Won’t be easy to find a good player at this point in the season unless it involves a trade for likely an expensive vet, which would negate the whole point of letting Mankins go. There is hardly any sense in going for cheap youngsters as they would need time to be groomed before taking any significant snaps. Not to mention being available at this point of the season probably doesn’t bode all too well for a player’s level of talent.

      That depth at CB you keep reading in the media is one injury away from disappearing into thin air. Dennard is always battling some sort of injury, Butler is an unknown until he is battle-tested in actual NFL games and Browner is a joint away from a year-long suspension.
      So, all in all, my guess is for now they are stuck with the OL currently on board.

      • Jack says:

        ACM, I was re-reading my post an noticed that loose wording – you obviously did as well!

        I agree it’s unlikely the Pats land a quality OL. They were incredibly lucky to get Brian Waters in 2011. That was a two-year contract for 5.5 million. Since he only played one year, then they presumably paid him just 2.25 million. If another Brian Waters showed up, wouldn’t that be sweet. But, again the chances of that are slim.

        Which leads me to:

        The case for Richie Incognito.

        I read through every page of the league report on Incognito, and I have got to say he strikes me as a repugnant human being in every way. In addition, he’s had trouble with every team he’s ever played for. He’s kind of like the proverbial bad apple.

        However – now that he’s been through what he’s been through – exposed as a bully and a bad guy overall – he has to know that the national spotlight will be on him. So, you would expect him to be on his best behavior, because he does not appear to be a *stupid* guy, at least.

        Also, the Pats have a reputation for taking on “bad guys” and getting the best out of them, at least for short periods of time, like a season or two. Cory Dillon, Randy Moss, Ted Washington, Aqib Talib – these guys were all significant contributors to a team that was willing to gamble on them. There are other guys that didn’t work out, like Haynesworth, and Ochocino (who wasn’t a “bad guy” per-se). The team just let them go and moved on.

        Low risk. High reward. Giving a guy who’s down on his luck a chance to resuscitate his reputation. I can practically guarantee, if the Pats took him on, that he will be talking Pats-non-speak as well or better than any of them. Like I say, he’s not stupid, he’s just a pr*ck.

        There are *plenty* of bad actors in the NFL, right – many of them probably guilty of worse than what Incognito did. Many of them are far, far from being saints. It’s a violent game, with big, violent guys playing it, many of whom come from trouble backgrounds. There’s been some bad stuff that happened.

        Hernandez me no Hernandez, either. He was a stone-cold killer. Incognito is essentially a schoolyard bully on steroids. There are guys like Vince Wilfork around to keep him in line. You know that he’s going to be on a tight leash.

        Plus, this is the Patriots. It’s practically their duty to give Incognito another chance – even if they have to hold their nose to do it. He will be smelling better by the end of the year.

        • steve earle says:

          Please excuse me for disagreeing but Rich Incognito was reconized as a dirty player with a pathalogical need to do harm and injury as often as his cheep shot oppertunitys allowed. This was noted as far back as his collage days where he was and continued to be one of the most penalized players wherever he played. As late as the begining of the 2013 season he gave an interview saying how he had matured, changed and learned to control himself. Obviously that proved untrue probably because he is incapable of change because he has a psych disorder. No way he does he belong in Foxboro because he will poison the lockeroom, he just couldn’t help himself.

        • acm says:

          yeah, Incognito is a certifiable case and nowhere near good enough to be worth the headache. With Mankins on the roster taking in Incognito would have been already a risk. Now that he’s gone, and with him his locker room leadership, getting RI would be downright dangerous for the team, imo.

        • Jack says:

          Steve and ACM,

          I might be wrong on Incognito. I’ve been wrong more times than I can count about all sorts of things. I certainly have my reservations about Incognito. However, I’m not convinced that he’s untouchable for a couple reasons. While going through the whole Incognito research, I came across several opinions of his abilities, which were that he was a more-then-capable NFL guard. In fact, he earned a pro-bowl berth as recently as 2013.

