EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ahead of Saturday's deadline for rosters to be trimmed to 53 players, here's another one last look at the Patriots depth chart and a projection of which which players will be cut.
(Players in green are definite locks to make the team. Players in red are projected to be cut. For those in gray, that is a representation of their second position or a sub set on offense, defense, and in the return game.)
First, the offense:
- Moved Jimmy Garoppolo up to the No. 2 spot. No reason not to.
- Brandon Bolden does not appear to have a place on this team. But Roy Finch does. It looks like he could help boost the Patriots kick return game. Jonas Gray, while impressive in camp, was never going to take carries away from Stevan Ridley or James White, despite White's unimpressive preseason.
- Despite being considered a fullback more than a linebacker, Taylor McCuller will likely not make this team.
- I have Josh Kline as your left guard and Jordan Devey as your right guard. Marcus Cannon could conceivably fill in at right guard. But we won't know definitively until the season starts.
- I see the Patriots keeping Steve Maneri around until Tim Wright gets up to speed. At which point, likely after Brandon Browner's suspension is complete, he could be out of a job.
- Brian Tyms, despite two fantastic games and outplaying Josh Boyce, I can't see making this roster. Aaron Dobson's healthy return nudges him out.
- Boyce, for his part, seemed to be in the competition all the way up until these final two preseason games. Thursday night's effort was disastrous and sealed the deal for me.
- I've re-aligned the depth chart to represent a 3-4 defense, with 4-3 subsets represented.
- Despite injuries to Sealver Siliga and Chris Jones, I believe the Patriots hold both in high enough regard to keep them in lofty positions. But unlike Siliga, nothing is guaranteed for Chris Jones.
- Despite a strong preseason from Darius Fleming, I don't see him being retained unless there are injuries to Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower (both of whom did not dress on Thursday) that we do not know about. I essentially see Fleming competing with Zach Moore for a position on this team, but with Moore's ability to play more positions, and his steady improvement, I can't see them banking on getting him to the practice squad.
- Former draft picks Jake Bequette and Tavon Wilson are gone.
- Steve Beauharnais sticks around as the Patriots main backup linebacker. But I suspect some of the guys, namely James Morris and Ja'Gared Davis, may wind up on the practice squad.
- Malcolm Butler sticks around as the Patriots are able to retain an extra roster spot because of Browner's suspension. (For this reason, only 21 players are cut in these graphics.)
- Patrick Chung, in my opinion, has won the starting safety spot opposite of Devin McCourty.
- The only note of matter is on the kick returners, which will likely change over the course of the season. But the front runner appears to be the rookie Roy Finch, if he can somehow make the team.