2015 NFL Draft: Patriots 53-Man Roster Projection

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

After picking up 16 rookies in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Patriots are going to have some stiff competition to make their 53-man roster.

Here is my initial projection.

Quarterback (2): Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo
That was easy.

Running Back (5*): Jonas Gray, Brandon Bolden, James White, Tyler Gaffney, James Develin, LeGarrette Blount* (Suspended Game 1)
With Blount suspended for game one, it remains to be seen who will get the lion’s share of the carries.

Wide Receiver (6): Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Brian Tyms, Matthew Slater
The competition for the fourth and fifth spots between Dobson, Tyms and Josh Boyce will be fierce. Brandon Gibson will have a say as well.

Tight End (4): Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Tim Wright, AJ Derby
The Patriots haven’t kept four tight ends in a while, but I think Derby’s upside makes it palatable. Losing Michael Hoomanawanui is a small blow, but Chandler should make up for it.

Offensive Line (9): Nate Solder, Ryan Wendell, Bryan Stork, Tre Jackson, Sebastian Vollmer, Cameron Fleming, Marcus Cannon, Josh Kline, Shaq Mason
Nine might be one too many, but with all the young players on the roster it makes sense. Dan Connolly could push one player off if he is re-signed.

Defensive Tackle (4): Dominique Easley, Malcom Brown, Sealver Siliga, Alan Branch
Siliga and Branch bring the beef, while Brown and Easley are more disruptors. Chris Jones or Joe Vellano could be additional DL here as well.

Defensive End (4): Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, Jabaal Sheard, Trey Flowers
That is a stout group of ends against the run, with just enough upside as rushers.

Linebackers (6): Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jerod Mayo, Geneo Grissom, James Morris, Matthew Wells
The top three comprise the best linebacker corps in the league. The next three will find roles to play on special teams and in sub packages.

Cornerbacks (6): Alfonzo Dennard, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Kyle Arrington, Bradley Fletcher, Darryl Roberts
High on depth, but low on top-end talent. Will need the front-seven to do some work.

Safeties (4): Devin McCourty, Pat Chung, Jordan Richards, Duron Harmon
With the ability of Logan Ryan to play some safety, Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner get the axe in favor of the younger and cheaper Darryl Richards.

Specialists (3): Ryan Allen, Stephen Gostkowski, Joe Cardona
No surprises here. If Cardona isn’t cleared, then Tyler Ott would be re-signed.

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65 Responses to “2015 NFL Draft: Patriots 53-Man Roster Projection”

  1. Kevan says:

    Pats officially showing interest in Collins.

    • MM-II says:

      Well, it’s just the one report so far from two guys at the New Orleans Advocate, but it is hard to believe that the Pats wouldn’t put their hat in the ring.

      I seem to recall a pre-draft report that they interviewed him at some point, maybe the Combine, maybe when Fears attended LSU’s pro day to look at Magee and Hilliard?

  2. menelvagor says:

    Patriots to release Alfonzo Dennard

    • MM-II says:

      Well, at the moment, it appears that Dennard either didn’t use his off-season time wisely enough, or his injury recovery hasn’t gone well.

  3. Greg says:

    Does anyone have any info on Daryl Roberts? Can he play outside? Which scheme is he more suited?

    • MM-II says:

      As an aggregation of what I remember from the scouting “bites” I’ve read recently, apparently Roberts was a boundary guy for Marshall and played both man and zone well, though not without (correctable) technique and diagnostic issues.

      Aggressive and very competent run-defender, though the general feeling is that he needs to bulk up a bit from 187#. OTOH, he put up 23 bench reps, so . . . shrug?

      Most analysts are already pigeonholing him as a likely “slot only” guy because of his size. However, at 5’11” even, and 187#, he’s actually pretty close to the same size McCourty was in HIS draft year. Plus, Roberts put up better drill numbers than McCourty, including a 39″ vertical.

      IDK, seems to me he has the potential to be more than a slot guy.

      • Greg says:

        Thank for the information MM-II

        I think we will start with a cornerback by committee approach that will evolve to Fletcher as #1, Butler #2, Arrington in the slot, Ryan as #3 and slot reserve and Roberts as #4 outside reserve. Of Course we will have a clear picture with the training camps, but without Dennard, Roberts’ chances to make the roster improved greatly.

