After eight practice sessions among themselves, the New England Patriots are venturing out to the midwest next Sunday.
The Patriots will hold joint practices with the Lions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before their first preseason game Thursday in Detroit.
Here’s how the Patriots’ depth chart is looking after over a week of training camp sessions:
With almost a month left to go before the Patriots must trim their roster from 91 players to 53, we still think there’s time for Stidham to catch up to and pass Hoyer. Is it likely? No. But it is possible. If that happens, then the Patriots likely would try to keep Etling, who is primarily taking wide receiver and special teams reps these days, on their practice squad as a scout-team quarterback.
Sony Michel – James White
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but Burkhead is banged up again. If Harris has impressive practices against the Lions, and if he can keep the forward momentum going in the preseason, then he could pass Burkhead.
Most expected Beck to be a tight end after the Patriots added him with a $115,000 signing bonus after the 2019 NFL Draft. Instead, he’s been used as a fullback. It seems unfathomable that Develin would be cut, but keeping Beck over the longtime fullback would mean a cap savings of over $1 million.
Julian Edelman – Phillip Dorsett – Jakobi Meyers
Braxton Berrios – Maurice Harris – N’Keal Harry
Gunner Olszewski – Dontrelle Inman – Damoun Patterson
Ryan Davis – Danny Elting – Matthew Slater
PUP: Demaryius Thomas – Cameron Meredith
Suspended: Josh Gordon
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the summer is that Meyers, an undrafted rookie, is taking first-team reps over players like Harris, Harry and Inman. But he is, so we have to put him on the top team for now.
A first-team unit of Edelman, Meyers and Harry might give the Patriots the most offensive upside at least until Thomas, Meredith and Gordon return.
Watson is suspended the first four weeks of the regular season, and Kendricks currently is dealing with an injury. LaCosse looked better in the spring than he has during the summer. It wouldn’t be surprising to see another player added to this group through waivers or via trade by September.
LT Isaiah Wynn – LG Joe Thuney – C David Andrews – RG Shaq Mason – RT Marcus Cannon
Tyrie St. Louis
NFI: Yodny Cajuste
We’re cheating a little bit here. Wynn returned to full-team drills Friday, but he was working with the second-team, while Skipper was the “starting” left tackle. When the games count, we fully expect Wynn to be at left tackle barring anything unforeseen.
Michael Bennett – Mike Pennel – Lawrence Guy
Deatrich Wise Jr.
This is a deep group of defensive ends and defensive tackles in the Patriots’ projected three-man front. We expect the top six players to make the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster, but we could absolutely see Davis, Parry, Kamalu, Thurman and Cowart pushing for spots. Thurman has been one of the Patriots’ most impressive players in 1-on-1 pass-rush drills. Parry has been stout in goal-line situations.
Kyle Van Noy – Jamie Collins
This is tough because Rivers is receiving more reps than Winovich in practice, but Winovich is a roster lock, while we consider Rivers to be on the bubble. This is another deep group, as we’ve been impressed with Calhoun and Harris.
Van Noy also can play inside linebacker in a pinch, though he’s better suited for the outside. It’s tough for guys like Munson and Sam to get reps with Hightower, Bentley and Roberts in front of them. Preseason will be their time to shine.
Stephon Gilmore – Jason McCourty – Jonathan Jones
PUP: Ken Webster
McCourty has been seeing starting reps over Jackson, though Jackson has been outplaying McCourty. Ultimately, both players could wind up starting during the regular season.
The Patriots have some tough cuts to make between Crossen, Dawson and Ross, who has been an unexpected standout.
Devin McCourty – Patrick Chung
PUP: Nate Ebner
Brooks and Melifonwu are pushing hard for reserve safety spots. Brooks almost certainly will make the team anyway because of his special-teams prowess.
K Stephen Gostkowski
P Ryan Allen
P Jake Bailey
LS Joe Cardona
Allen is a dependable presence at punter, while Bailey has the bigger leg and versatility to handle kickoffs. If Bailey can prove to be consistent in the preseason, we see him making the team.