Patriots Early 53-Man Roster Projection Includes One Undrafted Free Agent

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The 2017 NFL Draft is complete, and the New England Patriots have nearly filled their 90-man roster. So, it’s time for the first 53-man roster projection of the spring.

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Tom Brady
Jacoby Brissett
Jimmy Garoppolo

The draft is over, and Garoppolo still is a member of the Patriots. That might not stop Cleveland reporters from speculating that the Browns still could try to swing a deal for New England’s backup quarterback. They seem to have an unhealthy obsession with Garoppolo.

RUNNING BACKS (5)
Rex Burkhead
FB James Develin
Mike Gillislee
Dion Lewis
James White

It was tough leaving Brandon Bolden off, but space is limited on such a loaded team. Burkhead likely can replace Bolden’s special teams contributions.

The Patriots likely will want to stash D.J. Foster on their practice squad. It could be tough to get him through waivers.

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

Expectations are sky high for undrafted free agent Austin Carr. We’ll wait to see how he looks in training camp before considering having the Patriots carry an extra receiver.

TIGHT ENDS (3)
Dwayne Allen
Rob Gronkowski
James O?Shaughnessy

The Patriots swapped Day 3 picks with the Kansas City Chiefs for O’Shaughnessy. He’ll likely compete with Rob Housler, Matt Lengel, Michael Williams and UDFA Jacob Hollister for a roster spot. O’Shaughnessy is a contributor on special teams, which helps his case.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
David Andrews
Marcus Cannon
Cameron Fleming
Antonio Garcia
Ted Karras
Conor McDermott
Shaq Mason
Nate Solder
Joe Thuney

It’s not necessary keeping McDermott, a fifth tackle, around, but the Patriots used one of their four draft picks on him, so we’ll keep him around.

Fleming was decent last season, but if Garcia and McDermott are good enough, he potentially could get bumped. The Patriots also could look to add another veteran interior offensive lineman.

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.

Geneo Grissom gets bumped for Rivers and Wise. The Patriots could have some new faces on special teams this season.

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

Langi is the lone UDFA we have making the roster. It was tough to leave off Jonathan Freeny, but the Patriots reportedly are big fans of Langi.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (9)
CB Malcolm Butler
S Patrick Chung
S Nate Ebner
CB Stephon Gilmore
S Duron Harmon
CB Cyrus Jones
CB Jonathan Jones
S Devin McCourty
CB Eric Rowe

The final cut in our 53-man roster projection was a fifth safety. If the Patriots carry a fifth safety, it will come down to Jordan Richards and undrafted free agents David Jones, Kenny Moore, Dwayne Thomas, Jason Thompson and Damarius Travis. Thompson could be a Matthew Slater-esque player whose only role is on special teams. He rarely played defense at Utah.

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

It doesn’t appear that the Patriots have signed a UDFA kicker, punter or long snapper yet.

Thumbnail photo via Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports Images

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