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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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TheFlyingWedge

In the Starting Line-Up
Say what you will about Roberts, but he has put in some solid years for the Pats and held up well when he was needed. BB says that often a player’s greatest ability is his availability. I don’t think he’ll get cut... Traded maybe.
 

SBLIII

In the Starting Line-Up
Say what you will about Roberts, but he has put in some solid years for the Pats and held up well when he was needed. BB says that often a player’s greatest ability is his availability. I don’t think he’ll get cut... Traded maybe.
don't see even that. Roberts is a valuable piece in the rush defense.
 

TheFlyingWedge

In the Starting Line-Up
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.
Odd to see Duron Harmon getting reps in the first preseason game though isn’t it?
 

TheFlyingWedge

In the Starting Line-Up
don't see even that. Roberts is a valuable piece in the rush defense.
They have a lot of depth at LB though. If a trade is made, it would be at a position of depth with a player, most likely, who is valuable to the Pats or to another team.
 

supafly

Eff you, Shula
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Odd to see Duron Harmon getting reps in the first preseason game though isn’t it?
I can see how you would feel that way, but we just watched Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield get reps in the first preseason game, too. Brady has done it plenty of times.

How long did he play for? I don’t pay much attention to the first couple of preseason games, so I still haven’t watched the replay, yet. If DMcC and Chung both sat, then I think it’s more understandable.
 

203Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
King just re-signed a couple months ago and would carry a $1 million cap hit if cut so he isn't going anywhere.
I believe Roberts is a dead man walking. He is a solid LB but nowhere near as versatile as the other LB's. If this was 1994 he would be great. He is a thumper who can blow up some running plays but doesn't offer much more than that. With Bentley back I think his fate is sealed. With that said if the numbers work out and he stays in a backup role I wouldn't be mad.
Ebner always seems to stick around and would have a dead cap hit of $600k if released so I believe Crossen would really need to stand out to take his spot on the roster. With that said if Crossen is close he is significantly cheaper and also offers a little bit on the defensive side as well where as Ebner does not.
 

mgteich

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You suggest having Cowart/Butler, Crossen, Obi, Rivers/Calhoun, and cutting King and Brooks from my list of 25 (including Rivers and Obi). I'd be fine with Cowart and/or Calhoun making the 53. Actually, I like Calhoun a lot.

So, I am OK with Cowart/Butler, Obi, and Rivers/Calhoun; the differences are in the STers: you would cut Brooks and King; and add Crossen. I would keep both Brooks and King; and cut Crossen.

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Yes, the norm is 5 on the field. To me, that means we need 5 backups, including STers. I have 5 corners and 5 safeties (including Brooks and Obi). Crossen could beat out one of the last two, but I don't think that we need Crossen.

Nice Job for this early in the game. People should realize that it's a lot easier to "edit" a book than write it. So, I appreciate the work you put in. But that being said, let me "edit" your "book" just a bit. ;)

1. The thing that pops out immediately to me is you giving Butler a "lock" designation. WAY too early for that. Bedard has pointed out that Butler looks bigger, but slower this TC and hasn't flashed at all thus far. On the other hand, Cowart did flash (at least to me) in the PS game.

2.Barring a trade kI can easily see 6 CB's making the team. Having 5 DB's on the field is the new normal. I think I read it happens on over 60% of plays That's why having 10 or even 11 DB's is possible. So I'd add Crossen to that list of CB's

3. I have Obi ahead of Brooks on the S list. Brooks is having a good camp, but no better than Obi and he has a much better upside than Brooks as the 4th S. Fast enough to play deep, and more than big enough to play inside the box.

4. I also might make the move to put Winovich in with the LB's. To me he is already at more athletic version of Ninko, besides he already has the number. So I'd replace King with Winovich as the 6th LB and add Rivers or Calhoun as the 3rd edge guy, maybe ever both. King can be replaced by the likes of Winovich, Calhoun or even Sam

5. Sadly I see no path where Ebner makes this team. Nice career for a guy who only played ST's at OSU. 3 superbowl rings, a trip to the Olympics, and a place in the very thin book of Jewish Professional Football players.

6. Looks like the team is set up to play more 3-4, 2-5 alignments this season. Wise and Bennett look like the two 4-3 DE's, while Bennett, Guy, and perhaps Butler/Cowart can play 3-4 DE's

7. I think when we see the "final" 53, we will have a big clue as to what we are likely to see alignment-wise early in the season.


Nice Job for this early in the game. People should realize that it's a lot easier to "edit" a book than write it. So, I appreciate the work you put in. But that being said, let me "edit" your "book" just a bit. ;)

1. The thing that pops out immediately to me is you giving Butler a "lock" designation. WAY too early for that. Bedard has pointed out that Butler looks bigger, but slower this TC and hasn't flashed at all thus far. On the other hand, Cowart did flash (at least to me) in the PS game.