          As far as penalties go, he got on top of his problems in that area. From an article on his pro-bowl appearance, it says “He earned a reputation for being a bit of a hot head early in his career, but Incognito was not flagged for a single personal foul this past season, and was only flagged six times in 16 games for the Dolphins.”

          This shows me the guy is capable of changing. If he got a handle on the penalties, why can’t he get a handle on his locker-room demeanor, now that he’s seen how negatively it can impact his career?

          Anytime the Pats have signed a troubled player, there have been concerns about the impact on the locker room. I remember John Denis on WEEI taking an extreme opinion on Randy Moss, stating that he was a cancer and the Patriots absolutely should not touch him. And it eventually turned out that he became to hot to handle as was traded back to Vikings. But, he did have a couple of good years and helped the Pats come to within a hair of an undefeated season.

          Also, Incognito was widely supported by his teammates when the whole thing came down. So, he wasn’t a divisive force on the team per-se – they were 100% in favor of him vs. Martin – something I disagree with, because I don’t support bullying in any way shape or form. But, I’ve never been in an NFL locker room. I don’t know what passes for “normal” there. It remains an undeniable fact that Incognito was strongly backed by his teammates.

          As far as playing with an edge, and being nasty, and borderline dirty there are other players on the Pats who have had that reputation – including Rodney Harrison, who was called the dirtiest player in the league many times. Logan Mankins was another guy along those lines with some nasty to him – it’s not an awful thing for an NFL player.

          Roger Goodell praised Incognito during the Hall of Fame weekend, saying he has done all the things the league has asked of him, which undoubtedly paved the way to his re-instatement. Jaworski said that he needs to be signed by a team with a strong coaching staff that has worked together for a long time, which is the very definition of the Patriots.

          I’m wondering what Tom Brady’s take would be on it. He was upset about losing Mankins. Does he want a pro-bowl guard with 102 NFL starts up front, or Jonathan Kline who “got whipped” by a third-stringer in the fourth quarter of an exhibition game to sack Garoppolo?

      • MaineMan says:

        This.

        When you stop to consider the dreadful O-lines that Carolina, Miami and (formerly) Tampa Bay and others are seemingly stuck with and their inability to find guys to upgrade them, the chances of the Pats finding a better guy than who they have are approximately somewhere between zero and zero. I’m just hoping that they can get at least one of Barker/Halapio/Devey (or whoever they have to let go) to the PSQ as a deep reserve who at least knows the system now.

        • acm says:

          yeah, considering the OL strugles quite a few teams seem to have, there is a pretty good chance none of those OL-men the Pats release makes it to the practice squad.
          They would need at least a couple of guys stashed on PS, hopefully players already familiar with the system.

  6. JWC says:

    Isn’t it a 10 man PS as of this season?

  7. GM-in-Training says:

    Pretty good.

    The next question is, who is most likely to be waived 2nd week of the season when the Pats can pick up seasoned veterans without having to guarantee their full year salary?

    I think the bottom 2 LB are the first 2 to go.

    • ReneKicker says:

      Who could be available? i listened Pat Angerer was released by the falcons.

      • MaineMan says:

        Angerer has had a bunch of concussions, part of the reason Indy let him walk. Then he got yet another concussion in June with the Falcons.

        I’ll pass.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        BB used to go after veteran LB who had been overpriced on their previous team. That was when run stopping was at a premium, so if they were slowing down a bit, they could make up for it with strength.

        The trend lately is lighter LB who can cover TE…so, dunno who would fit that profile.

        • steve earle says:

          Some teams are trying to use hybred SS/LB for that but it’s almost as difficult to find a player like that as it is to find a capable OLB so it’s a compromise. We won’t know who might be available until all the cuts are done. Hopefully BB is trying to work some swaps with some of our lower level guys in other positions like WR or RB for a like OLB or even the SS/LB type.

