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The Patriots Secondary is Quietly Coming Into Place

The New England secondary will be much different from last year's version, but the roster is already taking shape.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Patriots don't have Darrelle Revis. They don't have Brandon Browner. They don't have Kyle Arrington or Alfonzo Dennard. New England won't be featuring the same top tier secondary that they had for their 2014 Super Bowl run.

But some part of me thinks that they'll be just fine.

As the offseason continues forward, the Patriots secondary will also start taking shape. Devin McCourty will be the team's premier free safety, while Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung, Tavon Wilson, and second round pick Jordan Richards all compete for the strong safety or dime back position. The safety position is a fairly known and understood quantity.

Cornerback is a different story, but one that is starting to form. Logan Ryan has spent the entire offseason as one of the team's penciled in starters, but that doesn't necessarily make him the team's top corner. Malcolm Butler has spent minicamp shadowing Julian Edelman, which implies the coaches believe Butler has plenty of potential.

Bradley Fletcher is considered to be an above-average #2 cornerback by Football Outsiders, and he's certainly paid like one. Seventh round pick Darryl Roberts is turning heads and some writers compare his camp to Butler's last offseason. Bill Belichick also called Robert McClain "one of our hardest workers" and implied that he's more of a slot corner and special teams player.

Ryan, Butler, and Fletcher are the clear top three corners on the roster, while Roberts and McClain will provide valuable depth and special teams ability. While Fletcher is primarily a sideline corner, both Ryan and Butler can play inside and out, so this rest of the offseason will be important to determine the actual pecking order.