2.Barring a trade kI can easily see 6 CB's making the team. Having 5 DB's on the field is the new normal. I think I read it happens on over 60% of plays That's why having 10 or even 11 DB's is possible. So I'd add Crossen to that list of CB's

3. I have Obi ahead of Brooks on the S list. Brooks is having a good camp, but no better than Obi and he has a much better upside than Brooks as the 4th S. Fast enough to play deep, and more than big enough to play inside the box.

4. I also might make the move to put Winovich in with the LB's. To me he is already at more athletic version of Ninko, besides he already has the number. So I'd replace King with Winovich as the 6th LB and add Rivers or Calhoun as the 3rd edge guy, maybe ever both. King can be replaced by the likes of Winovich, Calhoun or even Sam

5. Sadly I see no path where Ebner makes this team. Nice career for a guy who only played ST's at OSU. 3 superbowl rings, a trip to the Olympics, and a place in the very thin book of Jewish Professional Football players.

6. Looks like the team is set up to play more 3-4, 2-5 alignments this season. Wise and Bennett look like the two 4-3 DE's, while Bennett, Guy, and perhaps Butler/Cowart can play 3-4 DE's

7. I think when we see the "final" 53, we will have a big clue as to what we are likely to see alignment-wise early in the season.
 

Family

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I strongly agree. I also think that Brooks' contract makes him a likely keep.

This is an excellent point. You only need to look at how they structure new signings to determine who is most likely to stick.

There is no advantage to cutting Brooks/King, while someone like Mike Pennel is easily cut.
 

Deus Irae

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I'd say that there are other factors that make calling this a difficult thing to do. Theoretical depth at unusual positions (i.e. QB, P) make it more difficult to determine how many slots are going to be available for defensive players. BB and Caserio also have to decide who they'd be willing to risk getting claimed if the team tries to get them to the practice squad. Also, in close call scenarios with those depth players, teams might be willing to make those trades you speak of, and those trades might change how we look at all the spots.

So, looking at the OP list, and going by the various reports as best we can, I think that there are some excellent candidates for trades, as much as candidates for cuts, and that takes players off the "lock" level, IMO. A CB like Jones or a LB like Roberts, for example, I'd say aren't locks, in part because of the very trade issue that your question requires us to ignore.

So, good question, IMO, and I can't really see a way to give you an answer that can fit the parameters.
 

Kdo5

Pro Bowl Player
Wise, Simon, Pennel, Butler, Roberts, King, Williams, Harmon, J McCourty, Brooks ... I don’t think any of them are locks.
Harmon is a lock, no idea where you are getting that from. Wasn’t he a captain last season or the year before? And it’s not like his play has dipped. He is very consistent.
 

willard

On the Game Day Roster
Wow do we have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball. I like Calhoun a lot based on what I am hearing. Rivers is balling. They make Wise more available. Sam has nice qualities as a linebacker. Roberts has proven himself. I sure hope we can leverage a trade for a good blocking tight end. There will definitely be players we cut or trade playing on other NFL teams. Bill has a pretty full cupboard on defense to help out our tight end position. Personally a lot more concerned with blocking than receiving with our left tackle position being the biggest question mark on the team. Right now our D is stacked and double stacked.
 

BelichickFan

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Harmon is a lock, no idea where you are getting that from. Wasn’t he a captain last season or the year before? And it’s not like his play has dipped. He is very consistent.
I think he'll make it. Not sure about a lock. He didn't play much in the Super Bowl even with Chung hurt. Cut/trade would save about $2M this year and about $4M next year. Depth has been added and we could probably get a mid to late draft pick for him.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
I think Kyed is on the right track, here. I don't agree with every single call, but the overall thrust of the list seems solid.

Patriots 53-Man Roster Locks Include Just 26 Veteran Players, Six Rookies
It saddens me to admit that, more likely than not, Brandon the King of ST Penalties is a lock, though I'd still rather keep Christian Sam, who also plays STs and obviously has a much higher ceiling as a possible contributor on defense...though I suppose he could pass through waivers unclaimed on Cut-Down Day, then be re-signed to the PS...
 
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patchick

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Harmon is a lock, no idea where you are getting that from. Wasn’t he a captain last season or the year before? And it’s not like his play has dipped. He is very consistent.

I would think so too, but FWIW Bedard has Harmon as a cut, one of several surprises (Deatrich Wise, Danny Shelton).

The tackle position is looking a lot less settled right now than we expected early in camp.
 

dex13

On the Game Day Roster
I think he'll make it. Not sure about a lock. He didn't play much in the Super Bowl even with Chung hurt. Cut/trade would save about $2M this year and about $4M next year. Depth has been added and we could probably get a mid to late draft pick for him.

Chunt and Harmon are different safeties. I've always considered Harmon more a coverage safety while Chung plays closer to the line. Different skill sets so its not a one for one swap in the defensive scheme.
 

Kdo5

Pro Bowl Player
I would think so too, but FWIW Bedard has Harmon as a cut, one of several surprises (Deatrich Wise, Danny Shelton).

The tackle position is looking a lot less settled right now than we expected early in camp.
Hmm I don’t know what insight Bedard has that no one else is aware of. I’ll believe it when I see it, I’d be shocked.
 
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