See what I did there by sucking you in with that awesome headline!
Seems everyone is doing a Patriots roster projection these days. Most people are doing multiple versions of roster projects – heck, our friends over at ESPNBoston.com do multiple versions of a triple-threat dueling roster projection.
And while I did my own projection heading into camp, I figured the time between the second and third preseason game might be the best spot to update my predictions based on what's transpired in the last few weeks.
So, here is the only Patriots 53-man roster projection that really matters (to me)!
Quarterback (3): Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett
Running back (5): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Eric Kettani, Jeff Demps
Tight end (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells
Wide receiver (7): Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney, Donte' Stallworth, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater
Offensive line (8): Nate Solder, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Nick McDonald, Ryan Wendell, Donald Thomas
Defensive line (10): Rob Ninkovich, Kyle Love, Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones, Jake Bequette, Brandon Deaderick, Justin Francis, Ron Brace, Jermaine Cunningham, Trevor Scott
Linebacker (5): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont'a Hightower, Bobby Carpenter, Jeff Tarpinian
Safety (4): Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner
Cornerback (5): Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling, Sterling Moore, Alfonzo Dennard
Specialists (3): Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken
There were some decisions to be made this time around. Obviously keeping seven wide receivers, five running backs and three tight ends limits some things elsewhere. Trevor Scott was actually the last guy to make my roster, as guys like Dan Koppen, Josh Barrett and Tracy White didn't make the cut. And Brian Waters isn't in the mix, although he'd just replace one of the guards – like Donald Thomas, Nick McDonald or Ryan Wendell – if he did report to the team at some point. I'll be honest, I'd probably cut Donte' Stallworth, but this projection is based on my belief that the team wants to keep him and the rest of the veteran pass catchers. You could also swap in Spencer Larsen for Eric Kettani, now that the former is back on the field and has a chance to actually compete for a job.
What do you think of my roster? What's my biggest omission/mistake? Let us know with a comment below!