Greg Knopping's first (and likely terrible) attempt at projecting what the Patriots' 2014 53-man roster will look like.I'm about to make myself look incredibly silly. The 2014 NFL Draft concluded one week ago, and I'm already going to make my first roster projection of the year. This prediction will inevitably be far from the final outcome. After all, the Patriots are probably going to make a solid half-dozen moves before training camp opens, but why not give it a shot?
So without further ado, my first 53-man roster prediction of the 2014 season:
QB (3): Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo
Thoughts: I don't expect Ryan Mallett to be traded, but you never know. If Garoppolo outplays Mallett in camp, there's really no reason to keep both around.
RB (5): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, James White, Brandon Bolden, James Develin
Thoughts: Bolden and Develin's spots are far from secure. But with little tight end depth on the roster, Develin's ability to contribute in that area as a blocker nabs him a spot.
WR (7): Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Josh Boyce, Kenbrell Thompkins, Matt Slater
Thoughts: There very well may not be a roster spot for both Thompkins and Boyce. And yes, I was very tempted to go with Jeremy Gallon over the both of them.
TE (2): Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui
Thoughts: I fully expect the team to add Dustin Keller here. In fact, I'm surprised they haven't already. For now, James Develin's presence allows the team to stick with just two here. But look at for both Asa Watson and Justin Jones during camp - one of them could steal a roster spot. If Gronk isn't ready to go for training camp, this will obviously change things.
OT (3): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Cameron Fleming
Thoughts: The ability of both Vollmer and Solder to play the left side make a traditional swing tackle less necessary.
OG/C (6): Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, Marcus Cannon, Bryan Stork, Josh Kline, Jon Halapio
Thoughts: Dan Connolly is the big cut here, with Marcus Cannon finally seizing a starting spot at right guard. That spot is totally up for grabs, however. Kline and even Halapio could take it as well. We're a bit heavy here with six, but considering that Cannon could simply slide back out to tackle in the even of an injury, I'm okay with that.
DT (5): Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Dominique Easley, Sealver Siliga, Armond Armstead
Thoughts: After the addition of Dominique Easley, this position has plenty of depth and young talent. Armstead is a wildcard, but if he shows up, he could push the likes of Chris Jones and Joe Vellano off the roster.
DE (4): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Michael Buchanan, Will Smith
Thoughts: Buchanan wins the role of speed rusher, almost by default. His development will be a key storyline to watch this offseason.
LB (6): Jerod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Steve Beauharnais, Josh Hull, Cameron Gordon
Thoughts: The depth of this group certainly leaves something to be desired, although the talent of the starters is elite. Nate Ebner's presence allows the team to keep just five here. He's the equivalent of a linebacker on special teams. Last in: Cameron Gordon - This spot goes to Keller if he's signed, but the Patriots need depth here.
CB (5): Darrelle Revis, Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, Kyle Arrington, Brandon Browner (suspended for 1st four games)
Thoughts: Jemea Thomas is a wildcard here and I have him making the team as a safety. Justin Green could also sneak onto the roster.
S (5): Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung, Jemea Thomas, Nate Ebner
Thoughts: If Logan Ryan learns the safety position this offseason, this group will have more depth.
Specialists (3): Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Tyler Ott
Thoughts: Ott over Danny Aiken, because why not?
How do you think I did with my roster projection? Leave your thoughts and the changes you would make below!