With training camp well under way its time to pause, because seemingly everyone is, and put out a roster projection for the reigning world champion New England Patriots.

We won’t spend a whole lot of time on explanations here, but the nuts and bolts of how we expect it to break down. Of course injuries are going to happen and that will effect the end result, plus Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick continually churn the bottom of the roster, from now through the superbowl, but in spite of knowing this exercise is like pissing in the wind, we’re going unzip our fly and give it a shot.

Jarrett Stidham .jpg

Quarterbacks (2):

  • Tom Brady
  • Jarrett Stidham

One of the “surprise” cuts of camp will be Brian Hoyer. It wouldn’t be a shock if Hoyer’s phone rings in case of emergency, but I don’t think he’s around come week one.

Damien Harris

Running Backs (5):

  •  Sony Michel
  • James White
  • Damien Harris
  • Rex Burkhead
  • Brandon Bolden

A deep and diverse group of backs. Michel is poised for a big year. White is one of, if not the best, third down back in the league. Damien Harris was a steal in this spring’s draft, and Rex Burkhead does everything pretty well, including contribute on special teams. Brandon Bolden will be fighting for his roster life the entire month of August.

Benjamin Watson

Tight End/Full Backs (3):

  • Matt LaCosse
  • Ryan Izzo
  • James Develin

With assumed starter Benjamin Watson serving a 4 game suspension to open the season we’ve got the Pats trying to get through the first quarter season with 2 tight ends. They’ll be aided by James Develin’s ability to swing over there from fullback in a pinch.

N'Keal Harry

Wide Receiver (6):

  • Julian Edelman
  • N’Keal Harry
  • Maurice Harris
  • Phillip Dorsett
  • Braxton Berrios
  • Matthew Slater

More than any other position, this group could see an in season upheaval. Its expected that veteran Demaryius Thomas will begin the season on the PUP list. Also potentially waiting in the wings is suspended receiver Josh Gordon. Matthew Slater is a receiver in name only and provides exceptional value as a special teams ace. Phillip Dorsett’s value is in that he, along with Julian Edelman are the only holdovers from last season’s receiving/tight end corps (Berrios missed his rookie year, and again, Slater is a receiver in name only). If Harry and Harris show acclimation quickly, Dorsett’s roster spot could be in jeopardy.

Shaq Mason Pats

Offensive Linemen (9):

  • Isaiah Wynn
  • Joe Thuney
  • David Andrews
  • Shaq Mason
  • Marcus Cannon
  • Ted Karras
  • Yodney Cajuste
  • Cole Croston
  • Hjalte Froholdt

This is a tough one. If Cajuste isn’t back within a week he may be too far behind to make the roster, and thus would be in danger of being put on IR. Wynn is still being brought along slowly, but has a year in the system to lean upon. If the team feels comfortable enough using Thuney at left tackle in a pinch, a la Logan Mankins, then James Ferentz could make it ahead of Cole Croston.

Adam Butler

Defensive Tackle (4):

  • Lawrence Guy
  • Adam Butler
  • Danny Shelton
  • Mike Pennel

This feels like a pretty solid group as far as projecting who will be around. Shelton and Pennel are the wide bodies used to plug gaps and stop the run. Conversely Guy and Butler are more penetrators used to apply pressure on passing downs. Of the four, Guy is easily the most versatile and able to provide an impact on all 3 downs. Also, keep in mind that Michael Bennett can kick inside to DT as well.

Derek Rivers

Edge Players (5):

  • Michael Bennett
  • Deatirch Wise Jr.
  • John Simon
  • Derek Rivers
  • Chase Winovich

I fully expect Wise to make a leap this year and help fill the void left by fellow Razorback Trey Flowers. On the opposite side, I’m not expecting as much out of Bennett as some others do. John Simon was brought back after providing a nice lift as a mid-season addition last year. Derek Rivers is in his make or break camp. Reports thus far are that he’s acquitted himself well. Lastly is the rookie out of Michigan who has a bright future as an edge rusher, he’ll quickly become a fan favorite.

Jamie Collins

Line Backers (5):

  • Dont’a Hightower
  • Jamie Collins
  • Kyle Van Noy
  • Ja’Whuan Bentley
  • Brandon King

This is actually a 4 man group. Just as Matthew Slater is a receiver in name only, so Brandon King is a linebacker in name only with his contributions coming almost exclusively on special teams. The biggest question here is will Elandon Roberts make the team. He’s probably the last cut. Part of the decision making here is that there are a couple of guys in camp ripe for the practice squad who play linebacker, also if needed John Simon, Derek Rivers and Chase Winovich can stand up and play off the line.


Secondary (11):

  • Stephon Gilmore
  • J.C. Jackson
  • Jason McCourty
  • Jonathan Jones
  • JoeJuan Williams
  • Keion Crossen
  • Duke Dawson
  • Devin McCourty
  • Patrick Chung
  • Duron Harmon
  • Obi Melifonwu

We have got to come up with a nickname for this group. It is a deep, talented, and diverse set of players. A couple of special team studs may not make the cut in Nate Ebner, and Terrance Brooks. Its dominated by corner backs, but Jason McCourty has shown the ability to slide into the middle of the field, and it wouldn’t shock if Duke Dawson’s long term future is at safety. To that end I suspect that the team looks at Duke Dawson and Obi Melifonwu as the eventual successors to Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.

Joe Cardona Pats

Specialists (3):

  • Stephen Gostkowski
  • Jake Bailey
  • Joe Cardona

Gostkowski has done the impossible, eclipsing the legend that was Adam Vinitieri. The question is can late round pick Jake Bailey replace Ryan Allen who re-signed on a one year deal after a terrific super bowl performance.

Players starting the year on the Physically Unable to Perform list, or serving a suspension: 

  • DeMaryius Thomas
  • Benjamin Watson
  • Josh Gordon

And because we at You’re Ducking Right love and support our readers we’ve got a BONUS projection for you, the 11 man practice squad (the team received an exemption for having an international prospect, Jakob Johnson. But Johnson cannot be elevated to the active roster this season). For the first time in forever we don’t have an undrafted rookie free agent making the 53 man to break camp, but the practice squad is chock full of them:

  • Nick Brossette – RB
  • Andrew Beck – TE/FB
  • Jakobi Meyers – WR
  • Gunner Olszewski – WR
  • Tyler Gauthier – C/G
  • Tyree St. Louis – OT
  • Byron Cowhart – DT
  • Christian Sam – LB
  • Terez Hall – LB
  • Malik Gant – S
  • Jakob Johnson – FB/TE


  • Written by Jason Sullivan
  • Find us on Twitter at @TopDucker or on Facebook at You’re Ducking Right





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