By: Steve Balestrieri
The Patriots players are on their last break before the 2013 training camp starts and the big push for roster slots and snaps begins in earnest. While the Patriots may still add a name here and there prior to camp starting, this roster is current as of June 17.
We did our Roster 1.0 on the last day of April and think it’s a good time to do the second version prior to camp starting. Look for version 3.0 around midway in camp. All players are listed, players in bold are projected keepers.
The Patriots will be looking to a big second year jump in production from Chandler Jones. (FILE:USPresswire)
Had only two QBs on the roster in our earlier projection, the Patriots have brought in a 3rd string QB (Tebow) who they will probably invest some time and work in. But the depth chart remains the same.
Running Backs (4)
With an extra QB, that means a running back may have to go…and right now that player would be Blount but he’ll be given a chance to compete for a spot against Bolden who missed all of the spring with a foot injury.
Still don’t see the Patriots keeping a fullback this season.
Wide Receiver “X” (4)
Jenkins has gotten a lot of reps this spring…which in itself doesn’t mean too much but I think his veteran savvy may win him a spot. Slater is more of a special teams contributor than a WR. The pressure will be on the two rookies to produce. Still think another player may be added soon.
Wide Receiver “Z” (2)
This one is by no means written in stone, Amendola is a lock for sure, but Edelman missed all the spring and if he can’t stay healthy, he’s gone. However, he has experience in the offense and could turn it on in camp and be very effective. Right now he stays.
Tight End (5)
The Patriots are deep at tight end and with Gronkowski’s status, at least early in the season in doubt; the team may err on the side of caution since they have a talented group. Sudfeld is a guy to watch this summer. He had a great spring and could find himself on the roster. *With the on-going police probe going on, this positional projection could change quickly.* And that still means no Tebow at TE, he’s a QB here or nothing in my opinion.
Solder and Vollmer are locks as solid starters, Svitek was a good quality pickup and can spot start if needed.
Mankins and Connolly are the starters and Cannon, who may push Connolly for starting reps can also fill in at tackle if need be. Versatility, Belichick and Dante’ Scarnecchia’s mantra is valuable here. McDonald can fill in at tackle as well.
No change here, and again Stankiewitch is a good candidate for the Practice Squad.
Defensive Ends (5)
One of the more hotly contested position battles in camp, after the starters this is a wide open competition. Six players vie for three slots and it will be fun to watch. A lot of talk is that this is a position that could still be added to. The Patriots will be looking to Chandler Jones to make a big second year jump in play.
Defensive Tackles (4)
The additions of Kelly and Armstead pushed out two veterans in Deaderick and Love. Vellano and Grissom have an uphill battle but will get looks for the practice squad.
The team will look to Hightower to make a big jump in play in his second season. Mayo remains the rock of this group while Spikes has been working this off-season to become a three down LB. Fletcher will vie for sub-package roles in coverage ( a big problem), while Pats first draft pick Collins will do the same and rush off the edge.
The Patriots return all three starters for some needed continuity; Dowling has been shining in spring workouts, but with him it’s never been about ability but staying on the field and healthy. If he can do that, he could even push Dennard for starting reps.
The safety position received a shot-in-the-arm with the addition of A. Wilson during free agency. He’ll mentor T. Wilson who will be looked to eventually assume the position. But perhaps the biggest story to watch this summer will be Harmon, whom no one knew anything about prior to the draft. Harmon can play either safety position and was known as a leader for the Rutgers defense. Numbers game and salary cap hit forces Gregory out.
Special Teams (3)
No changes here, it will be fun to watch Allen, like Mesko is a left-footed punter and can really put a charge into the ball.