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Barring Trades Are All Of These 23 Defensive Locks (or almost locks)?

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Sep 12th

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mgteich

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DEFENSE (23 LOCKS OR ALMOST LOCKS)
4 DE - Bennett, Wise, Simon, Winovich
4 DT - Guy, Pennel, Shelton, Butler
6 LB - Hightower, Van Noy, Roberts, Collins, Bentley, King
5 CB - Gilmore, McCourty, Jackson, Jones, Williams
4 S - McCourty, Chung, Harmon, Brooks

TOP CONTENDERS FOR 1 OR 2 ROSTER SPOTS
DE - RIVERS
DT - Cowart, Parry, Kamalu
LB - Calhoun, Sam
CB - Crossen, Dawson, MELIFONWU
S - Ebner
 

Family

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I think Roberts is far from a lock. In fact, I expect him to be cut.

Harmon and Brooks are close, but not lock locks. And McCourty has the one year deal, so we won't discuss that.

As people might know from another thread, I don't think Pennel is a lock, but he is still a front runner.

Who knows about King???

Edit: Butler is not a necessary lock at DT either IMO.
 
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farn

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I want Jones to stick (I think he is a key piece that’s worth having around even if he leaves next season). However, as posters have mentioned, he has (1) value (2) pending free agency (3) cap $ if gone. He isn’t lock for those reasons.
 
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AlexB

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
EDGE (3): Bennett, Wise, Winovich (Simon not a lock but would be a surprise cut)
DT (1): Guy
LB (4): Hightower, Van Noy, Collins, Bentley
CB (5): Gilmore, McCourty, Jackson, Jones, Williams
S (3): McCourty, Chung, Harmon
ST (1): King (recent extension makes him a lock)
 

Zuma

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Roberts was a liability in coverage and took the wrong gap to often in his 1st 2 years. He wasn't ready to HELP fill in for Hightower in 2017...but he did the best he could. I think for the most part he fixed those issues last year and played well. I think he stays.
 

Sciz

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They’ve got longer leashes due to past performance, but there have been a handful of reports about how both Wise and Butler have been thoroughly unimpressive in camp so far.
 

RobertWeathers

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Roberts was a liability in coverage and took the wrong gap to often in his 1st 2 years. He wasn't ready to HELP fill in for Hightower in 2017...but he did the best he could. I think for the most part he fixed those issues last year and played well. I think he stays.
He did play well last year.
 

ChrisR2223

Pro Bowl Player
They’ve got longer leashes due to past performance, but there have been a handful of reports about how both Wise and Butler have been thoroughly unimpressive in camp so far.
I agree don't think either of those 2 are guaranteed spots.
 

Angelpats

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Wise, Simon, Pennel, Butler, Roberts, King, Williams, Harmon, J McCourty, Brooks ... I don’t think any of them are locks.
 

TheRainMaker

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I want Jones to stick (I think he is a key piece that’s worth having around even if he leaves next season). However, as posters have mentioned, he has (1) value (2) pending free agency (3) cap $ if gone. He isn’t lock for those reasons.
Jones is absolutely a lock this year. Keeping him gives BB the versatility he hasn’t had since 2003. This is arguably the best CB group BB has ever had.
 

sportnik

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Crossen's a lock because of his ST value. He's a far better ST'r than Ebner or King.

I'd say:
DEFENSE (18 LOCKS OR ALMOST LOCKS)
3 Edge - Bennett, Simon, Winovich
2 DT - Guy, Shelton
5 LB - Hightower, Van Noy, Roberts, Collins, Bentley
6 CB - Gilmore, McCourty, Jackson, Jones, Williams, Crossen
2 S - McCourty, Chung

I'd like to see them keep:

3 Edge - RIVERS, Wise, Calhoun
2 DT - Cowart, Butler
2 S - Brooks, MELIFONWU

What makes this defense so promising is that many of these guys can play multiple roles. Van Noy & Hightower, for example, will play as much or more Edge than LB. Bennett will likely take over Flowers role as the inside pass rusher on passing downs...
 
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jah

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Calhoun is a DE who slid inside to DT at times against Detroit, not a linebacker as you have him listed, for what it's worth.
 

ctpatsfan77

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A reminder: the Pats don't split the roster 25ish-25ish-3. It's more like 23ish-23ish-7ish.

In the SB, the Pats had 5 guys on the field primarily for their ST abilities: Ebner, Humber, King, Slater, and McClellan. Humber and McClellan are gone, and Brooks and Bolden in. [Fun fact: the Rams had something like 15 players who took most of their snaps on STs!]
 

hornetfb85

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I know this is not exactly the question you asked, but if the season started today I would say those 23 and one of each group:

a) Meli, Crossen, Dawson, Ebner (Maybe 2 more DBs)
b) Rivers, Calhoun

That’s the 25-26 defensive players we start with in my opinion. Which’s means some of these guys should be sweating profusely cause I’m usually wrong, at least according to my wife.
 

Scotty

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I think there are some players who may have to improve a bit more to be considered locks but I would be happy with any of the combinations posted.
 

supafly

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Wise, Simon, Pennel, Butler, Roberts, King, Williams, Harmon, J McCourty, Brooks ... I don’t think any of them are locks.
I think we can safely assume that Duron Harmon is a lock for multiple reasons, the first being that he continues to play at a very high level.

Williams is a 2nd round pick in his rookie year. He’d really have to have a terrible attitude for them to move on from him.
 

SBLIII

In the Starting Line-Up
DEFENSE (23 LOCKS OR ALMOST LOCKS)
4 DE - Bennett, Wise, Simon, Winovich
4 DT - Guy, Pennel, Shelton, Butler
6 LB - Hightower, Van Noy, Roberts, Collins, Bentley, King
5 CB - Gilmore, McCourty, Jackson, Jones, Williams
4 S - McCourty, Chung, Harmon, Brooks

TOP CONTENDERS FOR 1 OR 2 ROSTER SPOTS
DE - RIVERS
DT - Cowart, Parry, Kamalu
LB - Calhoun, Sam
CB - Crossen, Dawson, MELIFONWU
S - Ebner

Not a lock: Wise, Pennel, Butler, Roberts
 
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