Fifty-three players stand on the New England Patriots’ active roster. Another 10 reside on the practice squad. And beyond that, three reside on physically unable to perform and four reside on injured reserve.
Veteran or rookie, things remain fluid. Transactions are forever imminent. But the one thing that is solidified is how each player first arrived in the NFL – either via the draft or free agency.
Of the 70 total players in the Patriots’ fold, 50 were drafted and 34 were drafted by Bill Belichick and the New England war room.
As for where each was selected – or if they were at all – here is a rundown as of Oct. 22.
- Chris Long, 2008
- Devin McCourty, 2010
- Nate Solder, 2011
- Dont’a Hightower, 2012
- Shea McClellin, 2012
- Barkevious Mingo, 2013
- Malcom Brown, 2015
Seven former first-round picks are in the Patriots’ mix. All seven are on the active roster, and four of whom were drafted by the club. Long, McClellin and Mingo made their way to Gillette Stadium later on in their football journeys.
- Alan Branch, 2007
- Martellus Bennett, 2008
- Patrick Chung, 2009
- Sebastian Vollmer, 2009 – Physically unable to perform
- Rob Gronkowski, 2010
- Jabaal Sheard, 2011
- Jamie Collins, 2013
- Bishop Sankey, 2014 – Practice squad
- Jimmy Garoppolo, 2014
- Eric Rowe, 2015
- Jordan Richards, 2015
- Cyrus Jones, 2016
A dozen former second-round picks call themselves Patriots. Ten currently find themselves on the 53-man roster, and seven – when including Vollmer from the PUP – were drafted by the organization. Branch, Bennett, Sankey and Rowe saw their careers begin elsewhere.
- Logan Ryan, 2013
- Duron Harmon, 2013
- Geneo Grissom, 2015
- Jacoby Brissett, 2016 – Injured reserve
- Joe Thuney, 2016
- Vincent Valentine, 2016
In all, six former third-round picks are in Foxborough. All six were drafted by the team, and five reside on the 53-man roster following Brissett’s placement on IR and Grissom’s promotion from the practice squad.
- Stephen Gostkowski, 2006
- James White, 2014
- Cameron Fleming, 2014
- Trey Flowers, 2015
- Shaq Mason, 2015
- Tre’ Jackson, 2015 – Physically unable to perform
- Jamil Douglas, 2015 – Practice squad
- Malcolm Mitchell, 2016
A tally of eight former fourth-rounders are with New England. With Douglas the lone exception, seven were drafted by the organization and six are on the active roster.
- Rob Ninkovich, 2006
- Matthew Slater, 2008
- Dion Lewis, 2011 – Physically unable to perform
- Marcus Cannon, 2011
- Vinnie Sunseri, 2014 – Practice squad
- Joe Cardona, 2015
As for fifth-rounders, six are with the Patriots and four are on the 53-man roster. Three originally had their name called by the club, with the exclusions being Ninkovich, Lewis and Sunseri.
- Tom Brady, 2000
- Nate Ebner, 2012
- Tyler Gaffney, 2014 – Practice squad
- AJ Derby, 2015
- Ted Karras, 2016
- Elandon Roberts, 2016
Six former sixth-round selections are with the Patriots. Five are situated on the active roster and each of those five originally entered the league with the team. Gaffney, now on the practice squad after spending his first two seasons on injured reserve, was claimed off waivers as a rookie.
- Julian Edelman, 2009
- Greg Scruggs, 2012 – Injured reserve
- Michael Williams, 2013 – Injured reserve
- Trevor Reilly, 2014 – Practice squad
- Devin Lucien, 2016 – Practice squad
A handful of former seventh-rounders are with the Patriots at this time. Two of whom were drafted by the team – Edelman and Lucien – and only No. 11 is on the active roster. It is a shallow group when set in contrast with the undrafted.
- Danny Amendola, 2008
- LeGarrette Blount, 2010
- James Develin, 2010
- Chris Hogan, 2011
- Jonathan Freeny, 2011 – Injured reserve
- Brandon Bolden, 2012
- Chris Barker, 2013 – Practice squad
- Ryan Allen, 2013
- LaAdrian Waddle, 2013
- Malcolm Butler, 2014
- Anthony Johnson, 2014
- David Andrews, 2015
- Justin Coleman, 2015
- Brandon King, 2015
- DeAndrew White, 2015 – Practice squad
- Glenn Gronkowski, 2016 – Practice squad
- Chase Farris, 2016 – Practice squad
- D.J. Foster, 2016
- Woodrow Hamilton, 2016
- Jonathan Jones, 2016
A total of 15 former rookie free agents are on the active roster, and when accounting for injured reserve and the practice squad, that laundry list climbs to 20. Of whom, Bolden, Allen, Butler, Andrews, King, Foster, Hamilton and Jones are “homegrown,” having signed their first NFL contracts with the Patriots.
The undrafteds, as is often the case, lead the way in representing New England’s 53-man roster at 28 percent. Behind them, the former second-rounders check in second at 18 percent, followed by the first-rounders at 13 percent.
That, in turn, means the third round through the seventh make up just 39 percent of the Patriots’ 53.
But, as Belichick noted during his Jan. 29, 2012 press conference leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, how long you stay is determined by what you do with your play.
“One thing we tell all of the players at the beginning of the year, and I’m sure every player has heard this before, is if you look at our track record and history, it’s true that I tell the team that I don’t care how you got here, it's what you do when you get here,” Belichick told reporters. “It doesn't matter if you were drafted in the second round, the fifth round, or not drafted at all. Ten years in the league, one year in the league, we are going to play the best players. Whoever that is, is decided by you.”