With training camp in full swing, it's time to take a look at the New England Patriots' roster. They have some areas of concern, but overall this may be one of the deepest Pats teams in years. Cutting the roster down to 53 by the start of the season is going to be a difficult process. Here we are going to have some fun and make predictions for who is going to make the final cut.
Historically, when Bill Belichick has drafted a quarterback in the middle rounds, the team has kept three quarterbacks on the roster the following year. I don't see that happening this year. If Tom Brady were to go down, it really wouldn't matter if it was Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer; the team isn't making it through the AFC. So with a roster that has some extremely deep positions, it's not worth wasting a spot on a quarterback who will be beyond useless.
Running Back (5)
This is one of the most talented running back rooms in the NFL. It's so deep that someone like Rex Burkhead who has starter potential could get cut.
This is a tough list. Thomas seems to have too much talent and experience to give up on, even though he hasn't returned to practice yet. It would be worth keeping him on the PUP list and then making a roster move later in the season to give him time to return to full health.
Tight End (3)
This is an extremely weak group, especially with Watson missing the first four weeks of the season. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the team grab someone during roster cut downs to add more talent here.
Offensive Line (8)
While there are some moving parts here and some questions with depth, the Patriots starting offensive line should be one of the best in the league. They are bringing back four legit starters, and if they can figure out a consistent option at left tackle, they will be an elite group. Cajuste received a checkmark because he is still on the Non-football Injury List. This may lead him to be an injured reserve candidate.
Defensive Tackle (4)
Defensive End (5)
The emergence of Michael Bennett could make this group a more elite unit than in previous years. More importantly, fundamentally sound players like Simon and Winovich could give the team reliable edge-setters.
Kyle Van Noy
Another deep group that could see a veteran like Roberts not make the cut. What has been a position lacking depth in recent years is suddenly an area of strength.
It's undeniable that this is one of the deepest position groups in the National Football League. While the names may not pop off the page, the ability and consistency do. After Stephon Gilmore there is very little drop off, with a mixed group of young players and veterans who can contribute in multiple ways.
Special Teams (4)