Patriots 53-Man Roster Projection: Who Replaces Julian Edelman?

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August 28, 2017

The New England Patriots and Kony Ealy found out the hard way a lot can happen in a week.

The Patriots lost wide receiver Julian Edelman to a torn ACL and Ealy was released since our last 53-man roster projection.

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Tom Brady
Jacoby Brissett
Jimmy Garoppolo

We still have Jacoby Brissett in our 53-man roster projection. He might not have been on this list if Edelman and Ealy’s roster spots didn’t open up.

RUNNING BACKS (5)
Brandon Bolden
Rex Burkhead
Mike Gillislee
Dion Lewis
James White

Bolden might not receive a single offensive snap this season, but Bill Belichick highly values special teams, where the running back excels. He’s also a great locker room presence.

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

If Slater isn’t healthy to begin the season, then the Patriots might choose to carry a player with more special teams value, like cornerback Kenny Moore, over Carr. But it would make sense for the Patriots to keep another depth option at wide receiver given Amendola and Mitchell’s injury history. Mitchell got banged up in the second week of the preseason and didn’t play Friday night.

TIGHT ENDS (4)
Dwayne Allen
FB James Develin
Rob Gronkowski
James O’Shaughnessy

It’s still down to O’Shaughnessy and rookie Jacob Hollister for the No. 3 tight end role — if either player makes it. Hollister has been better in the preseason, but O’Shaughnessy has more special teams experience.

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

The Patriots could choose to keep either Cole Croston or Conor McDermott if they decide to carry nine offensive linemen. Both players could receive interest if they hit waivers.

DEFENSIVE LINE (8)
DT Alan Branch
DT Malcom Brown
DL Adam Butler
DE Trey Flowers
DE Geneo Grissom
DT Lawrence Guy
DT Vincent Valentine
DE Deatrich Wise Jr.

Grissom makes the roster for now, but he might be just a placeholder until the Patriots acquire another defensive end.

LINEBACKERS (7)
David Harris
Dont’a Hightower
Brandon King
Harvey Langi
Shea McClellin
Elandon Roberts
Kyle Van Noy

No major surprises here. Roberts provides depth at inside linebacker if Harris falters. Trevor Bates and Jonathan Freeny also are in the mix.

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

Jordan Richards, a 2015 second-round pick, seems to be a player without a position. He had a rough preseason at strong safety and didn’t look much better Friday night playing closer to the line at linebacker.

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

The usual suspects.

INJURED RESERVE
WR Julian Edelman
DE Derek Rivers

Both players are heading to injured reserve with torn ACLs.

IDEAL PRACTICE SQUAD
RB D.J. Foster
WR Devin Lucien
TE Jacob Hollister
OT Conor McDermott
G Cole Croston
LB Trevor Bates
CB Justin Coleman
CB Kenny Moore
S Jordan Richards
S Damarius Travis

Last man in: WR Austin Carr

Last man out: CB Kenny Moore

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

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