Still-too-early 53-man roster projection


Is it too early for another roster projection? Of course it is. The fellas haven’t even put on the pads yet.

But common sense isn’t going to stop this train from rolling down the tracks.

For reference purposes, here’s our first edition 53-man projection. And without additional delay, here’s Volume 2 …

Tom Brady
Brian Hoyer

Hand it to Brian Hoyer — He seems to have really build off last year. Even then, he did enough to instill the confidence for the staff to go with two quarterbacks. There’s more reason to do so now, with so many recent draft picks at other spots. You get the idea Zac Robinson will have to wow them to win a place here.

Kevin Faulk
BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Laurence Maroney
Sammy Morris
Fred Taylor

Same as it has been, though Green-Ellis could be facing competition from an unlikely place. Part of his value is his ability to step in at fullback. Well, reserve linebacker Thomas Williams has worked there, and if Williams can bring more on special teams, Green-Ellis could be fighting for a job.

Julian Edelman
Torry Holt
Randy Moss
Taylor Price
Brandon Tate
Wes Welker

The first change comes here, where Sam Aiken narrowly misses the cut. It’d be a tough decision if it comes to whacking the 2008 special teams captain. But something has to give, and with it seeming apparent that Welker will be ready much earlier than originally expected, Holt slips past Aiken for the final roster spot, with Kyle Arrington sticking to make up the difference on teams.

Alge Crumpler
Rob Gronkowski
Aaron Hernandez

This really doesn’t need to be explained. You guys get it.

George Bussey
Dan Connolly
Nick Kaczur
Dan Koppen
Ted Larsen
Mark LeVoir
Matt Light
Stephen Neal
Sebastian Vollmer
Thomas Welch


Logan Mankins’ contract dispute might be the least predictable one I’ve ever covered, because I’m not sure a few extra bucks will do the trick like it does with most players. Adding Bussey here, who saw first-team reps at left tackle in minicamp, and can play guard too. And I’m putting Welch on here too — Got a roster-stretching twist for you on him coming up.

Ron Brace
Damione Lewis
Myron Pryor
Gerard Warren
Ty Warren
Vince Wilfork
Mike Wright

Seems like Brace is getting chances to prove himself now, and with Gerard Warren running the 1s, I’ll put him back on the team after leaving him off before. I still think Brandon Deaderick sticks somehow. Whether it’s on the practice squad, or injured reserve, they’ll find a way to keep him if there’s no room on the roster.

Tully Banta-Cain
Derrick Burgess
Jermaine Cunningham
Rob Ninkovich
Pierre Woods

Shawn Crable may prove himself in camp, but for now he remains on the outside looking in. Woods looks more and more like he’ll be even more restricted to special teams this year, so he’s gonna have to continue to shine in that area to make it. Competition in that regard comes from Marques Murrell.


Gary Guyton
Jerod Mayo
Tyrone McKenzie
Brandon Spikes

Guyton continues to be first team at inside linebacker, although I suspect that either McKenzie or Spikes will be in rotation with him. Of these four, McKenzie would probably be the only one at risk of landing on the chopping block. And even that seems highly unlikely. If the Patriots keep a fifth here, it’d probably be special teamer Eric Alexander or sometimes-fullback Thomas Williams.

Kyle Arrington**
Leigh Bodden
Darius Butler
Devin McCourty
Jonathan Wilhite

Sticking with what I had before on this one too. Arrington makes it as a special teamer, while the other four seem to be in good shape. Wilhite could be challenged for a roster spot by his 2008 draft classmate Terrence Wheatley.

Patrick Chung
Brandon McGowan
Brandon Meriweather
James Sanders

The more you watch Chung, the more you can see his role really growing in 2010. He well could beat out Sanders and McGowan to play next to Meriweather. This will be a fun competition to watch.


K Stephen Gostkowski
P Zoltan Mesko

Where’s the long snapper? That’s the twist. Thomas Welch can long snap, and was working on it in minicamp. If he’s good enough, having him as a long snapper allows the team to save a roster spot in that he can provide offensive line depth.

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