New England Patriots: Predicting the Week 1 roster in July

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Brandon Bolden
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Brandon Bolden /
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FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 18: James Develin
FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 18: James Develin /

Running backs

  • #28 James White*
  • #33 Dion Lewis
  • #34 Rex Burkhead
  • #35 Mike Gillislee

The Patriots have reloaded at running back following the departure of LeGarrette Blount. While some fans don’t think they should have let Blount go so easily, New England must think they have two new stars in Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee. The former Buffalo Bills back, Gillislee, has a chance to become the starter, but for now, I believe it’s James White’s role to lose.

Dion Lewis will likely see a dip in his playing time, as the pass catching role is not solely his anymore. White, Burkhead and Gillislee all have some ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, so there is a ton of versatility here. No longer will defenses be able to call run or pass based on which back is on the field.


  • #46 James Develin

Once again, James Develin will be the lone fullback to make the Patriots roster. Glenn Gronkowski will likely stick around on the practice squad, just in case of any injuries to Develin. The fullback position could be crucial for New England this season as they will aim to break through for a few more long runs.