By: Derek Havens
My second 53-man roster prediction for the Patriots 2012 season. Here’s how it breaks down before training camp opens:
Quarterbacks – Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett
Running Backs – Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, Danny Woodhead, Jeff Demps
Wide Receivers – Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Deion Branch, Donte Stallworth, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater
Tight Ends – Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells
Offensive Line – Sebastian Vollmer, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Dan Koppen, Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendall, Donald Thomas, Nick McDonald
Defensive Line – Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones, Kyle Love, Jonathan Fanene, Brandon Deaderick, Jake Bequette, Justin Francis
Defensive End / Linebackers – Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, Dont’a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich, Bobby Carpenter, Niko Koutouvides
Cornerbacks – Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore, Ras-I Dowling
Safeties – Pat Chung, Tavon Wilson, Steve Gregory, James Ihedigbo, Nate Ebner
Specialists – Stephen Gostkowski (k), Zoltan Mesko (P), Danny Aiken (LS)
- Spencer Larsen had a good shot at making the roster, but he hasn’t been able to stay on the field. With rookie tailback Brandon Bolden lining up at both running back and fullback at practice, I could see him landing a roster spot.
- I’m not sold Julian Edelman will make he team, but until Jeff Demps proves he can be the explosive returner he was his freshmen year at Florida, Edelman should make the squad.
- After being activated from PUP, tight end Daniel Fells should have the inside track to the team’s third tight end position.
- Undrafted rookie Justin Francis secures a spot on the defensive line and edges out defensive tackle Ron Brace. Gerard Warren could suit up at some point in the season, but I don’t expect him to be on the roster coming out of camp.
- Niko Koutouvides lands on the roster after Dane Fletcher’s ACL tear against the Saints.
- I expected Alfonzo Dennard to make the team, but he hasn’t been able to stay on the field. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land on Injured-Reserve for a hamstring injury and return next season.
- Nate Ebner has made a much smoother transition to NFL defensive back than first thought. He has looked fluid, seems to know his responsibilities and doesn’t look lost on the field. I think he lands a spot on the roster.
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