I was going to wait until after this weekend’s game against Detroit until I did my second version of my roster¬†projections, but decided to go for one right now…mainly because I had been scratching my head at ways to get Gerard Warren onto my Roster…someone who I had left out after not being able to find any space!
So here it goes! Feel free to tell me what you think once I’m finished!
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett (3)
No change here what-so-ever. This is how it will be come Week One and should be the order on the depth chart!
Running Back: Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Sammy Morris (5)
No change here either. Sammy Morris comes in with special team value and his ability to play Full Back. ¬†Shane Vereen returned to Practice this week so there’s no need to panic on him and talk about IR as things stand! Danny Woodhead didn’t miss much training at all after his heavy blow on the Punt Unit last week against the Buccaneers.
Wide Receiver: Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco, Taylor Price, Julian Edelman, Mathew Slater (6)
I’m still going with six Receivers and I’m still giving the final spot to Mathew Slater. Brandon Tate has trade value that’s for sure and we would rather trade him than cut him, but he has had plenty of time to prove himself and, if you can’t push Deion Branch for that 3rd Receiver spot as our new deep threat, you’ve served you purpose. Taylor Price assumes his role in the offense and maybe even Special teams. Jeremy Ross is someone who I think should clear waivers and make the Practice Squad.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Will Yeatman (3)
Will Yeatman has leap frogged Lee Smith and stood out above him in every phase. This has potential to change. My recent article¬†Positional Battles: The 3rd TE Spot states that the battle is close between these two! This is a must watch in this weekend’s game against the Lions and keep an eye out for Version 3.0 of my roster Projections to see if my mind changes! Garrett Mills, who was recently picked up, is more of an Aaron Hernandez type TE and can play Full Back; he is a potential Practice Squad candidate.
Offensive Tackle: Matt Light, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Steve Maneri (Tackle/Guard)¬†(4)
No changes here. Steve Maneri makes it in as the 4th Tackle based on the fact he is versatile and can play Guard on both sides also. He has shown impressive stints so far during Preseason!
Offensive Guard: Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell (Guard/Center) (3)
This is where I have made one change to make way for another. Rich Ohrnberger comes out. He and Ryan Wendell are both very similar players and,¬†with Steve Maneri’s ability to play Guard, we can remove Ohrnberger to make way for another player¬†elsewhere. Whilst¬†Ryan¬†Wendell has been hurt, he is showing signs of coming back, and if it was between the two, I would have to take him. If Wendell can’t remain healthy through to Week One of the¬†Regular¬†Season, he could hit IR with Ohrnberger taking his place. Ohrnberger could be a Practice squad candidate if he doesn’t make the team and clears Waivers.
Center: Dan Koppen (1)
No change. Ryan Wendell will back him up.
Defensive End: Andre Carter, ¬†Jermaine Cunningham, Eric Moore, Mark Anderson (4)
Slight change; Shaun Ellis moves out of my Defensive End Category and over in the Defensive Tackles group! His purpose in our new Defensive scheme is subject to debate, but until we see clad-iron proof, I think he plays primarily Tackle, and moving over to End in obvious rushing downs. Apart from that, no change. Ellis will be able to add depth to the position if Cunningham doesn’t return. Markell Carter to the¬†Practice¬†Squad.
Defensive Tackle: Vince Wilfork, Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis,¬†Kyle Love, Myron Pryor, Gerard Warren (6)
As described previously, Shaun Ellis moves into this group. Albert Haynesworth returned back to practice this week. Ron Brace is a PUP/IR candidate I believe. Another change is the addition of Gerard Warren. Last year’s sack leader was resigned by the Patriots and I don’t see him not making the cut. Mike Wright goes to IR.
Linebacker: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Gary Guyton, Dan Fletcher, Rob Ninkovich, Tracy White (6)
No change here either. The only real battle is the one going on for my 6th spot. Tracy White makes it in for now; had Jeff Tarpinian stayed healthy I would have him making the roster over White. Now I see him on IR or the Practice squad unless he makes a remarkable comeback in week 4. Ricky¬†Brown and Niko Koutouvides are providing some added competition and are potential Practice Squad¬†candidates¬†also.
Cornerback: Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Kyle Arrington, Darius Butler, Ras-I Dowling (5)
No change here. Ras-I Dowling is back at practice this week and will hopefully remain healthy. Jonathan Wilhite is the victim .
Safety: Brandon Merriweather, Patrick Chung, James Sanders, Sergio Brown (4)
Again, no change. James Ihedigbo is now in the mix of course, and could push someone like James Sanders. Something to watch is Sanders getting more and more repetitions with the Special Team Units which leads me to believe someone like Ihedigbo may be able to push him for a job on this team. Keep an eye out for that this weekend!
Place Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
Punter: Zoltan Mesko
Long Snapper: Matt Katula
No change or explanation needed! Someone spoke to me about the possibility of Chris Koepplin making the Practice Squad as security. He has certainly looked good on kickoffs but I’m not 100% sold on him getting on there. Stephen Gostkowski is¬†gradually¬†getting more and more of the workload back on kickoffs, and should be healthy for us all year. I wouldn’t rule it out, but reliable kickers can be found in the Free Agent market, as we proved last year with Shayne Graham.
The difference between¬†Version¬†1.0 and Version 2.0 is that I¬†have¬†removed the Offensive Guard, Rich Ohrnberger for the Defensive Tackle, Gerard Warren.
I have also moved Shaun Ellis from Defensive End to Defensive Tackle. There has been a lot of debate about what his role will be and, whilst I think he will move out to DE in obvious short yardage running situations, he will primarily be a Tackle. But watch for Belichick to move him around!
This splits the player count evenly between Offense and Defense at 25 a piece, with 3 roster spaces going to the Specialists.
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