  4. Daniel R. Martin says:

    Looks like the Jets and Bills have already entered the Lael Collins sweepstakes. Why have the Patriots not made a move on him?

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Correction, the Dolphins and Bills. Should have known Rex Ryan would have no compunction about pursuing a player with such lingering concerns.

      • acm says:

        Are you trying to make a case that the Pats should or shouldn’t go for OL Collins? You seem to be doing both above.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          Good point. I would like the Patriots to pursue him aggressively. I just thought it fitting that Rex Ryan be the first to make a move on him, having apparently had no reservations or second thoughts. Just think it matches his personality to have no moral dilemma even waiting just a few days to see how the investigation takes shape. Generally though, I do not dislike Coach Ryan.

  5. Kim says:

    Good to see an early projection, although it’s a hard squad to fathom at the moment. How many of the rookies will stay around?
    I could honestly see players like Wendell, Branch, Hooman and Wilson get cut to add extra salary cap relief for the team (Total cap $7.522m less $1.681m dead money = $5.841m more room).
    I think Ebner is safe on his cap numbers.

    • Kevan says:

      Of those 4 I’d like to see wendall stick around the most. He is the only interior lineman with significant experience and can be the back up at LG,C,RG in case of injury.

    • MM-II says:

      I agree with Kevan about Wendell. Tavon Wilson’s fate probably hinges on how the ST numbers balance out. Hooman has already been discussed at length.

      BRANCH, like Siliga (and let’s not forget Antonio Johnson in all this), is the strong, heavyweight type (33 bench reps, 325# or more) who can 2-gap and penetrate a bit on occasion – the type that’s traditionally viewed as primarily an interior run-stopper. Mostly by tying up multiple blockers, such “big beef” guys reduce the number of gap options for the RB, thereby reducing the number of running lanes that the LBs need to find and fill. “Big beef” guys are especially valuable against power-man run-blocking schemes and in short yardage/goal line situations where even a ZBS-based team may incorporate some power-man concepts on the inside occasionally.

      Generally speaking, though, it’s the interior >penetrators< who are most effective at blowing up ZBS runs and Malcom Brown, who's pretty much a "big beef" guy at 319# (with 26 reps), showed some effectiveness at this in college. Whether or not that translates to the the NFL at some point in his career remains to be seen. Even so, I'm not sure it's the smartest move to cut the "big beef" contingent on the DL roster down to just two guys, Siliga and Brown. The Pats may want to keep a third on the roster as a relief man/injury backup.

      OTOH, as I alluded to above, it's usually the LBs actually making the "stuff" of the RB in short-yardage and goal line situations. If the LB corps has sufficient AND HEALTHY numbers and can be consistently effective in making their run fit assignments (and this is where Flowers may develop to play a critical role), that may lessen the need to keep a third big beef DL. Then, too, one of Branch or Johnson, if cut at the end, may remain available for a quick in-season re-signing from BB's "Rolodex Roster" (risky, but it quite often works out).

      In any case, this is an example of the things that coaches consider wrt balancing the roster and what they'll be watching, development-wise, during the course of the summer and through Camp.

  6. MM-II says:

    Kyed of NESN reporting that the Pats have signed UDFA Vince Taylor, DT out of Vanderbilt – 6006/304#, 5.40/40 – 1.72/10yd – 36 reps – 34.5″ vertical – 108″ broad jump – 4.58 shuttle – 7.46 3-cone (comparable numbers to Chris Jones and Joe Vellano at about the same size).

    ALSO, another TE, UDFA Shane Young out of Sam Houston State, is apparently in for a tryout – 6031/249#, 4.90/40 – 1.70 10yd – 25 reps – 31.5″ vertical – 116″ broad jump – 4.47 shuttle – 7.45 3-cone (about the same size and drill numbers as Develin, though Develin put up 39 bench reps).

  7. MM-II says:

    Apropos of not very much, the ‘Skins just cut Beauharnais. And about a dozen other scrubs, including Ricky Sapp.

