Patriots Depth Chart Reset: Rookies Rising Early In Training Camp

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As the New England Patriots prepare for joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars, let’s take a look at their depth chart 10 days into training camp.

QUARTERBACK
Tom Brady
Jimmy Garoppolo
Jacoby Brissett

Brady has been significantly better than Garoppolo this summer. This isn’t changing.

RUNNING BACK
James White/Mike Gillislee
Rex Burkhead/Dion Lewis
Brandon Bolden
D.J. Foster
LeShun Daniels

Gillislee and Burkhead are banged up right now and didn’t participate in Friday’s full-team scrimmage. So, we’re projecting a little here. It would be an upset if Gillislee didn’t earn the early-down back role this season, however.

FULLBACK
James Develin
Glenn Gronkowski

If there’s a fullback on the Patriots’ 53-man roster this year, it will be Develin.

WIDE RECEIVER
Julian Edelman/Brandin Cooks/Chris Hogan
Malcolm Mitchell
Danny Amendola
Matthew Slater
Devin Lucien
Austin Carr
Tony Washington
K.J. Maye
Cody Hollister

With Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell, Amendola, Slater and Hollister working through various ailments, the Patriots’ wide receiver depth is fairly shallow these days. Lucien, with two long touchdowns, did prove during Friday’s scrimmage he’s the cream of the crop among Patriots end-of-the-roster receivers.

TIGHT END
Rob Gronkowski
Dwayne Allen
James O’Shaughnessy
Matt Lengel
Jacob Hollister
Sam Cotton

O’Shaughnessy also is injured, so Lengel, Hollister or Cotton could overtake the No. 3 tight end role with impressive play while he’s out.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Nate Solder/Joe Thuney/David Andrews/Shaq Mason/Marcus Cannon
Cameron Fleming/Ted Karras
Antonio Garcia
LaAdrian Waddle
Jamil Douglas
Conor McDermott
James Ferentz
Cole Croston
Jason King
Max Rich
Andrew Jelks

Garcia was impressive in Friday’s scrimmage against defensive end Kony Ealy. It would be surprising if he didn’t enter the 2017 season as the Patriots’ No. 8 offensive lineman.

LINEBACKER
Dont’a Hightower/Kyle Van Noy
David Harris/Harvey Langi
Jonathan Freeny
Elandon Roberts
Trevor Bates
Brooks Ellis
Brandon King

It’s tough to differentiate between a linebacker and an edge defender with the Patriots these days since Hightower, Van Noy, Langi and Shea McClellin all are used similarly in hybrid roles. Among the players listed above, Hightower and Van Noy should finish with the most defensive snaps by years end.

Langi has been receiving first-team snaps, but that could just be because Hightower currently is on the PUP list. The Patriots do clearly like the undrafted linebacker, however.

EDGE
Trey Flowers/Shea McClellin
Deatrich Wise
Kony Ealy
Geneo Grissom
Derek Rivers
Caleb Kidder

McClellin could take over for Ninkovich’s old outside linebacker/defensive end role. Wise has been playing on the first-team a lot and could be a Day 1 contributor in the Patriots’ sub defense while rushing with Flowers and possibly Ealy.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Alan Branch/Malcom Brown
Lawrence Guy
Vincent Valentine
Adam Butler
Woodrow Hamilton
Darius Kilgo
Josh Augusta

Branch is on PUP right now, too, so Guy has been a starting interior defensive lineman. Butler is moving up the depth chart fast and has been receiving some first-team snaps. The Patriots might look at him as a potential interior pass rusher. Or maybe he’s only in that spot because Branch is out.

CORNERBACK
Malcolm Butler/Stephon Gilmore
Eric Rowe
Jonathan Jones
Cyrus Jones
Kenny Moore
Justin Coleman
D.J. Killings
Dwayne Thomas
Will Likely

Rowe and Jonathan Jones still are battling for the No. 3 cornerback role while Cyrus Jones, Moore, Coleman and Killings all have had their moments fighting for the fifth spot. One thing became clear in Friday’s scrimmage: The Patriots’ young defensive backs are much better than their young receivers.

SAFETY
Devin McCourty/Patrick Chung
Duron Harmon
Jordan Richards
Nate Ebner
Damarius Travis
Jason Thompson
David Jones

Richards started training camp with a bang and has since tailed off a little. Travis and Thompson both have made plays this summer.

SPECIALISTS
Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona

The Patriots still don’t have any competition in special teams.

Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN

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