We still have no idea what this NFL season is going to look like. However, we do know that roster sizes are going to stay the same. Cuts are going to be made, whether they have some sort of modified preseason the league comes up with. Here’s a deep dive into who the Pats might keep around on their week 1 roster.
QB: Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer – (Cut: J’Marr Smith, Brian Lewerke)
Unless they add some unexpected veteran, expect them to go with their seasoned vet that knows the system and their man of the future, unless one of the UDFA’s make some serious noise.
RB: James White, Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden, Damien Harris – (Cut: JJ Taylor)
Bill loves these RBs, and without Tom he can dump all his money into special teamers like Bolden. I do really like JJ Taylor as an underdog to show some unknown talent, don’t be surprised if he comes back on the practice squad or even squeaks on over Burkhead.
FB: Danny Vitale – (Cut: Jakob Johnson)
Vitale looks like a clear cut replacement for the monster that was James Develin. Vitale was very good with Green Bay and could fill the role well.
WR: Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Mohamed Sanu, Marquise Lee, Gunner Olszewski, Matthew Slater – (Cut: Damiere Byrd, Quincy Adeboyejo, Will Hastings, Isaiah Zuber, Devin Ross, Sean Riley, Jeff Thomas)
The Pats always keep a roster spot for Slater, especially after he just re-signed. This will be a huge coming out year for Meyers and Harry, and if someone on this list doesn’t make it then it’s going to be Sanu or Lee. Most likely Lee with his injury history, but Sanu was a huge disappointment last season too.
TE: Ryan Izzo, Devin Asisi, Dalton Keene – (Cut: Matt LaCosse, Rashod Berry, Jake Burt)
Lacosse was hugely disappointing last season. The two rookie tight ends together is something the Pats have done before, so that looks like the direction they’ll go. Asiasi will be the big red zone target, Keene the athletic and versatile H-Back type, and Izzo is the blocker in the run game.
OT: Isaiah Wynn, Marcus Cannon, Yodney Cajuste – (Cut: Justin Herron, Korey Cunningham)
OG: Joe Thuney, Shaq Mason, Hjalte Froholdt – (Cut: Najee Toran, Michael Onwenu, Jermaine Elemunor)
C: David Andrews, Dustin Woodard
The offensive line is going to be a weak point, especially without Scarnecchia. They are going to have to go with young players to figure out who is going to work out going forward. Cajuste was in the system for a year and should be able to help out at tackle, Woodard was a guy they drafted and they’ll need an extra center with Andrews health complications.
LB: Dont’a Hightower, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Chase Winovich, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Brandon Copeland, Terez Hall – (Cut: Tashaun Bower, Shilique Calhoun, Derek Rivers, Cassh Maluia, Kyahva Tezino, De’Jon Harris)
They have a lot of depth at this position to start the year. They like to cycle in their pass rushers constantly throughout the game, so they’ll keep a lot of those guys. Look for the rookies Uche and Jennings to get some playing time. They’ll learn the defense, as well as play a decent amount of special teams too. Terez Hall was also a UDFA that somehow stuck around, so they definitely like him as what looks like a special teams option. Brandon Copeland is kind of the wild card in here to compete with Shilique Calhoun, Derek Rivers and the young guys, but Bill loves bringing in the rival teams players so he should stick around.
CB: Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, JC Jackson, Jonathan Jones, JoeJuan Williams – (Cut: Justin Bethel, Lenzy Pipkins, D’Angelo Ross, Myles Bryant)
I don’t need to explain too much about this position. They are STACKED. The first 4 guys alone, and Williams is the only wild card in this. If he plays to his potential he is the size of a linebacker that can man up the most physical receivers. If his legal issues keep up, they’ll have to adjust and keep someone like Justin Bethel.
S: Devin McCourty, Pat Chung, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Cody Davis – (Cut: Terrance Brooks, Malik Gant, Adarius Pickett, Brandon King)
This is another stacked position, Adrian Phillips is an up and coming talent that feels like someone they’ll put in all the right positions to make plays. Dugger will come into his own throughout the year, and Cody Davis will be the new Nate Ebner. We have some casualties in Terrance Brooks and Brandon King, but they have plenty of ways to replace them.
DE: Lawrence Guy, John Simon, Deatrich Wise, Nick Coe – (Cut: Nick Thurman)
Wise makes this list for depth only. Coe seems like a guy that could surprise people, and Lawrence Guy has really been an anchor on this defense the last couple years and will continue that.
DT: Adam Butler, Beau Allen, Byron Cowart – (Cut: Courtney Wallace, Bill Murray)
I wanted to keep Bill Murray so badly, but these guys seem like the logical choices. Adam Butler has been a sneaky good pass rusher in his tenure, and he’s the number 1 guy now.
K: Justin Rorhwasser
P: Jake Bailey
LS: Joe Cardona
QB J’Marr Smith, RB JJ Taylor, T Justin Herron, G Michael Onwenu, WR Will Hastings, DT Bill Murray, LB Cassh Maluia
The Pats are known to pick off of other teams cuts to build their practice squad. The guys listed above are a few guys that they might keep around. With their lack of QB they would be smart to keep an extra one around to learn the system. Hastings played with Stidham at Auburn and was one of his favorite targets. They need some depth on the offensive line and it would make sense to keep the guys they drafted. And yes, we keep Bill Murray somehow.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)