    Anybody remember him? OLB out of Clemson in 2010, projected 2nd-rounder, a popular binky among Pats’ fans on a couple other forums, and a lot of them were steamed that BB passed on the guy at #62 to take Spikes.

    Sapp ended up going in the 5th round to the Iggles (Andy Reid), and since then he’s amassed 6 total tackles. Washington was his fourth team.

  8. J H TARBORO says:

    Every year during mini camp and at the start of our official camp, players will be cut and other players from other teams will become available, the Pats move better than any team when it comes down to waiver wire players, camp casualties etc. Bellichick is the ultimate garbage man!

  9. Jeff says:

    Who I would’ve picked in Bill’s shoes:

    1) DT-Malcom Brown (hard to argue with this pick!)
    2) DE-Danielle Hunter (I’m guessing Owa’s medicals were worse than we thought – liked him in the second as well)
    3) G-Tre Jackson
    3) RB-Jeremy Langford
    4) G-Josue Matias (looks like I was too high on him – ended up going undrafted)
    4) LB-Ben Heeney
    6) WR-Tre McBride (good spot to take a chance on a receiver in a receiver-rich draft
    7) C-Reese Dismukes
    7) LB-Mike Hull (may be a longshot with the LB competition, but would have had a shot at a roster spot, even with Heeney in the fold)

    I like Bill’s draft overall, though like most I HATE the 2nd rounder. Let’s see if any of these 4th round guys can turn into something!

    • Yohy says:

      I too would have preferred an OLB instead of reaching for the Richards kid. I have a funny feeling there may be more moves to be made before the start of the season. The draft emphasis was on the front 7 and I love Brown but is he a difference maker? The guys like Flowers and Grissom, do they help the dee get off the field on 3rd down?
      Everybody is killing the Colts for their pick, but I hope we don’t see him racing past a DB not named Revis in the AFC CG

  10. KNOWLEDGE says:

    Look at that depth chart at RB, its really bad. Filled with UDFA and guys with little or no experience. They don’t have a 3rd down back, James White is not Shane Vereen. The guys they have can run between the tackles and get tough yards. But noone that can make people miss or break a long run. I really hope they can find a veteran via trade or free agency. I thought Reggie Bush or CJ Spiller were going to be signed. I hope they add another back and another WR that has experience because I don’t trust Tyms, Dobson or Boyle to fill in if there is an injury and we lose one of the top 3 starters

    • MM-II says:

      Yeah, IDK. I think a lot of folks may be selling the current RB roster a little short.

      The ground game has been at least adequate while relying heavily on UDFAs (and/or ancient retreads) for years now. In 2013, it was 9th in rushing yards and 2nd in rushing TDs with Blount and Bolden getting, literally, 50% of the carries. Heck, in 2010, it was 9th and 2nd with BGE and Woodhead getting 90% of the load. In Ridley’s one great year, the ground game got all the way up to 7th. That was certainly nice, but the Pats won the SB last season with the 18th-ranked rushing attack, so . . .?

      We don’t really know yet if White is or isn’t as good as Vereen. White certainly had his issues running the ball as a rookie, but he came out of a power-man run-blocking scheme (where the running lanes are known before the snap) into a ZBS (where the running lanes may develop anywhere, depending on what the defense does), so it shouldn’t have been any surprise that he struggled.

      And that brings up the key thing about a possible change in the run-blocking scheme to more power-man (for which they now have enough big beef on the interior OL) – it would probably help White and all the other guys, too (and we’ve already seen what incorporating some power-man concepts can do for Gray).

      Furthermore, Vereen really wasn’t a huge upgrade over Woodhead in the passing game. I’m not knocking Vereen here, but I’m not going to idolize him either. The point being that if White can average 2-4 targets per game and catch 65%-70% of those for a 9.5 ypc and 2-3 receiving TDs per season, he’ll match both of them. Not that high a bar, really.

      So, basically, it’s not clear at all that the Pats really need a guy who can break long runs (although Blount broke as many as, if not more than, Ridley), or a guy who’s all that “elite” in the passing attack, to get sufficient production out of the RBs. They may well have enough to get the job done with just the current guys. I mean, I would have loved to see what one or another of this year’s RB prospects could have done (couple of the UDFA’s, too), but, ATC, that might have been a luxury pick. We’ll see.

