Projecting a Patriots 53 Man Roster: Version 5.0

Terrence Wheatley and Tyrone McKenzie are two player on the Patriots' roster bubble.

One week after our last Patriots 53 Man Roster prediction, it's time for another.  Two preseason games are in the books, so lets see where we're at:

Quarterback (2): Tom Brady, #12; Brian Hoyer, #8

No changes at this position.  Zac Robinson hasn't shown enough to warrant a roster spot at this point, practice squad for him.

Runningback (4): Laurence Maroney, #39; Fred Taylor, #21; Kevin Faulk, #33; Sammy Morris, #34

I finally have BenJarvus Green-Ellis being cut.  I think the older backs (Taylor, Faulk, Morris) showed enough last week that the team can move on without Green-Ellis.  Laurence Maroney should be able to hold up as well.  Lets be honest, whether or not the Law Firm is in the team's long term plans, the Patriots are going to need to bring youth to the position next year either way.

Wide Receiver (6): Randy Moss, #81; Wes Welker, #83; Brandon Tate, #19; Julian Edelman, #11; Taylor Price, #17; Sam Aiken, #88

I have Sam Aiken back on the roster this week.  He got a lot of playing time with the first unit and second unit last week as a receiver, and still is an important special teams player for the Patriots.  The top five remain the same.

Tight End (3): Rob Gronkowski, #87; Aaron Hernandez, #85; Alge Crumpler, #82

No changes at this position, except that I have Rob Gronkowski on top of the depth chart once again.

Offensive Tackle (4): Matt Light, #72; Sebastian Vollmer, #76; Mark LeVoir, #64; George Bussey, #66

No changes here.  Bussey is your reserve left tackle, LeVoir your reserve right tackle.  Thomas Welch has looked bad through two preseason games.

Interior Offensive Line (4): Dan Koppen, #67; Stephen Neal, #61; Dan Connolly, #63; Ryan Wendell, #69

I have last year's 4th round pick Rich Ohrnberger getting cut here (and landing on the practice squad).  He's got some talent, but doesn't offer any special teams value, and is getting beat out on the depth chart right now by Ryan Wendell.

Defense after the jump!

Defensive Line (6): Mike Wright, #99; Vince Wilfork, #75; Gerard Warren, #68; Myron Pryor, #91; Brandon Deaderick, #71; Ron Brace, #97

Once again, there's no changes here.  The only thing I will note is that I think Ron Brace has secured his roster spot as the reserve left end.  Ditto Brandon Deaderick on the right side.  This doesn't bode well for Damione Lewis.

Outside Linebacker (6): Tully Banta-Cain, #95; Derrick Burgess, #53; Jermaine Cunningham, #96; Marques Murrell, #93; Rob Ninkovich, #50; Pierre Woods, #58

I've added Pierre Woods to this group, as he is still one of the top special teams players for the Patriots.  The rest of the group remains the same as last week.  Ninkovich is a solid rusher in sub-packages and is also a solid special teams player, so he keeps his spot.

Inside Linebacker (5): Jerod Mayo, #51; Brandon Spikes, #55; Gary Guyton, #59; Tyrone McKenzie, #44; Eric Alexander, #52

The only roster change I have in this spot is the addition of Eric Alexander, and the subsequent subtraction of Dane Fletcher.  Alexander is a very valuable special teams player for the Patriots, and has also looked decent on defense.  Tyrone McKenzie offers little special teams value, and could be competing with Fletcher for a final roster spot, if one exists.

Cornerback (6): Leigh Bodden, #23; Devin McCourty, #32; Darius Butler, #28; Jonathan Wilhite, #24; Terrence Wheatley, #22; Kyle Arrington, #27

Kyle Arrington is a hard hitter and a key special teams player for the Patriots.  Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite are likely competing for one roster spot, so if the team could net a fifth or sixth round pick for one of them, that would be ideal.

Safety (4): Brandon Meriweather, #31; Patrick Chung, #25; Brandon McGowan, #30; James Sanders, #36

Initially, I had rookie free agent Sergio Brown on the final roster, but I elected to with James Sanders after doing my final cuts.  However, if the Patriots could swing Sanders, for say a fourth round pick to a team looking for a solid starting safety, I think the Patriots will jump on that.

Special Teams (3): Stephen Gostkowski, #3; Zoltan Mesko, #14; Jake Ingram, #46  

No changes and no competition for any of these guys.

Practice Squad (8):

1. Sergio Brown, S, #38

2. Rich Ohrnberger, G/C, #60

3. Thomas Welch, T, #74

4. Kade Weston, DL, #66

5. Rob Meyers, TE, #80

6. Dane Fletcher, ILB, #45

7. Kyle Love, DL, #74

8. Zac Robinson, QB, #7 

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