The Patriots 1st team offense & defense both looked sharp Friday night vs. the Lions. However, Julian Edelman suffered an apparent ACL injury & will miss the season:
With all but the final preseason game in the books, the Patriots 53 man roster is mostly set with just a few final spots remaining. It's time for the third edition of our Pats roster projection:
Roster Locks (41)
- Danny Amendola will now have a more prominent role this upcoming season as the team's primary slot WR & likely fourth WR in snaps behind Cooks, Hogan & Mitchell.
- Adam Butler cemented his status as the UDFA find of the summer by dominating the Lions' starters Friday night. Look for him to factor in as a situational pass rusher on 3rd downs in his rookie season.
- Since he is not a veteran, Derek Rivers will need to be carried through roster cut downs before he can be placed on injured reserve.
Near Locks (6)
- The above three linebackers have stood out among the rest of the pack. Kyle Van Noy looks to continue his role as a situational pass rusher & coverage specialist. Harvey Langi has shown promise as a potential OLB & Shea McClellin looks to factor in the OLB rotation with Dont'a Hightower.
- Cameron Fleming has played well enough to be the team's swing tackle while Tony Garcia develops. You can do worse in this league.
- The Patriots could carry 2 QBs & roll the dice in hoping that Jacoby Brissett can clear waivers. Our gut says he's given a second year to develop on the roster.
On the Bubble (17)
- If the team keeps 3 TEs, it'll come down to one of the above three players. James O'Shaughnessy likely gets the nod due to his ST value.
- Kony Ealy entered Friday's game with the 2nd unit & saw no action with the starters. He remains on the bubble with one week to go until roster cuts.
- Austin Carr now has a legitimate shot to make the roster with Edelman's injury. He's shown enough to be a developmental 5th WR.
While these players' chances to make the roster are slim to none, some will earn developmental spots on the practice squad.
53 Man Roster Projection 3.0
(Pick your own roster at Pats Picker)
Bold: Starters, Italics: Rookies
QB (3) T.Brady, J.Garoppolo, J.Brissett
RB (6) M.Gillislee, J.White, D.Lewis, R.Burkhead, B. Bolden, J. Develin (FB)
WR (6) B.Cooks, C.Hogan, M.Mitchell, D.Amendola, A. Carr, M.Slater
TE (3) R.Gronkowski, D.Allen, O'Shaughnessy
C (1) D.Andrews
G (3) S.Mason, J.Thuney, T.Karras
T (4) N.Solder, M.Cannon, C.Fleming, A.Garcia
(3-3-5 starting defense)
DE (5) T.Flowers, L. Guy, A. Butler, G. Grissom, D. Rivers (IR)
DT (3) A. Branch, M. Brown, V. Valentine
ILB (2) D. Harris, E.Roberts
OLB (4) D. Hightower, K. Van Noy, S.McClellin, H. Langi
CB (5) S.Gilmore, M.Butler, E.Rowe, C.Jones, J.Jones
SS (3) P.Chung, N.Ebner, B. King
FS (2) D.McCourty, D.Harmon
ST (3) S.Gostkowski, R.Allen, J.Cardona
Total players: 53
Last Player In: Brandon Bolden
Last Player Out: Jordan Richards
EDIT 8/27/17: Coming as no real surprise, the Patriots cut bubble player Kony Ealy. Although the team has limited bodies at DE, a more permanent switch to a 3-3-5 sub defense will allow them more flexibility. We will switch out Ealy's roster spot for Geneo Grissom as a core STer.
Opening day awaits!