It is time for the New England Patriots to officially set their 53 Man Roster.
Last week, team rosters had to go from 85-80
This week rosters must be cut from 80 to 53 by Tuesday at 4 pm.
So, without further explanation… it is time we get into my Final Roster Projection!
Quarterbacks (3): Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Brian Hoyer
Cuts: (IR) Jarrett Stidham
It has come down to the wire, and it has been one of the most appealing battles in the NFL this preseason.
I am gonna have to stick with what I have been saying all along, this is Cam Newton’s team until he loses it, and he has yet to lose it even after the whole debacle last week.
I will say though, I will not be surprised one bit if Mac Jones is named the starter. Bill Belichick stated after their final preseason game, “We still have a lot of decisions to make” when asked if he was ready to name a Week One starter yet.
It could go either way. Until otherwise though, I will stick with my prediction of Cam Newton.
As for Brian Hoyer, I had him getting cut last week, but with COVID running rampant still it is never too safe to not have a 3rd string QB, just in case.
Running Backs (4): Damien Harris, James White, Rhamondre Stevenson, JJ Taylor
Cuts: Brandon Bolden
The Sony Michel trade took out some of the log jam in the room, especially with the breakout of 3rd round RB, Rhamondre Stevenson.
JJ Taylor expects to now fill a big role on this team. That of Rex Burkhead. Taylor showed Sunday that he has the speed and elusiveness to outrun the competition and play a big part in this run game.
As for Damien Harris and James White, their roles are already etched in stone.
Wide Receivers (5): Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers. Gunner Olszewski, Kristian Wilkerson
Cuts: N’Keal Harry (IR), Isaiah Zuber, Tre Nixon, Marvin Hall,
N’Keal Harry is the target of interest here. Last week I had Harry being traded. That was before he was expected to miss time due to a shoulder injury. With that being said, I have Harry hitting the IR to start the season, thus giving Zuber a chance to get some playing time.
Basically what I am saying is any trade value N’Keal Harry had, is now gone by the wayside
Also, do not be surprised if New England tries to scoop up a cut WR later this week, there are expected to be some interesting names out there.
Tight Ends/Fullback (4): Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Devin Asiasi, Jakob Johnson
Cuts: Matt LaCosse, IR: Dalton Keene
Straightforward here, the most set-in-stone position on the team…
Not much needs to be said here only one cut off the 53 man roster in the Tight End room, and that is Matt LaCosse who has missed quite a bit of preseason with an injury.
Offensive Line (8): Isaiah Wynn, Michael Onwenu, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Trent Brown, Ted Karras, Justin Herron, Yodny Cajuste
Cuts: Will Sherman, Korey Cunningham, James Ferentz, Marcus Martin, Alex Redmond
Last week I had Ferentz making the 53 man roster, well, with the rise of a certain player on the line, Ferentz is now on the outside looking in.
Instead, I have Yodny Cajuste making the roster, the aforementioned “certain player.” Cajuste has really impressed the last two weeks, especially yesterday against the Giants.
Other than that this offensive line looks lethal this year and could play a HUGE part in the season.
Defensive Line (6): Lawrence Guy, Davon Godchaux, Deatrich Wise, Henry Anderson, Christian Barmore, Carl Davis
Cuts: Montravius Adams, Akeem Spence, Nick Thurman, Bill Murray, Chase Winovich (Trade), PUP: Byron Cowart,
This is a tough one. We saw both Chase Winovich and Henry Anderson go well into the game, practically to the end of the game. That usually only happens to bubble players.
If we are choosing between one of the two players to make the 53 man roster, my bet is hedging towards Henry Anderson.
Winovich is a fantastic player, could be great in this league, but the way he draws penalties on himself and the way he goes rogue a lot, makes me think Bill could be looking for a new home for the young defensive end.
Linebackers (7): Dont’a Hightower, Matt Judon, Kyle Van Noy, Josh Uche, Ronnie Perkins, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Harvey Langi
Cuts: Tashawn Bower, Anfernee Jennings
The Linebacking corp appears to be one of the deepest groups on the 53 man roster his year, although the team will do some trimming to the back end to shore up the corp.
The odd man out here is Anfernee Jennings who is only in his 2nd year. Jennings has not been able to solve the Patriot’s playbook, let alone has missed a lot of time this past camp, and last year.
So by default, he is the odd man out. Although I would love to see him make the team and see what he can do.
Cornerbacks (6): Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Shaun Wade, Joejuan Williams, D’Angelo Ross
Cuts: Michael Jackson Sr., Dee Virgin
The acquisition of Shaun Wade shores up the back end of the group, allowing for some breathing room.
I do believe Stephon Gilmore will play week one against Miami and that the team will shore up contract negations during this off week.
The surprise here though, is D’Angelo Ross, he had a hell of a game against the Giants, and I think he could make a good depth piece for this team.
Safeties (4): Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Jalen Mills
Cuts: Myles Bryant, Adrian Colbert, NFI: Joshuah Bledsoe
Another pretty straightforward group on the 53 man roster is the Safeties, not much to say here as you are looking at pretty much the same group of guys, just adding on Jalen Mills who could be playing a lot of Hybrid CB/S.
Specialists (6): Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Nick Folk, Justin Bethel, Matthew Slater, Cody Davis
Cuts: Quinn Nordin
I have been on the Quinn Nordin train since day one, alas, the day has come that I must accept my fate. Quinn Nordin had a great bounce-back game after a brutal game last week. With the return of the Nick Folk though, it is only right to have the veteran and the most consistent kicker take the spot.
I do believe though that you will see Nordin on the Practice Squad by the end of the week.
Final Thoughts on the Final Patriots 53 Man Roster Reset
With a little over a week left before the season kicks off, the Patriots appear to be trending in the right direction.
They have an offense that could blow up and go off, with a deep running back room and the return of the 2 Tight End sets.
The defense looks poised to breakout once again, with the new additions of Jalen Mills, Matthew Judon, and Davon Godchaux and the return of key players in Hightower and co. This defense could be absolutely lethal this year.
I fully expect this season to be an absolute blast to watch, making this team a dark horse for the 2021 season.
2021 New England Patriots Prediction: 10-7 (2nd in AFC East) and a Wild Card Berth.
-Jeff Hoak (@JeffHoak1 on Twitter)
Featured Image: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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