        • MaineMan says:

          It seems to me that this “trend” toward lighter, faster LBs is a bit exaggerated. While it’s true that many teams have one of those guys as their most visible playmaker among their LBs, most of those teams (the more successful ones, anyway) also have bigger LBs forming a solid supporting cast for their “star”. Sure, the Seahawks have made an LB corps of mostly lighter-faster guys work, but they’re the exception. Several other teams have tried the same (most notably the Bills) and faceplanted.

          In any case, run-stopping remains a premium talent for LBs, probably even to a greater degree nowadays in this “passing league”. Most teams are now playing around 60% of their defensive snaps with 5 or more DBs on the field. The “nickel package” has become the de facto “base defense” for pretty much everybody. What this means is that everybody in the Front Six (or even just FIVE) needs to be very good in run-D now more than ever. If those 5-6 guys can’t effectively contain the ground game on their own, that means that one (or more) of the coverage guys behind them needs to come up and assist. This, in turn, enhances the opposing offense’s ability to be successful with play-action, thus defeating the whole idea of having five DBs in the backfield in the first place. BB appears to understand this constraint very well – better than a lot of coaches.

          James Anderson is an example of a light, faster “coverage LB” and he had a lot of experience. But he sucked against the run. And he’s where now?

  8. acm says:

    Largely agree with Mike on the list. Would keep Chung over Ebner though with Ebner going on the practice squad, potentially. Chung is far from a top player but brings the hard knocks in the box and that could be an important element in a physical secondary. Plus he is a special teamer. Ebner, on the other hand, is only a ST-er.

    Another change I would hope they make is get RB Green Ellis and release maybe OL Devey. J. Devey is decent for a back-up only, imo, with his versatility (OG and OT) being the best he brings to the team. They have two other similar players though in Cannon and Fleming, so I think they are covered in that regard. Really depends how highly they regard Devey of which I have seen mixed reports. Personally, I don’t see him as irreplaceable.

    One of DT Velano/Worthy may also potential cuts to make a roster spot for another power RB like Green Ellis. One way or another, the RB position lacks depth and veteran stability of the power running variety ’cause we all know Ridley is one fumble away from spending the next half a season in the doghouse or being outright cut. I reckon he fumbles within the first 2 games of the season.

    • Oppitz says:

      Please no! All the respect in the world to the Law Firm, but I hope he doesnt come back… We can easily get a more talented rusher, the only thing BGJE can do is get the yards de line gives to him, and anyone can do that.

      Not to mention that our line its not looking very good right now…

      • acm says:

        Easily? You might wanna revise that unless you expect the Pats are gonna stumble into AP in free agency. Saving themselves for the next A. Foster is unlikely to end all that well either.

        I don’t necessarily disagree with what your assessment of BJGE but one has to keep in mind these are roster cuts we are talking about rummaging thru. I am not claiming he is among the best RBs in the league but that would be a great choice under the circumstances – he still has a lot of thread left on those tires, knows the system and would bring vet presence much needed in the play-offs and big games in general.

        • Oppitz says:

          Right now I rather give a roster spot to Finch, Gray or Bolden than to the law firm. I respect everything he did here and know he would bring a nice veteran presence on the locker room… but thats all. I’m not talking about get the next all day or arian foster, just a guy who is currently better than BJGE, and I do think that we’ve got a lot of other options

  9. Nate says:

    Good article

  10. acm says:

    LB Angerer (Falcons) and RB Green-Ellis (Bengals) have been cut. Two players I can see do no harm to ensure depth for the Pats positions of need.

    • MaineMan says:

      Neither is PSQ-eligible and I’m not sure who either of them would upgrade.

      Meanwhile, the Eagles waived RB Henry Josey. THERE is a guy I’d love to see the Pats snag for the PSQ. They had a pre-draft private workout with him, so there’s interest.

