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 have now moved over to the defense. You can check out the links below:

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Line

Quarterbacks

Defensive Ends

Defensive Tackles

Next up for the Patriots defense are the linebackers. There are currently 14 players on the roster competing for probably six slots. With the three starters basically locked into slots providing they’re healthy to start the season, the numbers game is making life difficult for these remaining players.

The one good thing about the situation is that with a renewed emphasis on the front seven and many of the players known strictly for their special teams acumen, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to carve out a role for themselves.

It isn’t known if the injuries/off-season surgeries to Hightower and Mayo will have them ready for training camp. If they aren’t ready to go on July 30, it just gives more reps to be divided up amongst the rest of the crew.

So who is locked in and who is on the bubble?