    • steve earle says:

      No James White isn’t Vereen then again take a look at both’s collage numbers. Vereen is a little faster about 12 lbs heavier but White is more elusive and as far as pure stats go has about twice the production that Vereen had coming out. My question is how do you measure the two and decide White won’t be every bit as effective? Just asking?

  11. J H TARBORO says:

    LBs ( Cameron Gordon, Eric Martin, Darius Fleming, Chris White, James Morris, Jonathan Freeny, Deonte Skinner, Matthew Wells, Xzavier Dickson, Jabaal Sheard ( considered an OLB )
    Some of these LBs were on the 53 man roster and some were practice squad, the Pats seen enough to want to bring them back and they know the playbook.
    DEs ( Jones/Ninkovich) Jake Bequette, Rufus Johnson, Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom, and 2 question marks ( Michael Buchanan and Zach Moore) Both have the right size and physical element to play the position. Too many variables to project.

  12. Greg says:

    MM-II, ACM and others

    Call me crazy, but what do you think about the possibility to use LaFell as a H-Back?

    As a receiver, he is just okay, but I think he has the tools to become an awesome H-back.

    • MM-II says:

      LaFell was used that way a fair amount in Carolina.

    • steve earle says:

      Could, sure but why? Did Panthers use him there because he was so very effective or because they had few options? Seems to me BB has several better H-back options while keeping LaFell on the outside where he proved very effective.

  13. J H TARBORO says:

    It’s really not possible at this point to project a 53 man roster, we don’t have any ideas on what players did in the offseason to get better, or what rookie will take the bulls by the horns? injuries etc. This is a post Superbowl year with an eye toward SB 50, i’m hoping they’re some new faces on the roster on both sides of the ball. The Pats have a target on their back, we have to go into training camp and the season with a conqueror’s mentality and go on the road to away games and become barbarians,

    • Kevan says:

      I humbly disagree it’s obviously possible and happens every year post draft. I’ve seen 4 already on different websites, it’s called a projection for a reason. Will they be as accurate as let’s say in July? No, but you can still get a feel for how the team is shaping up.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        I must disagree Kev! This question creates an early season talking point, but it’s not realistic, these kid haven’t put any pads on and if you take a look at the complete roster all 90 players in total, there’s a lot of hungry guys ready to be a part of something great!! Ask me this question in August. I just don’t want to be disappointed, ie: last season WR Jeremy Gallon-Mich.

        • Kevan says:

          I understand. Personally I did one for the bottom 37 not the top 53. I’m gonna be completely wrong now and in August so scroo it lol. I guess the draft kinda gives me a jolt back into football land. Really pumped for the front 7, there gonna go straight barbarian on everyone like you said!

        • Jeff says:

          What I appreciate about this exercise isn’t its ability to be correct but its ability to point out the positional battles we’ll be seeing, which positions have more of a door open than others for someone unexpected to step through the door, and which positions are thin in the event of injuries. For example, we can see that barring injuries, the 4/5/6 (however many they keep) safety position will be an intense competition, hard for a rookie UDFA to break into. However, a position like linebacker, there are some severe questions of depth, and a good competition for a special-teams oriented linebacker role. It can also help you re-evaluate any free agent options. Would we be happy with the current picture at guard, or is there a little extra incentive to throw a few extra dollars to Connolly, for example. If you understand that a few guys might get knocked off by young guys, I think it gives you a good snapshot of what to expect from the team. Finally, there are a many players that you can be very confident will be on the team (or IR). For example, I would think Tom Brady, Jimmy Garappollo, Malcom Brown, to name a few, would have to be involved in domestic violence in order to not make the team.

  14. Kevan says:

    La’el Collins will 100% cleared with in a week and sign with Pats thereafter!

    • acm says:

      Sure, and I am taking Giselle out for dinner on Friday, after she leaves Brady on Thursday.

      • Kevan says:

        Haha good stuff! Let me dream man

        • MM-II says:

          Actually, Collins is kind of in a better position now than he would have been had he been drafted by some crap team (cough, Raiders, cough) in the 2nd or 3rd. NOW, if and when he’s completely cleared, he can choose whichever offer he wants from the various likely SB contenders, the Patriots among them, no doubt.

