Patriots Comprehensive Training Camp Preview

53-Man Roster Projection (Version 1.0)

QB (2): Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

RB (4): LeGarrette Blount, James White, Travaris Cadet, Brandon Bolden. Tyler Gaffney**

FB (1): James Develin

TE (3): Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Michael Hoomanawanui

WR (5): Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Brandon Gibson

OT (4): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Cameron Fleming

OG/OC (5): Bryan Stork, Tre’ Jackson, Shaq Mason, Ryan Wendell, Josh Kline

DE (5): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom

DT (5): Malcom Brown, Dominique Easley, Alan Branch, Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones

LB (5): Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jerod Mayo, Dane Fletcher, James Morris

CB (5): Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Tarell Brown, Bradley Fletcher, Daryl Roberts

SAF (5): Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Jordan Richards, Duron Harmon, Nate Ebner

Specialists (4): Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona, Matthew Slater

Practice Squad Candidates: AJ Derby (TE), David Andrews (C), Matt Wells (LB), Xzavier Dickson (LB), Chris Harper (WR), Zach Moore (DE)


Each season I try to identify the next “Richard Seymour or Logan Mankins”, meaning the core player that is surprising traded or cast away by Coach Belichick. If there is a player that fits the mold this season it’s definitely RT Sebastian Vollmer. Vollmer is on the cap for just over 7 million this season and 6 million next season. He’s now 30 years old and should have good value throughout the league. Unlike other areas on the roster, the Patriots actually have a few players that could hypothetically fill his roster spot in Marcus Cannon and Cameron Fleming. If the Patriots were able to get a 2nd Round pick for Vollmer, I’d bet they move him.

One of the most interesting things to watch during camp will be how Marcus Cannon gets used. The team just locked him up to a fairly large contract for a backup offensive tackle, so they must have some plan for him. Is the plan for him to play Offensive Guard? Right Tackle? His contract was definitely one of the most curious moves of the off-season because his future usage is such a mystery. Keep a close eye on this one.

This looks like the end of the road for a couple 2012 draft busts in Tavon Wilson and Jake Bequette. Wilson for me still goes down in history as the biggest draft reach/off the board pick in Patriots history. It looked bad at the time and Wilson has done nothing to prove the selection correct.

It will be fascinating to watch Jerod Mayo get back on the field. He’s barely been talked about the last 10 months and a lot of that is because the Patriots were able to fill his void and go on to win the Super Bowl. His recovery is a complete mystery and I’m really not sure what to expect from him. The defense could definitely use his leadership and presence in the huddle. I’ll be watching to see if he’s played on PUP to start training camp or if he gets full clearance. Beyond that I’ll be curious to see how he’s moving around on the field after such a big knee injury.

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20 Responses to “Patriots Comprehensive Training Camp Preview”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    I’m hoping for the best for UDFA TE Jimmay Mundine, he could be a difference maker, a move TE with good speed and wiggle.

  2. J H TARBORO says:

    I believe the LBs/DEs battles in camp will be epic also, these guys will be a major part of our new look team.

  3. Ryan says:

    The cornerback battle in camp should be tons of fun to watch. For youth, we’ve got Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler fighting for starting spots, followed by Darryl Roberts, Justin Green and Dax Swanson all trying to make the team. Then for experience, we have Bradley Fletcher trying to bounce back from an off year, Robert McClain trying to become a legitimate slot corner, and Tarell Brown and Derek Cox trying to turn back the clock to 2012, when they weren’t injured and were playing quite well. To me, any combination of these players could end up making the team so long as either Ryan or McClain is included, meaning that we have tons of possible 5-6 man roster situations. I can’t wait to see who impresses us.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Is it just pessimism that makes that picture of the secondary seem absolutely abysmal?

      • GM-in-Training says:

        Pessimism is part of it. Experience (remembering the secondary from a few years ago) is also part of it. The Pats used to have a problem getting off the field on 3rd downs. They hadn’t drafted well at CB, and kind of cheaped out on free agents back then. They didn’t have a shutdown corner until Talib showed up by trade, and we really noticed when Talib wasn’t on the field.

        To me, this feels a little different. I think Logan Ryan and Malcom Butler are pretty solid. The Pats parted ways with Arrington because even though he was quick, he got crushed by a tall slot receiver in the super bowl. Arrington was also fairly expensive for what he was. The Pats got rid of Alfonzo Dennard, I guess because injuries and off-field issues made him seem unreliable. Maybe there were hidden problems with those otherwise capable players. OR…maybe the Pats were confident they could put together a better squad without them. I don’t know what the Pats are paying Tarrel Brown, but I’m pretty sure a couple of the more expensive veterans won’t make it to the end of camp. I think the Pats’ strategy is get a handful of veteran CB who were good in 2013 but had a down 2014 so they’re affordable, and keep the ones that can return to form. I also think the Pats will add another veteran CB via waiver or trade by late September.

        The unit we get after all of that should be deep and capable, although it’s not likely to have a shutdown corner or a really strong press corner. Combined with a strong pass rush rotation, it might still lead to 12 wins, but I’m less clear on if it can win the biggest games.

