Ever want an inside look at how the Patriots structure their depth chart? Well, it looks like the cameras caught a pretty good look at the New England roster structure back in early August. Tip of the hat to Mike Loyko for bringing it to my attention and Doug Kyed for giving me the timestamp.
There's a few things to keep in mind.
1) The depth chart shown has little to do with the current roster as injuries, roster turnover, and preseason games have forced the depth to change.
2) We know the depth chart is probably from August 5th since a) Harland Gunn is listed as a guard and was claimed on August 2nd and cut on August 6th; b) numerous players that were signed on August 4th are listed on the chart, including fullback Eric Kettani and linebacker Cameron Gordon.
3) Injuries are still clearly factored in to the depth chart as Dominique Easley is behind the now-cut Antonio Johnson, while Dont'a Hightower is behind the now-cut James Morris.
4) Players with their names in red are over the age of 30. Players with yellow name tags are rookies.
So here is the depth chart, with my translation below:
Inactives: Dane Fletcher, Brandon LaFell, Ryan Wendell, Matt Flynn, Matthew Slater
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo
Running back 1: LeGarrette Blount, Jonas Gray, Brandon Bolden, James White
Running back 2: Tyler Gaffney, Dion Lewis, Travaris Cadet
Fullbacks: James Develin, Eric Kettani
X wide receivers: Brian Tyms, Jonathan Krause, Aaron Dobson (?), Chris Harper
Z wide receivers: Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson, Zach D'Orazio
Tight ends: Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Michael Hoomanawanui, Jake Bequette, Jimmay Mundine (there is a gap because A.J. Derby was released on August 4th)
Left tackle: Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Chris Barker
Left guard: Shaq Mason, Josh Kline
Center: Bryan Stork, David Andrews, Jordan Devey
Right guard: Tre Jackson, Caylin Hauptmann, Harland Gunn
Right tackle: Sebastian Vollmer, Cameron Fleming
Right defensive end: Chandler Jones, Rufus Johnson, Trey Flowers
Right defensive tackle: Malcom Brown, Zach Moore, A.J. Pataiali'i
Left defensive tackle: Sealver Siliga, Antonio Johnson, Dominique Easley, Joe Vellano
Left defensive end: Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Eric Martin, Geneo Grissom, Dekoda Watson
Right outside linebacker: Jamie Collins, Brandon King, Matthews Wells (?), L.J. Fort
Middle linebacker: Jerod Mayo, James Morris, Dont'a Hightower, Jonathan Freeney
Left outside linebacker: Darius Fleming, Xzavier Dickson, Cameron Gordon
Left cornerback: Malcolm Butler, Daxton Swanson, Bradley Fletcher, Jimmy Jean
Free safety: Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards
Strong safety and right cornerback aren't visible, but per the yellow tag rookie Darryl Roberts is the third cornerback on that side of the depth chart.
Special teams: Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona
Lots have changed since the beginning of August and it's clear how much of a fluid register a team can be over the months.
It's easy to see which players are in the coaches good graces by their roster positions. The injured Brian Tyms and Tyler Gaffney are ranked well, as are practice squad players King and Swanson.
On the other hand, it makes James Morris' release all-the-more surprising because he was good in the preseason games.