        • Kevan says:

          Yea that’s true but he just lost out on millions.

        • Greg says:

          In fact, I was wondering why 89 players? Maybe we have a surprise once Collins is cleared or Connolly come back (Collins would be the steal of the season)

        • MM-II says:

          REPLY to Greg –

          The Pats entered the draft with 75 players under contract, drafted 11, and signed five UDFA, which adds up to 91.

          HOWEVER . . .

          AFAIK, none of the draftees has signed a contract yet, so they don’t officially count against the roster, meaning that, technically, the Pats have only 80 of 90 spots filled.

        • acm says:

          Wouldn’t worry about roster spots – if they Collins gets cleared and becomes an option for the Pats, they can open up a spot in an instant.
          Something interesting when it comes to Collins potentially becoming a Patriot – teams are allocated a limited amount of money to sign their UDFA, which Collins is now. By virtue of Pats signing very few of UDFAs (due to lack of roster spots), in fact maybe the fewest UDFAs among all teams, that would allow them to make a very competitive offer for Collins should he get cleared and they chose to pursue that avenue.

        • steve earle says:

          Your right about Collins loss of millions so when/if he is cleared I’d expect he will be looking to recoup some part of that money. I’m unclear as to how any NFL rules about pay for UDFA may or may not play into that but as I look at it both Miami and the Jets have already dipped deep into their cap reserves which could play to our advantage. That’s providing Bill even wants to get involved in some kind of race to see who can sign a guy who could still be indicted later on if “new evidence” pops up. It’s all ifs and maybes.

  15. qwerty says:

    CB Darryl Robert’s measurable s are Revis like. Really amazing. He will be something to watch. Whether he will translate that on the field is something else. He is this years Athletic Mythical Creature for the Patriots.

    • Kevan says:

      For sure, that 10 yard split to go along with the rest of the #s is flat out absurd. Kids got experience too, and he looks like more than just an athlete on film. I think he might need a year to put on 10-15 lbs and develop, we’ll see though.

      • MM-II says:

        True! His 1.48/10-yard along with a 39″ vertical and 132″ broad jump, AND a 3-cone time almost as good as Edelman’s? I wanna see this guy on a corner-blitz out of slot coverage.

        • Kevan says:

          Yea I hope this kid works out I’m about half hour away from Marshall, somehow didn’t know his explosiveness.

  16. Russell says:

    I agree with MM-II, it’s early to see how prospect’s work out and set a Roster. Signing QB/WR Devin Gardner ,was a great move. It still looks that Xavier Williams DT from northern Iowa is unsigned, And wish the Patriots would give him a chance.

    • acm says:

      DT Williams is with the Cardinals now.

    • MM-II says:

      Russell –

      The Pats may have WANTED to sign him, but a lot of UDFAs prefer to sign with a team where they’ll have a better chance of making the 53-man roster, assuming they get multiple offers. That could easily be the case with a lot of the UDFAs that we would’ve liked to see the Pats sign.

      This is also the reason that BB likes to trade for extra 6th and 7th round picks, so that he can use them as “SOLD” tags on guys who, had they gone undrafted, might have taken an offer to sign elsewhere.

  17. Billy O says:

    Great stuff! Well done.

    Personally, I think:
    James Morris is out (injury prone)
    Zach Moore is in
    AJ Derby is out (practice squad)
    Nate Ebner is in
    Brian Tyms is out
    Josh Boyce is in (slot receiver insurance)

    • MM-II says:

      IDK about the Tyms vs Boyce thing.

      Tyms, Boyce and Dobson all have their flaws which is mostly why I was surprised that the Pats didn’t draft a WR to challenge them. Maybe one of Gibson, Dorsey, Krause, Gardner or Harper will surprise).

      Tyms is a pretty good blocker, contributes on special teams and seems to be a real “try hard” guy. But he really needs to expand his route portfolio (which he was doing a bit toward the end of last season) and learn how to separate more consistently.

      Dobson seems to have very good route-versatility and gets open fairly well, but he’s never been much of a blocker at all and doesn’t contribute on special teams.

