Looking at the Patriots Depth at Defensive End

Scott Heavey

Taking a quick look at the Patriots' depth at defensive end following the suspension of Jermaine Cunningham.

Taking a quick look at the Patriots' depth at defensive end following the suspension of Jermaine Cunningham:

Rob Ninkovich: The starter at right defensive end, his role doesn't figure to change much with Cunningham out. If anything, he could see a few extra snaps (could get near 100% of snaps played).

Chandler Jones: Jones isn't the starter at left end, regardless of Cunningham's roster status, but he hasn't played since the first half of the Colts game, and it's really unknown when he's expected to return. His injury hasn't been deemed serious, but at the same time, there isn't really a timetable for his return - at least not in the public view.

Trevor Scott: Has one QB hit and four pressures in nine games played this year. He figures to take over the left end spot as he has seen increased snaps with Jones out the past two weeks. Scott has similar measurables to the injured Jones at 6'5" and 250 lbs, and seems to have good explosiveness and active hands in his rush.

Justin Francis: The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers has, like Scott, seen an increase in his reps the past two games. Overall, he's played 57 snaps in four games played (all since week 7). In the last three, Francis has recorded a quarterback hit. Francis is a bit of a DE/DT hybrid with a lower center of gravity than Scott at 6'3" and 270 lbs. And with the Patriots struggling to set the edge with Jones out, you can't help but wonder if Francis could see some time on early downs.

Jake Bequette: 2012 has been a development year for Bequette. He's played 17 snaps in two games, and has been inactive for the majority of the others. He has however, won a pair of practice player of the week awards. And at some point, considering his measurables, hard work, and production at Arkansas - you'd have to think he'd be given a chance. If Chandler Jones continues to miss time, I think Bequette will be on the active 46 man game day roster. Whether he actually plays a significant role... that'll be a storyline to monitor.

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