7. Anthony Firkser
If we had this same roster a couple years ago I would probably project Firkser to make it because he can provide tight end depth and also play fullback.
But the Patriots moved away from using a fullback last season, and Rhamondre Stevenson averaged 5.0 yards per carry. We clearly don’t need one.
So that means Firkser is trying to stick on this roster purely as a tight end. His best chance was when Mike Gesicki was banged up, but Gesicki is now healthy and ready to play a big role alongside Hunter Henry.
It’s a battle between Firkser and Matt Sokol to make it as the TE3, but I’m not even fully convinced the Patriots will carry three. Belichick has no qualms going with an extra offensive lineman (or even a defensive player) in a 3-tight end set, and that’s the kind of versatility you need on the 53-man roster when you want to carry as many special teams guys as Bill does.
It would take a really talented TE3 (or one that plays a big role on specials) to crack this roster, and Firkser is neither of those things.
Look for the Pats to enter the season with just two tight ends while also carrying a couple on the practice squad in case any more injury issues pop up.