      Boyce I’ve seen run good routes in practice from all the spots on the line. He’s a pretty hefty 206 for a 5’11” guy (and 22 bench reps), has 4.38 long speed, decent burst, very good agility (6.68 3-cone) and seems to have the vision to be a very good returner. But I’ve never seen him put forth consistent effort at anything, including blocking. In practice last year, he just looked lazy and like he didn’t care. I’m honestly surprised he’s stuck around this long. As far as “slot insurance” goes, I might bet on Krause over Boyce.

      So, for me, these three are kind of a “pick your poison” proposition.

      • steve earle says:

        MM II I like the way you spelled out the differences among our back up WR’s and agree with your assessments. For me the most problematic one is Boyce. Given all that talent h just hasn’t managed to put it into full use. Anyone’s guess as to why is as good as mine but it is what it is so It’s between Tyne and Dobson if you ask me.

  18. MM-II says:

    Wow! Way early for this!

    Considering potential scheme adjustments from last year (including, but not limited to run-blocking), possible role fits within those schemes and trying to balance out special teams, the whole roster seems like it will be extremely fluid right through Camp. I’d say that about half the guys listed above are on the bubble and may remain there at least through first cuts in August.

    One small example of the complications I see:

    Scott Chandler seemed to block “okay” in the Bills’ ZBS. He’s certainly no Gronk as a blocker and I wouldn’t even rate him above Hooman. If the Pats begin to emphasize more power-man run-blocking (which they COULD do now that Tre Jackson is on board), does that help or hurt either Chandler or Hooman? Or Develin, for that matter. I think Hooman and Develin have always been in more competition with each other for the “ancillary blocker” role than either has been in competition with their own nominal position group. Either way, probably one of Wright or Derby will probably need to become a much, much better blocker than they’ve shown so far to end up with both of them on the roster. Until I see some results from Camp, I’d say that Derby’s chances of going to the PSQ are much higher than sticking on the 53-man.

    The question about how much power-man run-blocking the Pats may (or may not) incorporate for 2015 also leaves the RB situation completely wide open until it’s answered. I’d say that Gray didn’t seem nearly as successful on ZBS plays as he was behind power-man last season and that James White didn’t figure out the ZBS at all. Blount was at least adequate with the ZBS, as was Bolden. Stanford ran a mixed scheme, AFAIK, and Gaffney was pretty successful there. But I have no idea about Lewis or Cadet. Cadet caught 38 passes for 296 yards last season (his 3rd in NOL) without contributing very much at all to the ground game, but I have no idea how well he pass-protects or whether or not he could contribute enough on special teams (both blocking and coverage) to displace Bolden.

    Anyway, just way too early to predict how all this stuff will shake out over the next four months.

    • Kevan says:

      I agree to a certain extent it’s a little too early, and very fluid right now. BB alluded to this in his interview, very far from the final roster. I just think this is done to get a good feel for where the roster could flow so to say. I’m not nearly as concerned with the blocking of chandler,wright,derby if Hooman leaves. If the pats choose to use the power run scheme at some point they can bring in the third Tackle, as is often the case. It is far more effective than any Tight End anyway. I did my projection not really to get the top 53, but to look at the bottom 37 and see what the team could do moving forward.

      • MM-II says:

        Oh, yeah, I do get the point of projecting a final roster this early, even if only to establish some sort of baseline to work from. I’m mostly saying that I couldn’t do it. Seriously, by the time I worked through all the permutations, the actual 90-man roster would’ve changed about six times.

        I’m kinda “slow”, in case you hadn’t noticed. 😉

        On the blocking, I think that’s a much bigger deal to BB than it is to most fans. I honestly think that’s the main reason that Wright didn’t get as many snaps as we all thought he would/should. And I think it’s about 1/3 the reason that Dobson was inactive (the other 2/3 being lack of ST contributions and the injuries he had to start and end the season).

        But, again, WRT Hooman, it maybe depends on how they might eff with the run-blocking scheme (if they do at all). I >suspect< that, if they move to more of a power-man scheme, that might favor keeping Develin as the utility blocker. OTOH, if they stick to primarily a ZBS (good luck with that, Tre Jackson) and need the roster spot, Develin might get sacrificed (although Gray and even James White could go away if they can't develop the vision to find the seams regularly).

