Patriots Roster Prediction 5.0 (Final)

Aaron Hernandez Ninja Patriots

Luckily, the Patriots have one roster spot reserved for a "Ninja".

Update: With two changes to our prediction three days ago, we’re making this our final roster prediction.

Our fifth roster prediction wasn’t nearly as grueling as the first four, but the last few spots are still certainly up for grabs.

Let us know how you would change things if you were GM.

Changes from the last prediction appear in Italics.

Quarterbacks – Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett (3)

Running Backs – Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, (4)

Wide Receivers – Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Matthew Slater(6)

Tight Ends – Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Will Yeatman (3)

Offensive Line – Sebastian Vollmer, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Dan Koppen, Matt Light, Nate Solder, Steve Maneri, Ryan Wendell(8)

Defensive Line – Albert Haynesworth, Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis, Kyle Love, Myron Pryor, Mike Wright (6)

Defensive Line / Linebackers – Jermaine Cunningham, Eric Moore, Andre Carter, Rob Ninkovich, Mark Anderson (5)

Linebackers – Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, Gary Guyton, Tracy White (5)

Cornerbacks – Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Kyle Arrington, Darius Butler (4)

Cornerback / Safety – Ras-I Dowling (1)

Safeties – Pat Chung, Brandon Meriweather, Sergio Brown, James Ihedigbo, Josh Barrett (5)

Specialists – Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, James Dearth (3)

PUP/NFI: Kevin Faulk, Ron Brace, Brandon Deaderick, Marcus Cannon

Practice Squad Possibilities: Jeff Tarpinian, Lee Smith, Malcolm Williams, Markell Carter, Buddy Farnham, Kade Weston, Jeremy Ross, Ross Ventrone

IR Possibilities: Jeff Tarpinian, Lee Smith

Last five in: Matthew Slater, Tracy White, Will Yeatman, James Ihedigbo, Josh Barrett

Last five out: Brandon Tate, Jeff Tarpinian, Lee Smith, Gerard Warren, Rich Ohrnberger


With Brandon Tate looking like he has made little to no progression since last year, keeping special teams standout was much easier this time than last. That said, it still is hard to cut ties with Tate’s potential.

Another difficult decision came when looking at the tight end position. Smith was drafted in the 5th round while Yeatman was an undrafted free agent, but the way they have looked on the field that could easily be reversed.

Smith would be an ideal guy to stash on the practice squad – perhaps even bulking up to play offensive line like Steve Maneri.

The right guard position is easily the weak spot on offense. Rich Ohrnberger has been up and down, Ryan Wendell has a low ceiling and injury problems, and Marcus Cannon is still recovering. Matt Light and Nate Solder might start getting some reps here.

On the defensive side of the ball, safety is the wildcard position. With the release of James Sanders and $12.5m in the bank, the Patriots might be trying to upgrade the slot we have saved for James Ihedigbo.

We’d much rather see Ihedigbo used as a safety in blitz situations and on special teams than seeing him covering half of the field. Same with Barrett.

If/when Darren Sharper is healthy, he certainly would be a good addition to the team.

Injuries and performance have really dictated what the front seven will look like. The battle between Tracy White and Jeff Tarpinian fizzled due to the rookie’s injuries, while Mike Wright just hasn’t been able to find the field.

Mark Anderson and Myron Pryor have stated their case pretty convincingly in the pre-season, making it easier to cut or trade guys like Landon Cohen and Darryl Richard.

The decision to keep Wright over Warren is a tough one – hopefully Wright can stay healthy.

Matt Katula being cut was a bit surprising considering his solid play in 2010, but James Dearth-or some other free agent-will do a fine job.

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23 Responses to “Patriots Roster Prediction 5.0 (Final)”

  1. TD says:

    Safeties seem to be hard to come by these days now that their job description has to include coverage abilities of not only TE’s but WR’s with the many multiple sets teams run. The TE’s now are 6-4 to 6-6 and have 4.6-4.7 speed also.

  2. Dan says:

    I’ve been reading other projections and the one name left off a few, not this one, is Eric Moore. I see him as a nice player, and I realize they have others possibly ahead of him…lots of competition, but I hope he makes it, the guy makes plays.
    I want Butler gone…I want a trade for the best safety fit out there, and another guard.
    I think this is the best projection so far…good job.
    Like Belichick said, we won’t know until about week 3 what this team is all about…how it all comes together. The offense should be fine, but I’m really concerned about the wideouts, but they’ll score points. The key will be the defensive backfield…is Bodden healthy, and can Dowling play, because they need him to be a player early in the season, all the other guys (McCourty being a star) are just JAGS.

  3. Lundahl says:

    Quite frankly, I’d be way more happy if they’d get rid of Butler and sign a safety.

    What about Ron Brace ? Is he cut, going to be cut, or is staying with the team ?

  4. PatsFanInCO says:

    With all due respect, I’m glad you’re not our GM.

    Drafted better? Our team is a powerhouse, and in no small part to the following stud players we drafted:

    Mayo, McCourty, Wilfork, Gronkandez, Vollmer, Mankins, Gostkowski, Mesko

    Have there been misses? Of course — it’s an inexact science. But that is a solid core for the future, and Mallett, Spikes, Price and others could easily develop into solid contributors if not home runs.

    Have some patience, man!

    • Ryan says:

      I love the way you think.

      I’m going to try and finish your thought. Our team also is comprised of some very very promising UDFA’s. Fletcher coming to mind first and foremost.

