The Patriots will have to cut their roster down to 75 players by 4:00 PM tomorrow. While there are a lot of bubble players with uncertain futures, these are the players that I see as surefire 100% locks to make the team:
Quarterback (2): Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo
The Patriots will more than likely keep Ryan Mallett, but Garoppolo's quick ascension has dropped Mallett from being a sure-fire lock.
Running Back (2): Shane Vereen, James White
James Develin is pretty close to "lock" status, while the team will likely keep two of the trio of Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden and Jonas Gray.
Wide Receiver (4): Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Matt Slater
Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell look like very good bets to make the roster, I would say around 90-95% for both of them. But that's still not 100%.
Tight End (2): Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui
Hoomanwanui might not have been a lock in recent years. For this tight end group, he certainly is.
OT (4): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Cameron Fleming
Fleming likely won't be playing in 2014, barring injury, but is a lock due to make the roster as a developmental prospect. Cannon can back-up multiple spots, and has experience so he should be safe. Jordan Devey, whether you classify him as a tackle or guard, is also a good bet to stick.
Interior O-Line (2): Logan Mankins, Bryan Stork
Unless your name is Logan Mankins or Bryan Stork, you shouldn't feel safe if you're an interior lineman for the Patriots. Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Jordan Devey, and Josh Kline are all good bets to stick. But not all of them will.
Defensive Tackle (3): Vince Wilfork, Dominique Easley, Sealver Siliga
I was almost a bit hesitant to put Siliga as a total lock, but I don't see any way the team cuts ties with him after the release of Tommy Kelly. Joe Vellano, Chris Jones, and Jerel Worthy are fighting for what will probably be two roster spots.
Defensive End (2): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich
Both Jones and Ninkovich are 100% locks, while Michael Buchanan and Zach Moore are pretty good bets to make the team (both in that 90-95% range). Other than that...
Linebacker (3): Jerod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins
The depth here has been concerning all offseason, and it still is, with the three starters being the only locks for the roster. Chris White is the next best shot to stick because of his role on special teams. Darius Fleming, Steve Beauharnais, Ja'Gared Davis, and James Morris are in contention for the final one or two spots.
Cornerback (6): Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Kyle Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler
A position where every player is a lock to make the roster? Even an undrafted free agent such as Malcolm Butler? Yup.
Safety (2): Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon
Final spots are certainly up for grabs. Nate Ebner probably sticks for special teams. Patrick Chung and Tavon Wilson may be competing for one job.
Specialists (3): Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Danny Aiken
Aiken has won the long snapper battle for now. However, the team could always bring in someone else at any point. Oh, the life of a long snapper.
This list puts me at 35 total "surefire" 100% locks to make the roster. Even then, you can probably bank on one of these players being released. In total, that would put 19 spots up for grabs on the final roster (factoring in Browner's suspension). A lot of those spots may seem close to decided, but they're just spots I wouldn't put the "100% certain" label on just yet.
Do you agree with my roster locks? Who would you add? Who would you subtract from my list?