Courtesy of The Patriots Wire (USA Today SMG)
Following the first week of training camp at Gillette Stadium, we take a look at the current roster breakdown at every position.
Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jacoby Brissett are all expected to make the final 53-man roster. Interesting to note that Brady and Garoppolo split first team reps throughout most of the camp so far.
Running Backs (7)
Mike Gillislee has made a strong case to be the feature back on the ground through the first four days. James White and Dion Lewis continue to torture linebackers in pass coverage and Rex Burkhead can do a little bit of both. Expect the Patriots to carry four backs here.
James Devlin could be a surprise cut should the Patriots decide they value depth at another position. However, with Glenn Gronkowski as his only competition at camp, Devlin looks poised to grab a spot.
Wide Receiver (11)
Andrew Hawkins sudden retirement has opened the door for rookie Austin Carr to secure a practice squad spot and possibly even a roster spot if an injury keeps someone out at season’s start. Otherwise, the wideout position looks pretty solidified with Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, and Danny Amendola.
Tight End (6)
Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen are safe. Matt Lengel will have to fend off James O’Shaughnessy along with two undrafted rookies.
Offensive Line (16)
Bill Belichick emphasized the difficulty in evaluating trench players without any full contact practices before Friday’s session. With that said, David Andrews and Nate Solder remain anchors on the O-Line as the Patriots do not carry any other true centers or left tackles at the moment.
Defensive Tackle (8)
The Patriots’ tendency to blend the traditional three and five technique defensive linemen makes this a little confusing. Nonetheless, they carry eight interior linemen at the moment, and are anchored by Alan Branch in the middle. Lawrence Guy, signed as a free agent from Baltimore this offseason, will be one to watch for.
Defensive End (6)
Dont’a Hightower and veteran David Harris are expected to man the middle for this group. That leaves a
need for backers who can cover in space. Undrafted rookie Harvey Langi could squeak a roster spot if he does that well.
Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, and Eric Rowe have separated themselves from the pack. The question becomes who can provide the most versatility playing inside, outside, and on special teams? Those who can do all three will take the final two spots.
Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung will once again tag team as the starting safeties. Before his injury, Duron Harmon was having an excellent camp, and even showed he can play alongside McCourty and Chung at times last year. The coaching staff may decide to take a chance on rookie Kenny Moore over Jordan Richards just because of versatility purposes. Nate Ebner and Brandon King will be hard to keep off the roster thanks to superb special teams play.
Joe Cardona (LS), Stephen Gostkowski (K), Ryan Allen (P), and Matthew Slater are expected to make the final roster.