My third and final 53-man roster prediction for the Patriots 2012 season. Here’s how it breaks down:
Quarterbacks - Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett,¬†Brian Hoyer
Running Backs – Stevan Ridley,¬†Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Jeff Demps,¬†Brandon Bolden
Wide Receivers – Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, ¬†Deion Branch, Julian Edelman, ¬†Matthew Slater
Tight Ends - Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells
Offensive Line - Nate Solder,¬†Sebastian Vollmer, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Dan Koppen, ¬†Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendall,¬†Nick McDonald,¬†Donald Thomas
Defensive Line - Rob Ninkovich, Kyle Love, Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones, Jermaine Cunningham, Jake Bequette, Ron Brace, Brandon Deaderick, Justin Francis, Trevor Scott
Linebackers - Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Bobby Carpenter, Jeff¬†Tarpinian
Cornerbacks - Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling,¬†Sterling Moore, Alfonzo Dennard,¬†Marquise Cole
Safeties - Pat Chung, Tavon Wilson, Steve Gregory, Nate Ebner
Specialists - Stephen Gostkowski (k), Zoltan Mesko (P),¬†Danny Aiken (LS)
Practice Squad – Jeremy Ebert (WR), Alex Silvestro (TE), Matt Kopa (OT), Marcus Forston (DT), Eric Kettani (FB), Kerry Taylor (WR), Malcolm Williams (DB).
- I thought long and hard about Brian Hoyer being cut and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was for depth at another position. Even if he makes the 53-man roster initially, he could be on the way out if the team wants to roll the dice with only two quarterbacks.
- 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 showed flashes of potential in Wednesday night’s loss to the Giants.
- Jeff Tarpinian lands on the roster after Dane Fletcher’s ACL tear against the Saints as well as his special teams ability.
- I expected Alfonzo Dennard to make the team going into training camp, but he hadn’t been able to stay on the field. Wednesday night Dennard flashed and made several plays, including¬†stripping the ball from Giants running back Andre Brown in the fourth quarter.
- Nate Ebner made an impact this pre-season and seems to be around the ball constantly. He 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 still expect Brian Waters to return to the team in the next few days and if he does, I would expect one of the interior lineman to lose their spot on the roster.
- On a final note, Jabar Gaffney could re-sign with the team after he gets healthy. After having a high level of competition going into camp, the wide receiver position is a little thin going into the season.
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