Patriots Roster Projection: Version 3.1

How does this Olympic sprinter affect the Patriots Roster?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The Patriots wrapped up training camp on Friday and now embark on a schedule which features three games in nine days. With the Jeff Demps signing and some injuries coming up things have changed since the first week of training camp. Who makes the roster and who is on the chopping block? Check out my 3rd attempt at what the Patriots initial 53 man roster will look like.

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

Running Backs (5): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Jeff Demps, Brandon Bolden

Tight Ends (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells*

Wide Receivers (6): Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Julian Edelman, Deion Branch, Matthew Slater

Offensive Tackle (3): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon

Offensive Guard (3): Logan Mankins, Brian Waters, Nick McDonald

Center (2): Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell

Defensive Tackle (4): Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Jonathan Fanene, Brandon Deaderick

Defensive Ends/Rush LB (5): , Chandler Jones, Trevor Scott, Jake Bequette, Jermaine Cunningham, Justin Francis

Linebackers (6): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich, Bobby Carpenter, Niko Koutivides

Cornerbacks (5): Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore, Alfonzo Dennard

Safties (5): Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, James Ihedigbo

Specialists (3): Steven Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken

Last Cuts: Dan Koppen (OC), Donald Thomas (OG), Gerard Warren (DT), Donte Stallworth (WR), Ron Brace (DT), Josh Barrett (S), Tracy White (ILB), Spencer Larsen (FB), Visanthe Shiancoe (TE)

Practice Squad: Jeff Tarpinian (ILB), Alex Silvestro (TE), Mike Rivera (LB), Jeremy Ebert (WR), Jeremiah Warren (OG), Matt Kopa (OT), Ross Ventrone (DB), Marcus Forston (DT)

Placed on PUP: Myron Pryor (DT), Markus Zusevics (OT)

Injured Reserve: Jake Ballard, Dane Fletcher

Breakdown: The roster cut down becomes even tougher with the signing of Jeff Demps. In my last roster projection I had the Patriots keeping five RBs total if you include the fullback position, but with Larsen missing time and Bolden playing too well to release Larsen is the odd man out. While Shiancoe hasn’t been on the field in a couple weeks, the Patriots would be risking entering the season with no insurance behind Gronkowski and Hernandez. The Patriots spent too much time this off-season trying to find tight ends to keep only two guys.

UPDATE: With Tom E. Curran reporting that both Sebastian Vollmer and Daniel Fells are set to be activated off the PUP list, I have moved Fells into the third TE spot. The Patriots signed him to a 3 yr. deal in the off-season and has been a target of Bill Belichick before.

On the offensive line I have them keeping only eight players as of right now. It’s not ideal, but they kept just eight to start the season last year. It’s a versatile group, with Wendell, Connolly and McDonald all capable of playing different positions. Offensive tackle is thin, but there is no good alternative on the current roster.

The defense is a bit easier to figure out. The last cut down came down to a 7th LB or a 5th DT. My thinking is if the Patriots decide to keep five safeties there is not room for another linebacker. In emergency situations James Ihedigbo can play LB, which we saw the Patriots experiment with in the first preseason game. I still can’t cut Alfonzo Dennard, because he looked pretty good in the limited practices he took part in. Justin Francis is the last guy on the roster, but if he is cut it will likely be for a DT either Ron Brace or Gerard Warren.

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8 Responses to “Patriots Roster Projection: Version 3.1”

  1. RobDX says:

    Fanene is headed to IR dude, no way they cut Koppen either, not if Brady has any say in it.

  2. ryan says:

    Firstly, I would like to commend you on having an excellent and very informative site.
    I was wondering if you have any thoughts where Demps may have gone in the draft if he declared?
    I would think maybe Bolden and James Ihedigbo would miss out to Donald Thomas and Allen/Jeff Tarpinian.
    These choices are harder on the pats because of the fact other teams grab our cast-offs more than than other teams making cutting young players with a view to placing them on the practise squad very difficult.

    • Mike Loyko says:

      Chris Rainey, Demps teammate at Florida went to Pittsburgh in the 5th round with pick #159. Demps is a similar player, although he is faster and a little bit bigger. Rainey is more shifty and can break more tackles. If Demps had taken part in the draft process I think he would have gone anywhere from mid 5th – late 6th rounds. He just isn’t an everydown player that causes him to fall a little bit, like it did to Rainey.

  3. kevan says:

    Getting better. I dont think the Patriots will keep a FB either, at this point. With them being all banged up, and with the addition of demps, it seems very unlikely. About Demps, he really seems to me to be a Percy Harvin clone, or at the least in that mold. Interesting because BB was set to snag Harvin in the draft untill good ole Bam Childress snuck a quick one. Anyway, I like the Offense, its very hard to cut Koppen, but its a possibility. On defense I would change a few things. I would keep Brace, he had his best camp to date, and the Pats need another big guy for goaline packages. So if not Brace than Warren, Ill take the former. Im also gonna take Tarpinian over Niko. I dont think Ebner makes it, I could be wrong but I believe he is still a practice squad guy. The guy Im lookin out for to sneek in would be Will Allen, if he has enough in the tank, he could be the Veteran back there, the guy can play Corner and has been lining up at Safety all training camp. I like Josh Barret as well. Time will tell, every year I get surprised alot, who stays, who goes?

  4. qwerty says:

    good roster projection

    the only cut i would like to keep is ron brace

    i just hope dennard is not a casualty until we can see what he can do

  5. ZachRudy says:

    Thank you for realistically including Brian Waters as guard. If he wanted to retire, he would have done so. He is exercising in veteran right to skip training camp. With Vollmer and Water back the line should be in good shape.

  6. Phil says:

    I would rather we take neither Deion Branch or Donte Stallworth…let Edelman get his chance…I would like Donald Thomas in at guard. When worst comes to worst, Logan Mankins can always switch to left tackle and Solder can play guard. I think either Justin Francis or Marcus Forston will make the team.

    • Billy C says:

      Why in the world would you have Solder playing guard and have Mankins play left tackle?

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