  5. Bill says:

    I don’t want Ryan Mallett, Taylor Price, Matt Slater, Will Yeatman(or the 5th round TE), Rich Ohrnberger, Kyle Love, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Kyle Arrington, Darrius Butler, Brandon Merriweather, James Ihedigbo, Kevin Faulk, Ron Brace Brandon Deaderick, or Marcus Cannon on this team — in any capacity.

    If the Pat’s had drafted better in the past five years, this team would not be in a situation of choosing more than a dozen players who would not be on the roster of any other NFL playoff contender as part of their opening day roster.

    • Dan says:

      If there’s one thing you have to understand about the draft process is it’s basically 50/50% for almost all teams…everyone has their hits and they all have a bunch of misses. It just gets magnified when you look at your own home team (only).
      The NFL is a huge step up…some guys make it, some don’t, and many undrafterd guys do make it and have nice careers. Just go back and look at the past 10 years of 1st round drafting…for the league. You’ll be shocked, asking yourself, “whol are these guys, and where are they now?”. The answer is, “not playing football”.
      The Pats has huge hits on Gronk & Hernandez, for example, and they have misses with Bulter, Weatley, Wilhite etc…It balances out, hopefully.
      They do a good job, and they win games, that’s the key.

  6. Liam says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Gurode and/or Sharper wanted to accept a one year deal to make a superbowl run this year? Then we truly would be stacked.

    The roster above is a good one, and exactly how I would call it. However, as Pete T. says, it won’t happen exactly like this. There are ALWAYS a few surprising cuts. Derrick Burgess anyone?

    • TD says:

      Amen, Gurode would be a great addition if he took less than that $5.5mil for a year until Cannon got in or he could be the replacement for Koppen.

      I think Sharper still has big time knee issues, but BB has done it before with safeties that are older.

  7. Pete T. says:

    This roster is to cookie cutter – it just wont go down so smoothly. Look for some of the following names to be cut…Ohrnberger, Moore, Price, Anderson, Guyton, White, Arrington, Butler. I think at least 3 of these names will be off the 53 replaced by players from other teams.

    I like most of these guys but the risk/reward favors looking for the next Danny Woodhead at the expense of a bottom of the roster player.

    • Ken W says:

      Price isn’t going anywhere. Arrington and Butler I think will stay because we don’t have any other corners. From that list I could see Moore, Anderson, and White not make it but I think the others stay.

    • CC says:

      Getting rid of Price? WOW. That’s a bit out there isn’t it? I havent agreed with a number of the roster changes that the Pats have made actually. Since loosing ppl like Pioli who made a great number of the great decision making that made the team what it was, we’ve all seen alot of “FILL-IN” type stuff going on.
      Even though I havent liked a number of picks and or roster moves the Pats have made over the last 4 years or so. I still don’t see loosing Price…… unless we trade for a straight-up, long term & shut down DB….I don’t see it happening.

    • Dan says:

      With question marks at (outside, as in NOT Welker or Edelman) I highly doubt the only guy with some upside, Price, will even be considered to be cut. I see him as a the hope at this position, and he certainly showed just that in the game(s) he played this pre-season.

  8. AM says:

    Yeatman and Smith have somewhat duplicative skill sets, but it seems way too early to give up on Smith, who was repeatedly touted as the best blocking tight end in the draft. That being said, Yeatman clearly deserves a spot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Patriots keep all four tight ends, at the expense of either Wendell or Ohrnberger. If four ends up being too much, one could be cut when Brace, Faulk, or Cannon comes off of the PUP list.

    Also, with Wright evidently returning to practice, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t stick on the roster. Tracy White’s special teams ability probably won’t be enough to keep him around.

  9. Billy C. says:

    I don’t think there’s any chance Ohrnberger makes the 53 man squad (If he clears, maybe the practice squad, but his play has been less than stellar). He’s just to small and not strong enough.

  10. Big Dan From Maine says:

    One name I dont hear any thing about is Andre Gurode (hopefully spelling is correct) from the Cowboys. He would definately be an upgrade over anything we currently have at Right Guard, and could hold down the fort untill Marcus Cannon is ready. I cant wait to see him over there next to Vollmer.

  11. psw says:

    Don’t count on all of the guys on the practice squad list you have being there, remember Patriot castoffs attract attention from other teams. Some of these guys are getting claimed off waivers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sanders doesn’t have a new home already.Who really has such a surplus of DB’s that we can go after their cuts. With the increased importance of the passing game everyone is short of DB’s and the standard of what makes a good one is tougher.We may be stuck making the best of what is here now.But if the pass rush really has gotten stronger the flaws may not show so much. Especially with this teams potential to pile on points.

    • Big Dan From Maine says:

      Our best chance for a quality cut will be from a team that has cap trouble. Those are often the last people cut, and the best quality. Look at Lawyer Milloy. Some teams will have to cast off quality people.

  12. Ryan says:

    I am still curious about the long snapping situation. @Plannedsickdays reported a former hawkeye Adam Schulz and former Falcons LS was signed by the Patriots. Hopefully a good Guard gets cut and a good Safety gets cut (right..). We need some serious depth.

    • NEPD says:

      I’m running down the Schulze rumor currently. Will let you know as soon as I have something.

      • AP says:

        Great job on the roster… I think it’s really close… wouldn’t be surprised if it’s right on.

        Although B-man is known to do some surprise cuts and resigns just days afterwards…

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