Each team across the NFL must trim their rosters to 53 players prior to Saturday at 6 p.m. It will be the final wave of roster moves ahead of the regular season opener. Without out a doubt, the New England Patriots will have to make many difficult decisions. Their roster is very deep this season. Here’s how I envision things shaking out.
Keeping Mallett on the roster provides the Patriots with an insurance policy to Brady. Even though Garoppolo was outstanding this preseason, he still has a ways to go in terms of NFL readiness and development. Mallett would provide immediate experience in the horrific event that Brady were to go down.
Running Backs: 4
The Patriots will be in need of some sort of rushing game if they hope to avoid becoming a one-dimensional offense. There had been some talk of Ridley being cut, but that notion is insane. Ridley gives the team a solid option on running downs and in goal line situations. Bolden as well. White and Vereen will contribute more so in the passing game. Balance is key.
Develin not only lines up in the backfield on running plays, but he can also line up at tight end and catch the ball out of the backfield. His versatility speaks volumes and the Patriots cherish that.
Tight Ends: 3
With Gronk and Hoo-man’s health in question, Wright will assume a big role from the start. His play in Thursday’s preseason finale was indicative of that. The newcomer played in 43 of the team’s 70 offensive snaps. Bill Belichick wants him up to speed ASAP.
Wide Receivers: 5
Offensive Line: 9
Josh Kline played the entire game Thursday night against the Giants. He’ll likely get the start Week 1 when the Patriots open up in Miami.
Defensive Line: 9
Jake Bequette showed the ability to hold his own on the point of the attack Thursday night. He also was able to generate a strong pass rush, recording one sack. Zack Moore also impressed, racking up several tackles and one sack.
Fleming played a lot in the preseason and did not disappoint. Beauharnais plays with great poise and intelligence. Davis has shown the ability to tackle well.
Without question, Butler played himself on to the roster with a solid preseason showing. He’s shown tremendous cover ability and can tackle in space. Browner, who is suspended the first four games, will not count against the initial roster count.
We know Belichick likes himself some Rutgers guys. Harmon will open the season starting opposite McCourty. Chung will also see a lot of time. Tavon Wilson does not make the cut.
Special Teamers: 4
Tags: New England Patriots