The votes are in an Pats Pulpit readers have constructed their 53-man final roster projection for the New England Patriots. It was a close contest and I had to make some executive decisions because of virtual ties in the voting process and because I need to construct a viable roster.
Links to all of the polls are at the bottom. Here's the roster
Quarterbacks (3): Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett. I didn't actually run a poll for this position because there would have been no point.
Running backs (4): Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, James White, D.J. Foster. White and Foster tied in votes so I put them both on the team, with Foster serving as the annual Undrafted Free Agent Rookie that Makes the Squad. Veterans Donald Brown and Brandon Bolden didn't make the cut. Bolden has the largest cap hit at the position, but he's a core special teams player- there's a chance for him to make the actual squad.
Wide receivers (5): Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Keshawn Martin. No surprises here, with Devin Lucien serving as the most likely fringe receiver to make the team, barely edging out veteran Nate Washingon. Aaron Dobson was not close to winning the polls, but he's arguably been the standout receiver thus far in camp.
Tight ends (3): Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Clay Harbor. Tight end Michael Williams tore his ACL and will be placed on the injured reserve, but it was James Develin that received the next most votes. Harbor will serve as a fullback and a tight end.
Inside offensive linemen (5): Josh Kline, Shaq Mason, Bryan Stork, Jonathan Cooper, Joe Thuney. When making this poll, Stork was considered a lock, but there's a very real chance that David Andrews can steal the starting position. Voters believe that Andrews would be the 54th player on the roster, and would be the final cut.
Offensive tackle (3): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, LaAdrian Waddle. 42% of voters determined that rookie Joe Thuney would serve as the 4th offensive tackle on the depth chart, beating out Marcus Cannon and his 33% of the votes. The people win out, even though the Patriots will likely carry a fourth tackle.
Edge defenders (5): Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom. After over 1,000 votes, Flowers led with 52%, while Grissom beat out Rufus Johnson by a mere one vote:
Defensive tackles (5): Malcom Brown, Alan Branch, Terrance Knighton, Vincent Valentine, Joe Vellano. While I would have rolled with four defensive tackles (and added an extra offensive tackle), the people decided that Vellano would make the team. In face, Frank Kearse also beat out the "only four defensive tackles" option.
Linebackers (5): Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Shea McClellin, Jonathan Freeny, Kamu Grugier-Hill. There are questions of what position McClellin and Ninkovich will play in 2016, but they're both making the roster. KGH had the most resounding victory in the polls with 73% of the vote as the next linebacker on the roster. He will play a lot of special teams.
Cornerbacks (5): Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Cyrus Jones, Justin Coleman, Darryl Roberts. Coleman and Roberts picked up 45% and 42% of the votes, respectively, and both make sense for team building. Both can play special teams and both offer considerable upside on defense.
Safeties (4): Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards. No surprises here, either.
Special Teams (6): Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona, Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner, Brandon King. Ebner picked up 50% of the safety vote, while King earned 48% of his own, so both make the squad- with King serving as the last player to make the final roster.
So there you have it. What do you think?
Check out our Running Back poll here. (James White: 26%, D.J. Foster: 26%, Donald Brown: 23%)
Check out our Wide Receiver poll here. (Devin Lucien: 39%,Nate Washington: 34%)
Check out our Tight End poll here. (Clay Harbor: 61%)
Check out our Interior Offensive Line poll here. (David Andrews: 46%, Tre Jackson: 37%)
Check out our Offensive Tackle poll here. (Joe Thuney: 42%,Marcus Cannon: 33%)
Check out our Edge Defender poll here. (Trey Flowers: 52%,Rufus Johnson: 24%,Geneo Grissom: 24%)
Check out our Defensive Tackle poll here. (Joe Vellano: 31%,Frank Kearse: 20%, Only 4 DTs: 20%)
Check out our Linebacker poll here. (Kamu Grugier-Hill: 73%)
Check out our Cornerback poll here. (Darryl Roberts: 45%,Justin Coleman: 42%)
Check out our Safety poll here. (Nate Ebner: 50%, Brandon King: 48%)