Griffin Clark predicts the Patriots’ 53-man roster by taking a look at the squad after their big preseason win over the Detroit Lions.
Quarterbacks (3): Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham (Cut: Danny Etling)
No surprise here. TB12 leads the pack with veteran Brian Hoyer and fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham following behind.
Running Backs (5): Sony Michel, James White, Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden (Cut: Nick Brossette)
The undrafted rookie from LSU, Brossette, is trying to make the team in a talented group of running backs. It seems more likely than not that he falls short, but he may be a contender for the team’s practice squad.
Fullbacks (1): James Develin (Cut: Jakob Johnson)
Although the Patriots release Jakob Johnson in these predictions, he gets an automatic spot on the practice squad as a part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.
Wide Receivers (7): Julian Edelman, Maurice Harris, N’Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Jakobi Meyers, Matthew Slater (Cut: Ryan Davis, Dontrelle Inman, Gunner Olszewski, Damoun Patterson)
Free agent addition Maurice Harris fits very well in New England. The team should also keep Berrios and Meyers, two young receivers with lots of promise.
Tight Ends (2): Matt LaCosse, Benjamin Watson (Cut: Stephen Anderson, Andrew Beck, Ryan Izzo, Lance Kendricks)
Watson will be suspended for the first four games of the season, leaving LaCosse as the lone tight end based on these predictions. There will still be time to add a quick replacement for Watson when the regular season starts.
Offensive Linemen (8): Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, Hjalte Froholdt, Ted Karras, Dan Skipper (Cut: Martez Ivey, James Ferentz, Tyler Gauthier, Cedrick Lang, Tyree St. Louis)
Rookie Yodny Cajuste may be placed on injured reserve, as he has been on the NFI list since the start of camp.
Defensive Ends (4): Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise, Chase Winovich, John Simon (Cut: Keionta Davis, Nick Thurman, Trent Harris)
Winovich, the rookie from Michigan, has such a promising future and is expected to have a big impact come the regular season. Bill Belichick will need to find an effective way to give time to Winovich, but will also have to incorporate veterans Michael Bennett and Deatrich Wise.
Defensive Tackles (4): Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton, Adam Butler, Mike Pennel (Cut: Byron Cowart, David Parry)
Lawrence Guy has been a reliable veteran presence for the Patriots for multiple years. With former first-rounder Malcom Brown out of the picture, Guy will have more chances to shine.
Linebackers (7): Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts, Derek Rivers, Brandon King (Cut: Shilique Calhoun, Terez Hall, Ufomba Kamalu, Calvin Munson, Christian Sam)
The Patriots linebacker corps will be stellar this year. Led by veterans Hightower and Van Noy, the team also has much depth behind them with second-year rising star Ja’Whaun Bentley and veteran Jamie Collins, who is in second stint with the team.
Cornerbacks (6): Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams, Jonathan Jones, Keion Crossen (Cut: Duke Dawson, D’Angelo Ross, Ken Webster)
Florida Gators-product Duke Dawson was selected in the second-round in 2018, but has been on the roster bubble since the start of training camp. With such a talented group of young cornerbacks, there isn’t a place for Dawson. If he isn’t scooped up by another team, the Patriots might put him on their practice squad.
Safety (3): Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon (Cut: Obi Melifonwu, Terrence Brooks, Malik Gant, A.J. Howard)
New England keeps their strong veteran corps of McCourty, Chung, and Harmon, with Nate Ebner likely starting the season on PUP.
Kickers (1): Stephen Gostkowski (Cut: none)
Another year goes by and Gostkowski remains unchallenged in training camp. It will be interesting to see how long his time in New England lasts past his new two-year deal that he signed this past offseason.
Punter (1): Jake Bailey (Cut: Ryan Allen)
Ryan Allen has been so strong in the punting-game in the past for the Patriots. However, the team traded up to select Bailey in the fifth-round, and he will also be a cheaper option. Bailey’s strengths lean more towards hang-time rather than the positioning of his kicks. This will be a tough choice for the Patriots.
Long Snappers (1): Joe Cardona (Cut: none)
Joe Cardona isn’t going anywhere. The Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve has been playing very well throughout his tenure in New England.
Injured Players: WR Demaryius Thomas, DB Nate Ebner, OL Yodny Cajuste, WR Cameron Meredith
It will be interesting to see where these players wind up. Some may start the season on PUP, while others may be headed to injured reserve.
Suspended: WR Josh Gordon
The timetable for indefinitely-suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon remains unclear. He recently applied for reinstatement.
Potential Practice Squad Candidates: QB Danny Etling, RB Nick Brossette, WR Gunner Olszewski, TE Andrew Beck, OL Tyree St. Louis, DT Byron Cowart, LB Christian Sam, CB Duke Dawson, CB Ken Webster, S Malik Gant