Patriots 53-Man Roster Projection: Will Cyrus Jones Make The Cut?

The New England Patriots have begun organized team activities and practiced in front of the media for the first time last week.

After getting a glimpse of the 2017 Patriots, we’ve updated our 53-man roster projection. Here’s who makes the cut.

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Tom Brady
Jacoby Brissett
Jimmy Garoppolo

Given how much the Patriots value the backup quarterback position now, it’s amazing they spent two entire seasons with Ryan Mallett as Brady’s lone backup and then voluntarily employed Tim Tebow.

RUNNING BACKS (4)
Rex Burkhead
Mike Gillislee
Dion Lewis
James White

D.J. Foster impressed mightily at organized team activities Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to vault him onto the 53-man roster just yet. He would either have to beat out Lewis or be good enough to convince the Patriots they need to use a fifth roster spot on a running back for the second straight season.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Danny Amendola
Brandin Cooks
Julian Edelman
Chris Hogan
Malcolm Mitchell
ST Matthew Slater

The Patriots signed Andrew Hawkins last week, but that doesn’t change our roster projection. Consider him injury insurance for now.

TIGHT ENDS (4)
Dwayne Allen
FB James Develin
Rob Gronkowski
Jacob Hollister

We had James O’Shaughnessy making the roster earlier this month. It’s a coin flip between him and Hollister to make the roster.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)
David Andrews
Marcus Cannon
Cameron Fleming
Antonio Garcia
Ted Karras
Shaq Mason
Nate Solder
Joe Thuney

Conor McDermott doesn’t make the cut this time. There likely will be an injury at some point this spring or summer that would allow the sixth-rounder to crack the roster, but for now, there are other players worth keeping over a fifth offensive tackle.

If you find it strange we have undrafted players making the team over a draft pick like McDermott, don’t. It happens every year. Foster and cornerback Jonathan Jones made the team over Kamu Grugier-Hill and Devin Lucien just last season.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)
DT Alan Branch
DT Malcom Brown
DE Kony Ealy
DE Trey Flowers
DT Lawrence Guy
DE Rob Ninkovich
DE Derek Rivers
DT Vincent Valentine
DE Deatrich Wise Jr.

No surprises here.

LINEBACKERS (6)
Dont’a Hightower
Brandon King
Harvey Langi
Shea McClellin
Elandon Roberts
Kyle Van Noy

We still have Langi making the roster over Jonathan Freeny. And Brandon King is still a linebacker, not a safety.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (10)
CB Malcolm Butler
S Patrick Chung
CB Justin Coleman
S Nate Ebner
CB Stephon Gilmore
S Duron Harmon
CB Jonathan Jones
S Devin McCourty
S Jordan Richards
CB Eric Rowe

We now have Coleman making the roster over Cyrus Jones and the Patriots keeping a fifth safety in Jordan Richards.

The Patriots are absolutely loaded, so it’s these types of roster battles we’ll be watching this spring and summer. Cyrus Jones is competing with Coleman and undrafted rookies D.J. Killings, Dwayne Thomas and Kenny Moore for a spot. Richards is battling with undrafted rookies Jason Thompson, David Jones and Damarius Travis.

Belichick has said for years it’s not how a player gets to New England, it’s what they do once they’re on the Patriots. If Coleman, Killings, Thomas or Moore plays better in OTAs, minicamp, training camp and the preseason, then Jones won’t crack the 53.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
P Ryan Allen
LS Joe Cardona
K Stephen Gostkowski

No surprises here.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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