Last Minute 2017 Roster Projection

Photo Credit: Pats Pulpit

With the final product of a 53-man roster looming over players vying for a coveted roster spot, NFL head coaches are preparing to send 37 men home.

Going from 90 to 53 players is no simple task, it requires cutting guys who may be capable of doing the job, but its a matter of who fits best into a cut-throat Patriots system.

With that being said, it’s time to take a look at who’s going to make the final roster and prepare for the first game on September 7th.

Quarterbacks:

  • Tom Brady
  • Jimmy Garoppolo
  • Jacoby Brissett

Running Backs:

  • Mike Gillislee
  • Rex Burkhead
  • James White
  • Dion Lewis
  • Brandon Bolden

D.J. Foster will most likely remain on the practice squad because he is too valuable of an asset, he may even jump onto the roster midway through the season if there are any injuries to the listed backs.

Tight Ends:

  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Dwayne Allen
  • James O’Shaughnessy
  • James Develin (FB)

Develin will play an integral roll as a blocker out of the backfield as he always has. As great of a pre-season as Hollister had, O’Shaughnessy’s blocking ability and experience gives him the upper hand. Hollister will remain on the practice squad for a year of development and, like Foster, may join the roster halfway through the season.

Wide Receivers:

  • Brandin Cooks
  • Chris Hogan
  • Malcolm Mitchell
  • Danny Amendola
  • Austin Carr
  • Matthew Slater
  • Julian Edelman (IR)

After losing presumptuously the most electrifying receiver on the roster, the depth will take them far. Newly acquired Brandin Cooks will help rip the top off defenses and Hogan and Mitchell, who have both had great preseasons, will help tremendously as well. Depth at WR will be a key aspect in another run towards the playoffs.

Offensive Tackles:

  • Nate Solder
  • Marcus Cannon
  • Cameron Fleming
  • Tony Garcia

Center and Guards:

  • Joe Thuney
  • Shaq Mason
  • David Andrews
  • Ted Karras

It all starts in the trenches, and for the first time in a long time the Patriots have depth at the O-line position and need that to stay in order to protect the 40-year-old Brady. Tony Garcia will need a season or two to adapt to the quick pace and intelligence of the O-line, under offensive line coach Dante Scarnechia that should not be a problem.

Defensive Line:

  • Alan Branch
  • Malcom Brown
  • Lawrence Guy
  • Vincent Valentine

Alan Branch and Malcolm Brown will head the charge on the interior d-line while Lawrence Guy and Valentine will enter the rotation.

Defensive Ends:

  • Trey Flowers
  • Deatrich Wise
  • Adam Butler
  • Geneo Grissom
  • Derek Rivers (IR)

After losing potential superstar rookie Derek Rivers to a torn ACL, which seems to be a common theme throughout this pre-season for Patriots players, the edge rush position will be led by Trey Flowers. Undrafted superstar Adam Butler will look to make an immediate impact following Rob Ninkovich’s retirement and Kony Ealy’s Release.

Linebackers:

  • Dont’a Hightower
  • Shea McClellin
  • Kyle Van Noy
  • Harvey Langi
  • David Harris
  • Elandon Roberts

Ninkovich left some large shoes to fill and Harvey Langi will likely take over that position, who joined as an undrafted free agent. He applied continuous pressure in an experimented role against the Houston Texans in the preseason.

Cornerbacks:

  • Stephon Gilmore
  • Malcolm Butler
  • Eric Rowe
  • Jonathan Jones

The dynamic duo of Butler and Gilmore should prove lethal, but add Eric Rowe and Jonathan Jones and you have an elite secondary with elite safeties to help out over top. After losing Cyrus Jones to an ACL injury, its’s going to be interesting to see who steps in his place even after a questionable preseason.

Safety:

  • Devin McCourty
  • Patrick Chung
  • Duron Harmon
  • Nate Ebner
  • Brandon King

McCourty, Chung, and Harmon will serve has the three-headed serpent heading the backdrop for an already secure secondary. Ebner and King will enter the rotation and play key roles on special teams as well.

Special Teams:

  • Stephen Gostkowski (Kicker)
  • Ryan Allen (Punter)
  • Joe Cardona (Long Snapper)

Gostkowski and Allen are kicking aces throughout the NFL and will no doubt remain on the roster in another run for the defending champs.

 

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