      • Ryan says:

        Absolutely abysmal? Definitely pessimistic.

        Still, it’s not good at all. There’s no potential number 1 unless someone really steps up, but it’s safe to say that number 2s and 3s should be available. With McCourty anchoring the back, it shouldn’t be terrible, but it’ll require the front seven to make strides. Not much good yet, but there are options.

  4. Daniel R. Martin says:

    So, Easely is listed on PUP list currently. Hopefully it is just a precautionary measure. Otherwise, we’ll be missing two first round picks in three years. The impact of that might not be felt for a couple of seasons.

    If Brady’s suspension is upheld he can take the matter to court and play through the proceedings as the matter is adjudicated. That would be great. I don’t know why Goodell is taking so long to issue a ruling. I can’t help but to feel as though that doesn’t bode particularly well.

    • Oppitz says:

      I dont know how much precautionary it could be since he didn’t even need surgery. So the guy is 8 months “resting” his knees and still not feeling right? Not looking good.

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        I agree. And now Brady’s suspension has been upheld.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        Not sure what to make of Easley. Cautious makes sense. “Football Shape” is a thing. He didn’t make it through last year, so caution makes sense.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          Well, as much as I personally think many of us were right to bemoan the Easely selection, we were also obviously wrong about the import of drafting Garappolo. He may well be what salvages a lost season in the twilight of Brady’s career. If Brady can’t put off suspension via lawsuit, could Garoppool go at least 2-2?

  5. I really think those guys are gonna do it for us! Really looking forward to the new season.

  6. Oppitz says:

    I think at least one of those three (Alan Branch, Sealver Siliga and Chris Jones) will not make the roster, right know I’m betting on Alan Branch being the odd man out, but Jones is close.

  7. What’s up mates, fastidious piece of writing and pleasant arguments commented
    at this place, I am actually enjoying by these.

  8. howie horvath says:

    I have a special feeling about what’s happening on the defensive side of the ball. If health isn’t an issue, I think we’ll be at the very top of the rankings by year’s end – even with a weaker secondary (though I believe Malcom Butler will continue to surprise and the new CB Roberts, from Marshall, will contribute right away).

    Think about all the incredibly talented pieces we have in the front 7 if they stay healthy and develop as expected. This and last year’s 1st rounders offer the Pats something that we’ve not had since the days of Richard Seymour…and inside rush. When coupled with a young space-eating Siliga and the veteran Branch the team also looks ready to stop the run, always task #1 in the NFL.

    The bevy of talented young DE/OLB drafted by the Pats coupled with a 2nd year Z. Moore means we have some depth to keep that entire group fresh this season. The now veteran and proven more traditional LB’s could be the best in the league. With this new defensive depth we’re likely to see more frequent blitzes which I think will be near impossible to stop. Dont’a Hightower has only just begun to show his immense ability and true value and Collins has, in my mind, the potential to be the very best NFLer at his position(s) (even though M. Lynch was able to shake him for a critical out and up in the 4th quarter of the SB, Collins was able to recover to catch him). And taking a best case, glass half full view of Mayo, we know what he can do when healthy and he’s certainly well rested;) And just think of the value and improved impact of a better rested Chandler Jones and Ninkovich in 2015. I’m especially excited to think we have a few more LBs that can cover starting with Collins, Mayo, and possibly rookies Wells and Grissom. That’s a necessity in this era’s version of high powered NFL passing offenses.

    And as we all know the Pats have two of the finest, if not finest, defensive minds in Patricia and Belichick now working with more “chess pieces” then they’ve had in a long while. We saw what they did with the addition of Revis and Browner last year.

    Finally, the Pats have this guy named Brady, who’s teamed with Gronk, Edelman, and Coach Daniels on the other side of the ball. He’s got to be “loaded for bear” based on all that’s happened of late. And there is nothing like a determined #12 to insure the other team is playing from behind a good portion of the time which of course, will play very nicely into the new strengths of this re-born Patriots D.

    I for one, can’t wait!!

  9. Nick says:

    Awesome write-up. Thanks. James White ceiling, 90% of Vereen?

  10. Russell says:

    Very well done report, sounds solid. RB-Gaffney and DE Flowers are my big surprise players this year.
    2016 the Patriots will most likely have 3 QB’s on the roster, (drafting a guy 4th-5th round) which will mean one less roster spot next year.
    As far as trades go, Vollmer sounds interesting, but my thought is Chandler Jones, for a 3d and 4th K.C. , Minn., or San Deigo.

    • John says:

      I think Jones does have a chance to be traded, eventually, but not right now. The way the defense is constructed, it would be too large of a loss. They brought in Shead to lessen the snap-load, not just maintain it between two ends/rushers. Besides, the depth beyond Jones, Nink, Jones, is too much unknown. There would be way too much uncertainty between secondary and line.

      That being said, they do have a shot at being special. They are also an injury away from not getting going.

      Love Vollmer, but I could see Cannon/Fleming eventually being suitable to start at RT. Would like to see Solder become more confident/leader/anchor before that happens, though.

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