If Dennard is not playing special teams — and his body type indicates he should — I don’t know where you steal a spot to keep his potential. You’re going to have to make a surprising cut.
Speaking of that, with 10 players in the secondary and six at linebacker, that leaves us with nine defensive linemen. Seven are locks or near-locks: Rob Ninkovich, Vince Wilfork, Ron Brace, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Chandler Jones, and Jake Bequette. That leaves two spots for three players: Jermaine Cunningham, Trevor Scott, and undrafted Justin Francis.
Team sources have indicated that Francis has really impressed throughout the evaluation process. His end/tackle versatility is something the others don’t have, and he has practiced better (7-5-2 in one-on-ones) than he has played. I would release Francis and take my chances that he passes through waivers, but I think the Patriots keep him and he makes the roster.
That leaves Scott and Cunningham. Scott is on special teams, and Cunningham has not been as of late. Scott has been just as productive as, if not more than Cunningham in the exhibitions. And Scott (8-5-3) was much better than Cunningham (5-10-2) in one-on-one pass-rush drills in camp. For that reason, I think Scott has the edge.
One special teams note: long snapper Danny Aiken has been inconsistent in this camp. You have to wonder whether the team will take a look at former Patriots long snapper Lonie Paxton, who was released by the Broncos.
Of course, these are all shots in the dark. Just trying to read the tea leaves. And you better believe the injury report coming out of Wednesday night’s game will play a huge factor in the roster. And that’s more information we just won’t have.