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Patriots Roster Prediction #50: CB Terrence Wheatley

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Player Name: CB Terrence Wheatley

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

Past Role: In his rookie season, Wheatley saw time against the San Diego Chargers (got burned by Vincent Jackson for 72 yards on 2 receptions and 3 passes, but participated in 17 snaps), the St. Louis Rams (Didn't have a ball thrown his way in 20 snaps) and the Indianapolis Colts (Swallowed Marvin Harrison whole, 2 passes attempted, both defended, then injured his wrist). This means that he showed enough coverage skills that quarterbacks didn't try and throw in his direction that often.

Wheatley recovered over the off-season, but something must have been wrong and he dropped down the depth chart, behind Free Agent pick-up Shawn Springs, fellow 2008 Draftee Jonathan Wilhite and 2009 Draftee Darius Butler. Wheatley didn't get on the field until Week 3 and he was given the job of covering Roddy White. Similar to his Vincent Jackson game, he was thrown at 3 times and gave up 2 receptions for 21 yards. He didn't see much of the defense for the rest of the season.

Predicted Role: Wheatley will make the roster because the Patriots need depth at cornerback, in case of injury. If the Patriots use their Joker defense more (only one player on the line of scrimmage), the defense might opt to use more linebackers or more defensive backs. Should one of the top defensive backs be injured, Wheatley will provide extra depth.

He'll also emerge as a kick returner as Matthew Slater doesn't make the final cut.

Predicted Season Numbers: 0 Games Started, 4 Games Played. 5 Tackles.

Predicted Depth Chart: #5 CB

Summary: Wheatley will barely make the roster and will be at the top of "possible players to let go" when Welker returns from the PUP list. He'll primarily be a special teamer and his skill as a cornerback gives him a roster spot over Slater.