Patriots 53-man roster projection 1.0

Who makes the final cut in New England's pursuit for ring number seven?
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - We are just about a month away from the start of the most exciting time for the New England Patriots: Training Camp.

Training camp is where position battles are won and lost and ultimately when the team decides who they want on their roster in their pursuit for a Super Bowl championship.

Every year brings a surprise player who wows the coaching staff to the point where they are forced to keep him on the final-53. Last year that player was undrafted rookie free agent JC Jackson. Does another UDFA follow in Jackson's footsteps? Is a veteran in jeopardy of losing their roster spot? What on earth do they do at the tight end position?

We answer that and more on PatriotsMaven's roster projection 1.0.

Quarterback 

  • Tom Brady
  • Brian Hoyer
  • Jarrett Stidham

Cut: Danny Etling

Brady and Stidham are the obvious choices here. Where things get tricky is whether the team opts to keep Hoyer around. In my opinion, it's unlikely they go into the 2019 season with an unproven rookie as the backup quarterback. 

Runningback 

  • Sony Michel
  • James White
  • Rex Burkhead
  • Damien Harris
  • Brandon Bolden

Cut: Nick Brossette

The Patriots lacked depth at the RB position when the group was hit with injuries in the 2018 season. So much so, that they had to sign Kenjon Barner for a couple of weeks and even had WR Cordarrelle Patterson help carry some of the load. Look for the team to keep five RBs so they do not have similar issues in the 2019 season.

Fullback 

  • James Develin

Cut: Jakob Johnson 

Develin had six carries in the entire 2018 season, four of them went for touchdowns. How about that for efficiency? Johnson will likely stick around on the practice squad as part of the NFL's International Player Pathway Program. The team is allowed to carry Johnson on the practice squad without him counting against the 10 eligible practice squad spots.

Wide Receiver 

  • Julian Edelman
  • N'Keal Harry
  • Phillip Dorsett
  • Maurice Harris
  • Matthew Slater (ST)

PUP: Demaryius Thomas

Suspended: Josh Gordon

Cut: Dontrelle Inman, Braxton Berrios, Jakobi Meyers, Damoun Patterson, Ryan Davis, Gunner Olszewski

This is where things could get tricky. Thomas hopes to be ready for the start of the 2019 season. But to play things safe we'll say he starts the season on the PUP. Gordon is suspended indefinitely at this point and will not count against the active roster. 

Edelman, Harry, Dorsett, and Slater are all locks to make the roster. That leaves one or two spots available for Maurice Harris, Dontrelle Inman, Braxton Berrios or UDFA Jakobi Meyers. With Berrios and Meyers having eligibility to stick around on the practice squad, Harris gets the nod here. With that being said, this will be an interesting battle to watch in training camp.

Tight End 

  • Matt LaCosse
  • Stephen Anderson

Suspended: Ben Watson

Cut: Ryan Izzo, Andrew Beck 

With Watson being out for the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the team is likely to go into the season with two tight ends. The tight end that offers the highest upside is former Houston Texan, Stephen Anderson. Anderson has the ability to challenge LaCosse for the starting role in Watson's absence.

Offensive Line 

  • LT Isaiah Wynn
  • LG Joe Thuney
  • C David Andrews
  • RG Shaq Mason
  • RT Marcus Cannon
  • OG/C Ted Karras
  • OT Yodny Cajuste 
  • OG/C Hjalte Froholdt 

Cut: Cole Croston, James Ferentz, Tyree St. Louis, Brian Schwenke, Tyler Gauthier, Cedric Land, Dan Skipper

Nothing too surprising here. New England returns four of their five starting offensive linemen from last year with Wynn stepping in for Trent Brown who departed via free agency. Both rookies make the roster and the team opts to keep Ted Karras around for added insurance.

Defensive End 

  • Michael Bennett
  • Deatrich Wise
  • John Simon
  • Chase Winovich 
  • Derek Rivers

Cut: Keionta Davis, Trent Harris, Shilique Calhoun

Rivers has one more chance to prove that he was worth the second round pick the team used on him in the 2017 NFL Draft,

Defensive Tackle 

  • Lawrence Guy
  • Mike Pennel
  • Adam Butler
  • Danny Shelton

Cut: Byron Cowart, David Parry, Ufomba Kamalu, Nick Thurman

When the Patriots decided to bring Shelton back, the chances of fifth-round pick Cowart making the roster pretty much vanished into thin air.

Linebacker 

  • Dont'a Hightower
  • Kyle Van Noy
  • Ja'Whaun Bentley
  • Jamie Collins
  • Brandon King (ST)

Cut: Elandon Roberts, Terez Hall, Calvin Munson, Christian Sam 

Collins beats out Roberts here as it is unlikely the team carries six linebackers. The roster battle between these two is one of the most anticipated heading into training camp.

Cornerback 

  • Stephon Gilmore
  • Jason McCourty
  • JC Jackson
  • Joejuan Williams
  • Jonathan Jones
  • Duke Dawson Jr. 

Cut: Keion Crossen, Ken Webster, D'Angelo Ross

This position is currently one of the tougher ones to predict simply because of the amount of depth at the position. New England could opt to keep Crossen and go into the season with seven corners, but that seems unlikely. They could also decide to move Jones via a trade. Either way, New England has some tough decisions to make at the cornerback position.

Safety 

  • Devin McCourty
  • Patrick Chung
  • Duron Harmon
  • Malik Grant
  • Nate Ebner (ST)
  • Terrence Brooks (ST)

With Patrick Chung recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the Super Bowl, look for the Patriots to carry added depth at safety with Grant. The former Marshall safety makes it the 16th season straight that an undrafted rookie free agent has made the active roster.

Specialist 

  • K Stephen Gostkowski
  • P Jake Bailey
  • LS Joe Cardona

Cut: Ryan Allen

With the selection of Jake Bailey in the 5th round, it looks as if Ryan Allen's days in a Patriots jersey are coming to an end.