        • Kevan says:

          I defenitely think it’s important, I just think the job could get done effectively without Hooman if need be. I would say T.Wright just needed more developing all around, I don’t think he offers much less than A.Hernandez as a blocker. It is my opinion that Dobson got hurt, he was drafted with the knowledge of not being a special teams guy. Unless of course your talking about his rookie year, I would just put him in the same category as wright, they both are young prospects that needed more time all together in a notoriously complex offensive system. Your probably smarter than me man, I think you could do one fairly quick if you wanted to. All these mock drafts 3 or 4 months before the draft isn’t too early but a roster projection thereafter is?

        • MM-II says:


          I never got a mock together, either!

          Anyway, the thing about Aperp is that he COULD have been a decent blocker. He had the upper body strength for it (30 reps at 6023/250#), but he actually seemed kinda shy about it, which is ironic, to say the least. Wright (219#, 19 reps) could be, too, but Schiano noted that they never asked him to do much blocking at Rutgers or in Tampa, so, last season, he was kinda where Derby is now with it.

          Anyway, I’m not saying that neither of these guys CAN’T become good enough blockers to displace Hooman, just that nobody’s actually seen it yet. Until they/we do see it, I’m saying that Hooman has better odds of sticking around and the odds are higher for Derby to go to the PSQ. Once that situation actually changes, I’ll change those odds.

        • Kevan says:

          Fair enough, I’ll just reiterate that I’m not asking wright or derby to take Hoomans role on as a blocker. I’m saying that Hooman while experienced has major limits and his role as a blocker can be easily replaced. I wouldn’t say he an elite blocker by any means. Something about Derby screams good player to me, and is worth some time to coach up and see where it goes. I can’t guarantee he makes it to the practice squad. I apologize for assuming you were doing the mock drafts btw

        • MM-II says:

          Kevan –

          No apologies necessary, dude. I was just providing another example of my “slowness”. :)

          And, yeah, I wasn’t clear. I didn’t intend to imply that either Wright or Derby would need to be able to take over Hooman’s blocking role, maybe just begin to approach LaFell’s level of blocking effectiveness (which is still better than Aperp’s ever was).

          I also agree that Hooman isn’t an elite blocker. I’ve seen him get overpowered or beat by speed when he’s on an island, but he gets the job done as a support/combo blocker 99% of the time. I mean, he rarely whiffs and, most importantly, rarely blows an assignment. He knows all the blocking calls very well, partly as a product of having first been exposed to them in STL when McD was their OC. That’s probably the main reason why he’s with the Pats in the first place.

          Hooman may not be as big, strong and one-one-one effective as some other specialist blocking TEs (Maneri, e.g.), and he certainly isn’t much as a receiver (though still better than most blocking specialists in the league), but he consistently gets to where he’s supposed to be and on time, and he at least obstructs the defender long enough for the play to be executed properly. But that’s been more than sufficient in the Pats scheme, so Hooman’s non-elite ability has never really been enough reason to spend much effort on looking for an upgrade. And then there’s the fact that Hooman has been a regular, and consistently very solid, contributor on ST (as has Develin).

          I would expect Wright/Derby to be used in a different role, anyway – more out in space like LaFell (though LaFell was a very successful blocker in Carolina on the occasions when he lined up as an H-back). The thing is, with only five “eligibles” on the field, on any given play at least the four of them who aren’t an early read for Brady are going to need to be able to run-block or pass-protect pretty well. To account for the possibility that Gronk and/or Chandler gets injured, one (or both) of Wright and Derby are going to need to be able to step up as at least adequate blockers or a whole section of the offensive playbook goes out the window and we’d see a lot more of Develin (which inherently limits the realistic playcall permutations). And then, of course, what can these guys contribute on ST?

          I’m not saying that all these responsibilities/roles/assignments can’t be effectively redistributed, just that it’s not as simple as replacing Hooman on the roster with Derby, regardless whether Chandler turns out to be an effective blocker in the Pats scheme or not. There are a lot of moving parts in the background that need to be sorted out that involve other players at other positions in addition to the possible development of Wright and Derby as blockers. And we probably won’t have much clue about what’s falling into place until final cuts.

