I’ll be posting my predicted 53-man roster for the New England Patriots on every Monday from here on out until the final roster cuts at the end of this month.
With that being said, let’s dive right in.
QB (3) Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer
RB (3) Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen
WR (7) Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth, Deion Branch, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater
TE (3) Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Visanthe Shiancoe
C (2) Dan Koppen, Dan Connolly
G (4) Logan Mankins, Brian Waters, Ryan Wendell, Nick McDonald
T (3) Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon
DE (4) Chandler Jones, Jonathan Fanene, Jake Bequette, Trevor Scott
DT (4) Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Gerard Warren, Brandon Deaderick
ILB(4) Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Donta Hightower, Dane Fletcher
OLB(3) Bobby Carpenter, Rob Ninkovich, Jermaine Cunningham
CB (6) Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling, Sterling Moore, Will Allen, Alfonzo Dennard
SS (2) Steve Gregory, James Ihedigbo
FS (2) Patrick Chung, Tavon Wilson
ST (3) Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken
Notable players being cut:
RB Brandon Bolden—The undrafted rookie running back out of Ole Miss might be impressing Bill Belichick in training camp, but the team simply cannot afford to carry more than three running backs. Bolden is just the odd-man out.
All the fullbacks—For the Patriots, having a fullback is not a necessity; it’s a luxury. With that being said, with all of the talented players on their current roster, they cannot afford to cut someone like Deion Branch, Nick McDonald, Marcus Cannon or Will Allen to carry someone like Eric Kettani or Spencer Larsen.
Notable players making the roster:
CB Will Allen—The veteran cornerback could potentially make a huge impact on New England’s 2012 season. Allen has spent the last five seasons with the Miami Dolphins and has been arguably the team’s best cornerback in that time-frame. If Allen can stay healthy, then he could be a useful resource for the Pats this season.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe—Instead of carrying a fullback, bringing along a blocking tight end—that can also be a receiver—would be a good idea for New England. In 2011, we saw offensive tackle Nate Solder line up as the team’s extra blocking tight end, but with Matt Light retiring, Solder is now the team’s starting left tackle. With that being said, Shiancoe could fill Solder’s role from a year ago.