I track the roster all year long and start making projections all the way back to after the draft. Saturday is cut down day and it’s always interesting to see what the Patriots do and how many of their players they have cut get picked up by other teams. Jeff Howe had a great article on Wednesday about how difficult under normal circumstances it is for an Undrafted Free Agent to make the team. Jon Jones was one of those players and he was in a 3 way battle with CreVon Leblanc and Darryl Roberts for the last spot. Jones won, but both LeBlanc and Roberts were claimed when they were waived. Both are still in the league with the Eagles and lions respectively.
This is also a very difficult year for an UDFA to make a team. They have no game film to go on. The 4 pre-season games normally would give the coaching staff and the staffs of all 32 other teams an opportunity to assess them. The Patriots have an UDFA make the 53 man roster for 16 straight seasons. It may be in jeopardy this year.
Barring trades or waiver claims this is what I think the final 53 man roster will look like.
QUARTERBACK (3) Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer
Lewerke was just another camp arm. Hoyer is insurance given Newton’s injury history and Stidhams hip problem.
RUNNING BACK (5) James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Sony Michel, JJ Taylor
The problem I have is that neither Miller nor Michel play special teams. Reports have Harris with a hand injury. The second issue is that Burkhead, White and Miller are Free Agents next season. I think they tell Miller he is going to be cut for the initial 53. As a vested veteran he does not go through waivers and becomes a Free Agent immediately. The Pats cut him with a promise they will re-sign him as soon as a player goes on IR. If Miller is on the roster for the 1st game his salary is guaranteed for the season.
FULLBACK (1) Jakub Johnson
Paul Quessenberry may make the PS as a developmental player similar to James Devlin
WIDE RECEIVER (5) Julian Edelman, Gunner Olszewski, N’Keal Harry, Damiere Byrd, Jeff Thomas
Sanu was just too slow and couldn’t separate. Ross was the star early in camp, but faded. Thomas had a small signing bonus indicating there was not much interest. However, Thomas has made it this far without any incidents. This could be like Tyreek Hill and they just might have a viable threat on their hands. They were hoping to get him through waivers but thought it was too risky. Thomas becomes the KR. Meyers is just too slow. Gunner is the PR and could be a replacement for Edelman in the future.
TIGHT END (2), Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene,
Have to make a cut somewhere to keep the extra RB. An O lineman can be the 3rd TE. Izzo is the cut. Izzo, Burt and Berry have a chance at PS
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
Joe Thuney, Shaq Mason, Jason Eluemanor, Isaiah Wynn, David Andrews, Hjalte Froholdt, Jodny Cajuste, Michael Owenu, Justin Herron,
It came down to Owenwu and Cunningham. Owenwu’s potential and his flexibility to play both G and T win out.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE (5) Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Byron Cowart, Beau Allen, Detrick Wise
Concerned with this group, if they can’t stop the run it will be a long season. Allen goes to IR after he makes the final 53 so that he can be recalled. Wise really came on at the end of camp showing pass rushing skills from the DT position
DEFENSIVE END (5) John Simon, Chase Winowich, Afernee Jennings, Derek Rivers, Shilique Calhoun
Calhoun did nothing wrong to get cut, just a numbers game. They will try and bring him back when Allen goes on IR. Pats want to see if Rivers pass rushing skills are real.
INEBACKER (4) Ja’Whaun Bentley, Josh Uche, Cassh Mulai, Brandon Copeland,
Somebody has to be cut and Harris received a big bonus to sign with the Pats ($140K). That shows that there was interest from other teams and he is likely to be picked up off waivers. Copeland may play strictly on the outside.
PUP Brandon King,
CORNERBACK (5) Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, JC Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jojuan Williams,
Justin Bethel just can’t play DB in this league. He is great as a ST only player, but at the end of the roster you need to do more. There are plenty of other players that can fill his ST role as gunner. Jackson may go on IR after the final 53 also. DeAngelo Ross and Myles Bryant performed well in camp and may make their way to the PS.
SAFETY (5) Devin McCourty, Terrence Brooks, Cody Davis, Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips
Williams has played Safety in camp giving more flexibility.
Special Teams 4
K Nick Folk (1), P P Jake Bailey(1), LS Joe Cardona (1), Matthew Slater ST Capt (1)
There is no bigger disappointment in camp than Justin Rohrwasser, especially since I wanted Tyler Bass and he beat out Hauschka in Buffalo
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