The Patriots finalized their initial 53-man roster Tuesday with a whirlwind of 24 roster moves to reach their 53-man limit.
The Patriots are not done with transactions yet, however. Expect many of the players who were cut Tuesday to be brought back Wednesday to the practice squad. The Patriots could quickly re-sign veteran players to the 53-man roster after placing others on injured reserve Tuesday, as well.
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster in depth chart form. It could look different by Sept. 10 when the Patriots play the Eagles in Week 1.
The Herald’s take: The Patriots surprised the world by waiving quarterbacks Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham. Veteran Trace McSorley was released Tuesday, as well, leaving Jones as the only QB on the team.
So, it appears that Jones won the quarterback competition that head coach Bill Belichick continued to entertain last month.
The Patriots will need a backup quarterback when the season begins. They could sign Zappe back to the practice squad. Otherwise, quarterbacks like Colt McCoy, Will Grier, A.J. McCarron, Nick Foles, Chase Daniels and Jeff Driskel are available.
Jones had a great summer. Zappe struggled mightily in three preseason games. It made sense that Zappe never earned a real chance to supplant Jones. But cutting him outright was a shock.
RUNNING BACK (2)
Rhamondre Stevenson, Ezekiel Elliott
The Herald’s take: Stevenson is expected to still be the Patriots’ lead running back, but Elliott will be able to keep his legs fresh in a committee approach. Both Stevenson and Elliott can play on all three downs as between-the-tackles rushers, pass-catchers and in blitz pickup.
The Patriots elected to cut Ty Mongtomery, J.J. Taylor and Kevin Harris after trading Pierre Strong. It wouldn’t be surprising if Montgomery was brought back after a player was placed on injured reserve and if Harris was brought back on the practice squad.
WIDE RECEIVER (6)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Demario Douglas, Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte
The Herald’s take: They did it. The Patriots kept all six of their top wide receivers with 2023 sixth-round picks Boutte and Douglas both making the team. Smith-Schuster and Parker are most likely to play in two-receiver sets. Bourne could pass one of them on the depth if he continues his impressive trajectory from training camp.
Douglas appeared to be ahead of Thornton based on training camp reps. Thornton is dealing with an undisclosed injury and could potentially be a candidate to be moved to injured reserve after the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster is set.
Boutte came on strong later in training camp and can serve as depth at outside receiver if Thornton does miss time.
TIGHT END (2)
Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki
The Herald’s take: The Patriots keep just two tight ends on their initial 53-man roster as Matt Sokol and Anthony Firkser both got cut Tuesday.
Expect the Patriots to add Sokol or Firkser to the practice squad if they don’t acquire outside help at the position. Both Henry and Gesicki got banged up in training camp, and the Patriots could use some experienced depth in case more injuries pop up.
OFFENSIVE LINE (11)
LT Trent Brown, LG Cole Strange, C David Andrews, RG Mike Onwenu, RT Riley Reiff, Calvin Anderson, Atonio Mafi, Sidy Sow, Jake Andrews, Vederian Lowe, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
IR — Conor McDermott
The Herald’s take: It’s still unclear who will be playing right tackle for the Patriots. It was initially expected to be Reiff, but he got injured in Friday’s preseason game, hasn’t been practicing and had been kicked inside to guard late in training camp.
Onwenu has played right tackle in the past, but it would be asking a lot to move him to his second-best position coming off of a long rehab with limited practice time.
Getting Anderson back off of the non-football illness list is big, though it would be a surprise if he was able to play right away after missing all of training camp. Anderson practiced for the first time Tuesday.
Otherwise, Mafi has looked like the Patriots’ top reserve guard in training camp. Sow had been starting at right tackle but struggled in preseason action. Andrews will be the team’s top backup center, but it wouldn’t be surprising if James Ferentz was also kept around on the practice squad. Lowe and Wheatley were acquired via trade this week. Lowe could play some guard, as well.
DEFENSIVE LINE (7)
Deatrich Wise, Davon Godchaux, Lawrence Guy, Christian Barmore, Keion White, Daniel Ekuale, Sam Roberts
PUP — Trey Flowers
The Herald’s take: Ultimately, White, who can play anywhere from outside linebacker to defensive tackle, replaced Carl Davis in the defensive line group from last season. Davis, who had been with the team since 2020, was a somewhat surprise release Sunday.
Wise and White will primarily play on the edge. Godchaux, Guy, Barmore and Ekuale will take up space in the middle of the defense. Roberts is somewhat of a tweener who can play defensive end or defensive tackle at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds.
Flowers will miss at least four games on the PUP list.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (3)
Matt Judon, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings
The Herald’s take: Toss Wise and White into this mix, and the Patriots have a nice rotation of edge defenders. Judon will likely start on the edge across from Wise while Uche works in as a situational edge rusher. Jennings is a stout edge setter who will likely see a solid chunk of time on early downs. He appeared to take a positive step forward as a pass rusher this summer, as well.
Ronnie Perkins, a 2021 third-round pick, was a tough cut after he impressed in the Patriots’ final preseason game. He just couldn’t stay healthy in New England.
Ja’Whaun Bentley, Jahlani Tavai, Marte Mapu, Mack Wilson, Chris Board
The Herald’s take: Bentley will be on the field for most defensive snaps as the Patriots’ signal caller. Tavai, like Jennings, is an early-down run stuffer.
Mapu is the real wildcard in this group. Since he spent most of training camp in a red non-contact jersey, it’s still unclear if the Patriots will actually be using him as a starter, though there were signs of that this summer.
In Friday’s preseason game, Mapu was used as an early-down safety and sub-package linebacker. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds with impressive athleticism, he has the versatility to play both roles. Wilson can be used on special teams and rotationally at linebacker. Board is a core special teamer who can be used on defense in emergency situations.
Jonathan Jones, Christian Gonzalez, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Myles Bryant, Ameer Speed, Shaun Wade
IR — Isaiah Bolden
The Herald’s take: Jonathan Jones wound up missing most of training camp with an injury but is still a starter in this defense either outside or in the slot, depending on what other cornerbacks are around him. Christian Gonzalez has been part of the team’s top defense since he came in during the spring. Jack Jones took the most starting snaps out of the rest of this group, but his status remains up in the air as he faces gun charges.
The Patriots gave Marcus Jones most of his snaps outside in camp despite his 5-foot-8 stature. Bryant will likely see a lot of playing time again this season split between the slot and safety.
Wade is a somewhat surprising inclusion in this group, but the Patriots need another experienced cornerback depending on what happens with Jack Jones.
Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips, Jabrill Peppers, Jalen Mills, Brenden Schooler
The Herald’s take: Dugger, Phillips and Peppers were treated like starters this preseason and should receive the most snaps at safety. Mills should be involved, as well, as the Patriots continue to mix pieces into Devin McCourty’s old free safety spot.
Bryant and Marcus Jones also could see time at safety. Jonathan Jones has played safety in the Patriots’ defense in the past, as well.
SPECIAL TEAMS (4)
K Chad Ryland, P Bryce Baringer, LS Joe Cardona, ST Matthew Slater
PUP — ST Cody Davis
The Herald’s take: It’s officially a youth movement on special teams for the Patriots, who cut punter Corliss Waitman and traded kicker Nick Folk to the Titans. Ryland and Baringer winning the kicking and punting jobs were the expected results all along when they were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. But there is some risk involved here in handing over special teams reins to two rookies. Ryland and Baringer have much higher upside than Folk and Waitman, however.
Davis is a core special teamer who now gets to rest an additional four weeks on PUP before the Patriots must make their next decision on him.
Denial of responsibility! Planetconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.