        • Kevan says:

          My brain wants to agree with you but my gut is riding with Derby. He will probably be a practice squad unless he can be a quick learner and show tremendous improvement in the offense passing and blocking. At 6’4 255 I think he could develop in both and he just looks like a football player, real smooth. His blocking probably does need atleast a years work which means BB wont risk it, Hooman stays. I think this kid will show up in camp though and would hate to see a team snatch him up. APerps! I literally just got that haha I think I’m the slow one here, a lot of good points man.

  19. Jack says:

    This is a well-meaning message for Mike Lloyko — not sure he’ll read it but figure I would post it here and maybe he will. Let me preface it, by saying I respect what you do and think you know what you are talking about.

    However in looking at your twitter feed, I have to ask you, “How does it feel to know everything?” because that’s how you come off. You seem to think your opinions came down from high above and other folks are lucky to even have the chance to ask you a question.

    Basically, take a look in the mirror and get over yourself. Like I said, you know your stuff but holy shit dude, you are unbearable on Twitter.

    That is all.

  20. Ryan says:

    RB: I think that either Bolden or Gaffney is cut. 5 RBs is a lot and I think that our offseason programs will show who deserves a spot.

    WR: One place for that extra spot would be at WR. I don’t think Gardner makes the cut but I think that Gibson does unless Boyce really breaks out in camp. I think 7 WRs is about right since Slater is not going to add anything at his official position.

    OL: I would say Devey over Kline but that is just personal preference.

    DT: The other logical place for the extra spot would be here. I think Chris Jones makes the team but I think Vellano does not, as it comes down to Siliga vs. Vellano for one spot.

    DE: Zach Moore should challenge for a spot this year and just might get it, as carrying only 8 defensive linemen on a 4-man line is a tad risky. Still, he’s a sleeper and nothing more.

    CB: Nothing I would change here, save Darryl Roberts’ name.

    Overall, I think at least one RB is chopped from that list in favor of a WR or a DT.

    • trev says:

      You are way, way off with Bolden/Gaffney cuts.

      Bolden is a tremendous ST player and BB loves that. He can also fill in as the RB now and then.

      Gaffney upside is really nice too. Look him up on RotoViz.com.

      Dion Lewis and Cadet or Jonas more likely to see the axe.

      • Kevan says:

        I agree Trev. I think Blount,Bolden,White,Gaffney are the top 4. I could see BB letting J.Gray rip it up in the preseason to bait a trade. I think he’s pretty good, I just like Gaffney more right now. Less than a 5% chance BB keeps 7 WRs, but I’ve been shocked before. I’ll take Kline over Davey but I hope neither see the field. Pats can bring Connolly back on a cheap one year deal for the experience and leadership.

      • MM-II says:

        WRT Bolden, I think it’s kinda rare around the league to have a guy who’s primarily a special-teamer (and a very good one) who’s also a capable runner and receiver out of the backfield. He seems likely to continue to be difficult to bump off the roster. Even then, it wouldn’t necessarily be by another RB.

    • MM-II says:

      I’m actually a little doubtful that Gibson works out. When McD ran his (Patriots-style) option-route schemes as the OC with the Rams, the productivity of most of the pass-catchers improved a bit (including Amendola’s, IIRC). Gibson is the only guy whose productivity declined. IDK, maybe they saw something in his Dolphins tape that led them to believe that the lightbulb went on for him a bit since then so they’re giving him another shot.

      BTW, by “productivity”, I mean targets and receptions per game.

      OTOH, maybe back in STL his blocking wasn’t up to snuff (I have no idea) and he’s improved that since then.

      Either way, I have some fairly specific question marks on him for now.

  21. Kevan says:

    This is really good work James, it’s funny because I was just doing this myself. I got down to 57 and gave up, then I see you have a projection already. This looks good, very similar to what I was working toward. Down to 56 already with the Blounte one game suspension. I might have to choose between Dobson, Tyms so I could add another DLineman. Not only can L.ryan play some safety but rookie M. Wells could as well, or atleast play the special team snaps that ebner/T.wilson played. Once again good stuff.

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