      Henry JOSEY, RB, Missouri (PW) — 7TH-UDFA (pre-draft projection)
      - 5081/194 – 30.3″arm/9.5″hand – 4.43/40 – 1.59/10yd – 20 reps – 34.5″ vert – 118″ broad – 4.13 ss – 7.07 3-cone – 11.67/60s
      - 2013: 174/1166, 16TDs — 10/65, 1 TD receiving
      - 2012: missed season with gruesome knee injury (ACL, MCL and patellar tendon)
      - 2011: 145/1168, 9 TDs — 10/91, 0 TD receiving

      • acm says:

        Angerer is iffy but Green-Ellis? He knows the system and is still a reliable back. He’s getting cut for contract reasons.

        • MaineMan says:

          Not really. Though he was a bit dinged up, BGE really tailed off for the Bungles last season. In any case, he’s a one-trick pony – straight up the gut – and he doesn’t appear to have the power that he did three seasons ago with the Pats. He’s never had the burst to get to the edge unless the defense is totally fooled and falls down. He’s not much of a receiver out of the backfield. Just not enough versatility there to add anything.

  11. steve earle says:

    Can somebody help me out here? The post be ReneKicker has me seconding guessing myself. I thought Browner and Tyms didn’t have to be exposed to wavers because they are on suspension for the first four games. Am I wrong?

    • acm says:

      players placed on the suspension list do NOT count towards the 53-men roster. And, no, the Pats do NOT have to waive them to put them there. It’s like placing someone on an IR list but only for 4 weeks, not rest of the season.

    • ReneKicker says:

      I was saying that in the case of Pats trying to put Tyms on the practice squad after week 4, he has to be released and pass waivers before of take part of the practice squad.

      • steve earle says:

        Okay I under stand that but I’ve become very hopeful they do not try to slip him through wavers. Don’t think he’d make it unclaimed.

  12. Big Dan From Maine says:

    Nate Ebner over Chung or Wilson is a surprise to me. I really think keeping Finch would be a good move, he can return kicks and could develop into a good “Danny Woodhead” type player, especially with Shane Vareen’s injury history.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vellano cut either. Worthy isn’t spectacular, but I think there is far more upside.

    Also lets go ahead and ditch Mallet, keep someone else. If Brady goes down do you really think Mallet would out perform Jimmy G? I’ve seen nothing to make me think that.

    Mike, great shot at trying to predict the final roster. What is you wild card move that no one sees coming? There will be another one I am sure.

    • steve earle says:

      Lots of tough cut coming. I think Ebner’s ST value has given him a slight edge in Mike’s view. Not sure BB feels that way particullary if a decent Safty gets released by somebody. Nothing cut in stone here. Mike smartly added a bottom 5 and l final cuts that could go either way giving fan favorites some hope.

    • MaineMan says:

      Watching Ebner closely last night, he’s clearly more than just a special teamer now. He was great in run-D, at least competent in coverage, and his athleticism really showed when he ran down Andre Williams from behind to prevent the TD – AFTER Williams gave him a wicked stiff-arm.

      • acm says:

        when making evals based on pre-season games, one has to keep in mind the level of competition faced, as well.
        Considering all three of Chung, Wilson, Ebner are ST-ers, I’d say that Ebner probably belongs on the PSquad the most, right about now, given his limited contribution at SAF, where I’d think he is behind those other two in pecking order.

        • MaineMan says:

          Yeah, I get the “level of competition” thing. But I’m talking about his technique, about his much improved understanding and execution of his assignments in a safety role. That he was able to be so “dominant” Thursday night IS related to the level of competition he was dealing with, but he wouldn’t have been more than merely “adequate” without the growth he’s shown. I’m not saying that he’s “starter level”, just that he’s shown me enough to trust him as at least an adequate rotational/injury-replacement guy against a higher level of competition. IOW, he appears to have become more than just a “special-teams specialist” now.

