Normally, we would run our Patriots 53 man Patriots roster prediction long before today. However, with the strange offseason that resulted from the NFL Lockout, we're publishing our first official prediction just hours before the first preseason game.
Thoughts: All three are pretty much stable with their roster status.
Thoughts: Sammy Morris is a tough cut here, but with the competition at other areas, the Patriots can't afford the roster spot on a fifth running back. Faulk starts on PUP, but could make his way back midseason.
Thoughts: I have the Patriots keeping all six receivers in this situation. The Patriots need to keep some young talent with both Welker and Branch having their contracts expire after this year. LAST IN: Matt Slater makes the roster over Jonathan Wilhite/Sammy Morris.
Thoughts: Lee Smith has proven himself capable as a Alge Crumpler replacement thus far, and earns himself the roster spot.
Thoughts: This position seems pretty stable. Nate Solder is a top back-up as a swing tackle. Mark LeVoir has proven capable to step in when needed.
Thoughts: Marcus Cannon recovers on IR, ready to go for 2012. Mankins, Coppen, and Connolly are your starters with Wendell as your top back-up who can play any spot. Rich Ohrnberger and Chris Morris are tough cuts, but could earn their way onto the roster with a strong preseason.
Thoughts: The Patriots keep both Anderson and Carter, which will come as a surprise to some. The Patriots gave both players decent signing bonuses, and likely value them both.
Thoughts: The Patriots get to stash a couple of extra players here, by placing both Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick on the reserve/PUP list to start the season. Gerard Warren, Kade Weston, and Landon Cohen are all tough cuts.
Thoughts: LAST OUT - I had Jonathan Wilhite making the roster, but switched to Matt Slater due to his performance on special teams. That spot also could have gone to Sammy Morris. Wilhite or Butler will get that last CB spot.
Thoughts: There have been some questions as to whether or not Patriots management have been happy with the performance of Brandon Meriweather. Either way, until another capable option presents itself, Meriweather is safe, with Sanders as the reliable backup.
Thoughts: Chung is the incumbent starter and a budding start at strong safety. Brown showed flashes as a rookie, and is signed through 2013.
K (1): Stephen Gostkowski
Thoughts: Chris Koepplin was just a camp leg.
P (1): Zoltan Mesko
Thoughts: In his 2nd year, Mesko has no competition.
LS (1): Matt Katula
Thoughts: Rob Ninkovich won't be snapping full-time.