With some down time before training camp, we’re inspecting the Patriots roster position by position. Today, an examination of the safeties.
Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon
Nate Ebner, Obi Melifonwu, A.J. Howard, Terrence Brooks
Malik Gant (rookie)
New England’s top three safeties over the past few years are often on the field together at the same time, and they’re all back for more in 2019. The collective experience, leadership, and playmaking abilities of McCourty, Chung, and Harmon make them virtual certainties to remain on the roster.
Thereafter, it could be a crowded field. It seems every summer we declare that Ebner is no guarantee to make it, yet he always seems to find a way. Newcomer veterans Howard and Brooks are relatively unknown commodities at this stage, but perhaps the biggest question mark is Melifonwu. A tall, athletic player who came on board late last season, he contributed sparingly down the stretch, but could have more opportunities this summer after a full offseason in the Patriots program.
Gant is work tracking if for no other reason than at least one undrafted rookie ends up making the Patriots roster each season. However, he’ll need to open eyes early in order to have such a chance.