Patriots Roster Prediction #37: CB Jonathan Wilhite

Player Name: CB Jonathan Wilhite

Experience: 2 Years in the NFL, both with the New England Patriots

Past Role: Easy target for opposing QBs. Wilhite is an average #3 CB or excellent #4 CB who was thrust into a #2 spot in 2009 because either lack of ability or lack of skill with his fellow cornerbacks. As a rookie in 2008, Wilhite wasn't superb, but he emerged as the "#2" by default (remember Deltha O'Neal?). That "default" continued into 2009, until Darius Butler emerged as promising and Shawn Springs emerged as serviceable. Wilhite is best utilized as a slot corner, and that's where he has played when not asked to be the #2.

He's never served as real depth on the team, due to a lack of solid players in the secondary.

Predicted Role: Hopefully, Wilhite will be pushed down on the depth chart, where he belongs. Leigh Bodden is a clear starter and Butler and rookie Devin McCourty should both emerge ahead of Wilhite on the depth chart. Despite all the grief caused by Wilhite, he's experienced in the Patriots defense and will be able to start, in a pinch. He should play the slot every once in a while, but I'm expecting his numbers to drop this upcoming season.

Predicted Season Numbers: 4 Games Started, 15 Games Played. 35 Tackles, 2 INTs, 4 Passes Defended.

Predicted Depth Chart: #4 CB

Summary: Wilhite makes the team due to his experience and his value as a depth player. He actually showed signs of regression from his rookie to sophomore year, but that can be attributed to his greater role on the defense. He's not fit to be a starter, but can help out on defense. This should be the first season where Wilhite plays from a spot on the depth chart where it fits his actually ability.

Judging from their predicted spots on the depth chart, I don't think the Wonder Twins will ever activate.

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