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Premature Roster Prediction (53- Man Roster)

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On 8/15/2018 at 11:27 AM, AlNFL19 said:

highly doubt Patterson gets cut.

After the game he had against the Eagles I agree even more. I just find his practice use to be limited which gave me pause to reconsider his role if not used as a pass catcher. I am ecstatic to see Pattersom getting targets.

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After yesterday's thrashing of the Eagles (starters in italics):

QB: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer - Brady looked like a god again yesterday, while Etling barely played. I don't think he's shown enough at this point to warrant taking a flyer on the guy, but Hoyer hasn't inspired great confidence either.

RB: Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Jeremy Hill, James Develin - Michel is still injured but I fully expect him to eventually take over as the RB1 rather than Burkhead. Michel is a more electric runner than Burkhead, and still offers some receiving ability, while James White had a huge showing in Preseason Week 2. He's looking great. Mike Gillislee again had a poor day, so I think Hill has the power back battle basically won. Poggi didn't do enough to dethrone Develin, in my opinion. Webb didn't play enough in Week 2 to justify a roster spot yet.

WR: Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson, Phillip Dorsett, Riley McCarron, Kenny Britt, Matthew Slater - Hogan is the most reliable wide receiver that the Patriots will have come Week 1. Not a great sign. However, Patterson had another thrilling game and continues to show ability as a receiver with electric quickness and great speed. He'll be interesting to watch. Dorsett had a poor game but should still make the 53, as he's been working with the ones and has really not much for a challenger. Berrios and McCarron are fighting to be the slot receiver 1-4, and McCarron looks ahead right now after Berrios' inactive. Britt is the only real option for a big outside guy left, and Slater will make the team for ST work.

TE: Rob Gronkowski, Jacob Hollister - Hollister showed a solid effort in Week 2 to perhaps distance himself from Dwayne Allen, particularly with a big block on James White's 20-yard touchdown reception.

OL: Trent Brown, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle, Cole Croston, Ted Karras - The starting five appears set at this point in time, and I think the chances are good the Patriots only keep 3 backups, even after the injury to super-sub Isaiah Wynn. Waddle is the top backup tackle while Karras is the best option to back up the interior. Croston, I think, is a better bet than John or Tobin because of his versatility along the line as a super-sub.

DE: Trey Flowers, Adrian Clayborn, Derek Rivers, Deatrich Wise Jr., Keionta Davis - The Patriots played with five defensive linemen in Week 2, which I think they could stick with because, to be frank, it worked - to the tune of eight sacks. My picks to start would be Flowers, Clayborn - who generated a couple big plays, and Derek Rivers, who was always around Foles and Sudfeld with his speed. That makes guys like Deatrich Wise Jr. and DT Lawrence Guy flex players who could come in along the line for a big play and get the unit going against fast-paced offenses. Davis also stepped up again and should make the roster.

DT: Malcom Brown, Danny Shelton, Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler - All four of these guys can make plays. I'd envision the Patriots avoiding fatigue by splitting reps with the DT unit, all of whom can make plays along the line. Butler could even step outside if needed. Shelton and Brown are both more-than-capable defensive tackles who can plug the gaps and force plays outside.

MLB: Ja'Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts - Bentley put on a clinic in Week 2, including a scoop-and-score 54-yard touchdown. He should be a lock to make the team now, and should have pushed ahead of Roberts as the man in the middle. Roberts should still make the team, but Bentley made enough plays to make cutting him look unrealistic.

OLB: Dont'a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Marquis Flowers, Harvey Langi - This is a diverse group of outside linebackers. Hightower is at his best in a DE/LB hybrid role, but has the speed to track down some plays. Van Noy is a moreso weakside linebacker type, as is Flowers, and Langi is closer to a DE/LB guy. Bottom line is, this would be a flexible depth chart. If the game called for it, the Pats could employ 5 linemen for an extra pass rushing presence, or they could use a linebacker group with High, Bentley, and Flowers against teams with more speed. The range of talents covered by the Patriots' linebacker group makes it more likely that they could succeed in any given game, so each guy should stick. Right now, I'd pick Flowers and Langi over Christian Sam, but Sam has time to change that.

CB: Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones, Duke Dawson, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Keion Crossen - Gilmore, Rowe, and Dawson are roster locks right now, while Jonathan Jones is a speedy, explosive slot corner who should start upon return from injury. The latter three had poor games, but might still stick. McCourty got burned badly for a short touchdown, but he's still a capable and physical cornerback who could challenge Rowe for playing time. J.C. Jackson, meanwhile, has shown up a lot in training camp but was lit up for a long gain in the game. Finally is Keion Crossen. The kid has potential - he's one of the best athletes in football, arguably - but he struggled in week 2, being the target of several PI and holding calls. He's going to have to clean up his technique, but I'd keep him on the 53-man roster because he can be something in time, and he showed that in Week 2.

S: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Nate Ebner, Brandon King - McCourty is a lock and a team captain, while Chung is a guy who I think is the big reason the Pats didn't target speed at LB in the draft or free agency. They probably believe Chung can shut down his assignments in the box instead of using a linebacker who doesn't also have the deep-safety versatility of Chung. Harmon will see solid playing time as the center fielder of the unit, while Ebner and King should stick for special teams.

K: Stephen Gostkowski - Gostkowski was back to his Pro Bowl self on Thursday.

P: Ryan Allen - The punter battle looks to be over. Bojorquez hasn't even punted once.

LS: Joe Cardona - Cardona has no challengers.

KR: Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley McCarron - Patterson is elite at the role, while McCarron is serviceable.

PR: Riley McCarron, Patrick Chung - This is a role the Patriots don't have a great guy for, but McCarron has been taking the reps in-game.

Not Listed: OL Isaiah Wynn (IR), WR Julian Edelman (SUS)
 

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Final prediction before cut day.

QB (2) T.Brady, B.Hoyer
RB (6) J.White, J.Hill, R.Burkhead, S.Michel, B.Bolden, J.Develin
WR (5) C.Hogan, P.Dorsett, C.Patterson, B.Berrios, M.Slater
TE (3) R.Gronkowski, D.Allen, J.Hollister
C  (2) D.Andrews, T.Karras
G  (2) S.Mason, J.Thuney
T  (4) T.Brown, M.Cannon, L.Waddle, C.Croston
DE (5) T.Flowers, A.Clayborn, D.Wise, D.Rivers, E.Lee
DT (5) M.Brown, D.Shelton, L.Guy, V.Valentine, A.Butler
ILB(3) D.Hightower, E.Roberts, J.Bentley
OLB(2) K.VanNoy, M.Flowers
CB (6) S.Gilmore, E.Rowe, J.Jackson, D.Dawson, J.Jones, C.Jones
SS (2) P.Chung, N.Ebner
FS (2) D.McCourty, D.Harmon
ST (3) S.Gostkowski, R.Allen, J.Cardona

 

There's only 51 players here but I'm assuming those extra spot will be filled with players not currently on our roster.

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