The Patriots head into training camp in just a few weeks and there should be plenty of competition at a number of spots. As a lead-in to the beginning of camp, we’ll break down the positions and give our take on who is a lock, a near lock for the 53 man roster and who is on the bubble.

Bill Belichick likes to say that the spring is a learning exercise and that the competition begins in training camp. While that is true to an extent, with 88 players on board, 35 of these current members of the roster now, at a minimum will be cut.

We’ve already looked at the Patriots offense and you can check out the links below:

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Line

Quarterbacks

Defensive Ends

Next up for the Patriots defense are the defensive tackles. With the big loss of long-time defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, the Patriots will enter the season for the first time in over a decade without the big man in the middle. Wilfork signed a free agent contract with the Houston Texans this spring and will be lining up next to J.J. Watt in 2015.

The interior part of the defensive line will have to still clog the gaps against the run as Wilfork did so well for so long, but also collapse the pocket, not allowing opposing quarterbacks the area to step up to throw. It is something that the team has been searching for during the past several seasons since Richard Seymour left town.

So who’s locked in and who’s on the bubble?