          Anyway, a wicked good stiff-arm is a wicked good stiff-arm, regardless who’s throwing it. The fact that Ebner was able to recover from it quickly enough to chase the guy down and make a solo tackle to prevent the TD has nothing to do with “level of competition”.

    • MaineMan says:

      I’d be surprised to see Vellano cut now. He’s played every position along the DL this season, and been consistently solid – AND HEALTHY – the whole way. Unlike all the guys who have missed time (Siliga, Jones, Easley and late-comer Worthy) hes had all significant reps in every aspect of the scheme. He has a constant high motor, has been very solid in run-D and gotten good push ever when double-teamed. I really don’t know what more anybody could possibly want from the guy.

      • Jack says:

        MaineMan – I was surprised to see your comments about Vellano being solid against the run, even double teams. Shocked, actually. Wasn’t he awful last year against the run? Didn’t NE’s defense get consistently gored up the middle when he and Jones were in there? Silega brought some badly needed stoutness to the run defense when he got there.

        • MaineMan says:

          That was *last* year. Vellano was a rookie UDFA who was suddenly thrust into a full time starting role while his ears were still wet. I’m talking about NOW – after he’s been able to digest and self-scout his several HUNDRED 2013 snaps and, against that background, get coached up through a second set of OTA and Camp reps (of which he’s partaken significantly more than every other DT on the roster aside from Wilfork).

          Frankly, I think all this dismissal of Vellano stems NOT from watching his current level of play (and understanding what his *entire* job really entails), but from “draft status prejudice” and/or a belief that a guy who doesn’t perform well from the get-go has no potential to improve. Meanwhile, even though in Thursday night’s game, Worthy looked like the same inconsistent JAG he’s been for TWO seasons in Green Bay, the consensus seems to be that he’s obviously “better”, or has more upside, than Vellano. Why? because he was originally a 2nd-rounder? Well, golly, so was Ron Brace. I mean, the Packers let Worthy go for a mere *conditional* seventh round pick, even though they were a bit thin along the DL. Maybe there was a reason for that?

      • acm says:

        As much as I like Vellano’s effort, I don’t think he belongs in the same sentence with “solid run-D”. Like C. Jones, he is a good player to have on passing downs but both have trouble shedding blocks and relatively easily pushed around in the running game.
        Maybe VW attracting double teams this year could make their lives easier but I still feel they let T. Kelly go a tad too soon.

        And again, one should keep in mind the level of competition in these pre-season games.

        • Jack says:

          Yeah, ACM. I wish they had kept Kelley. Arizona snapped him up for good reason. He’s a starter. Vellano and Jones are jags imho.

        • MaineMan says:

          I’ve seen considerable improvement in Vellano this season over last year. He’s doing his job in run-D much better now – mainly clogging gaps on run plays so that the LBs behind him have fewer running lanes to cover (Wilfork’s main job in run-D, too) – and actually has been getting off blocks to make tackles more frequently.

          But everybody needs to remember that we’re talking about Vellano as a relief-man/rotational guy, NOT as one of the primaries (which is where Siliga fits and *maybe* Jones). Furthermore, I seriously doubt that BB would have cut (relatively cheap) Kelly if he didn’t think Vellano was worth quite a bit, especially given the ongoing uncertainty about Siliga’s and Jones’ readiness for week-1.

        • Jack says:

          I respect your opinion MaineMan and am glad to hear Vellano has improved. What is your take on Chris Jones, has he gotten any better against the run? Also, would you straight-up prefer to have Kelly for this year or one of Vellano/Jones for the next say the next three years?

  13. Kyle says:

    I bet the Browns claim Josh Boyce off waivers if he is indeed released.

  14. MaineMan says:

    Sorry. Meant to add: Aside from that nitpick, it looks great!

  15. MaineMan says:

    Personally, I haven’t seen enough consistency from Worthy to sacrifice RB depth to keep him. He looks like the same guy that Packers fans had been complaining about.

Leave a Reply






  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives