The Patriots third preseason game will be the final time a number of the team's players — 15 to be exact — will get an opportunity to prove themselves.
The league's first mandated trimming of rosters will be Aug. 26, just four days after the Patriots take on the Carolina Panthers. For the NFL, 53-man rosters won't be due until Aug. 30, two days after the team's final preseason game against the New York Giants.
So this is a time when tensions are high for those renting space at the bottom of the roster and those whose jobs are up for grabs. After Friday's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, we have plenty of information to update our Patriots depth chart, which recognizes players that are virtually guaranteed to make the team (highlighted in green) and players that are most likely to get cut (highlighted in red). Everyone else is still in the competition.
Here is the offense:
Here is the defense:
Here is the special teams:
Some notes on all of this:
- Dutifully, I’ve removed WR Brian Tyms, CB Malcolm Butler, and OL Jordan Devey from the “no chance in hell” group of players that won’t make the team. They've each had strong camps and impressive outings in the two preseason games.
- Tyms has moved up the depth chart. But as you’ll see, I still have Butler pretty low given the fluctuation in the secondary.
- In the same respect, I’ve removed only one player from the “guaranteed roster spot” group, DE Will Smith.
- WR Kenbrell Thompkins is the closest player to a roster lock that isn’t a roster lock.
- Added to the list of players I don’t expect to make the team: LB Deontae Skinner, WR Derrick Johnson, OL Chris Martin, OL Chris Barker, DT Eathyn Manumaleuna, DB Travis Hawkins, DB Daxton Swanson, S Kanorris Davis, and S Shamiel Gary.
- Martin could possibly convert to injured reserve if waived and not picked up. He’s currently on the non-football injury list.
- I’ve shuffled a number of players around in respect to their second positions on the team, particularly because of the turmoil at safety and linebacker. But also in the wide receivers group and on the offensive line.
- For the offensive line, it really comes down to Josh Kline or Jordan Devey or both. The Patriots have options.
- While the defense still represents a 4-3 front, the 3-4 linebacker position reflects the Patriots use of Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich there, respectively.
- With Tyler Ott reportedly cut, Danny Aiken is back as the team's long snapper and the Patriots special teams unit is solidified.
- According to my count, 22 offensive players, 21 defensive players, and three special teams players are what I would call guaranteed to make the team. That leaves only seven roster spots up for grabs.