Patriots Depth Chart Projection: Who Starts At Tight End, Linebacker?

Resetting the Patriots' depth chart before roster cuts

by

With no preseason games and battles all across the New England Patriots’ roster, it’s never been more difficult to project the team’s depth chart.

Here’s our opinion of how the Patriots’ depth chart stacks up with three days before roster cuts and a week and a half until the regular season begins:

QUARTERBACK
Cam Newton
Brian Hoyer
Jarrett Stidham
Brian Lewerke

Unless something truly crazy happens over the next 11 days, then Newton is fully expected to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback.

It gets interesting when you move down to second string. If the season started today, then Hoyer would probably be the backup. Stidham has a few more practices to prove he deserves the No. 2 spot.

RUNNING BACK
Sony Michel – James White
Damien Harris
Rex Burkhead
Lamar Miller
J.J. Taylor

Harris very easily could wind up being the better running back, but Michel shouldn’t lose his starting role without first being able to defend it. Harris or Miller could pass Michel by the seasons’ end.

FULLBACK
Jakob Johnson
Dalton Keene
Paul Quessenberry

Keene is listed under two positions on this depth chart. Quessenberry is a great story, but he should spend some time on the practice squad before receiving any roster consideration.

WIDE RECEIVER
Julian Edelman – N’Keal Harry – Mohamed Sanu
Damiere Byrd
Gunner Olszewski
Jakobi Meyers
Devin Ross
Jeff Thomas
Isaiah Zuber
Andre Baccellia

This group is tough to predict. Meyers was injured for most of the Patriots’ open training camp practices and still is wearing a red non-contact jersey because of his shoulder ailment. Was his absence enough for Byrd and Olszewski to pass him on the depth chart?

TIGHT END
Ryan Izzo
Devin Asiasi
Dalton Keene
Paul Butler
Jake Burt

Asiasi would be the top player here, but he suffered an injury that limited him in practice. If we had to guess, then Izzo would begin the season as the starter. Asiasi and/or Keene could quickly pass him on the depth chart.

There’s also a possibility that the Patriots could sign or trade for a tight end who would immediately get inserted into the starting offense.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Isaiah Wynn – Joe Thuney – David Andrews – Shaq Mason – Jermaine Eluemunor
Hjalte Froholdt
Korey Cunningham
Michael Onwenu
Yodny Cajuste
Ben Braden
Justin Herron
Tyler Gauthier

Eluemunor as a starter is a bit of a shocker but no one else has stepped up in Marcus Cannon’s absence. The Patriots need to find a dependable third tackle, whether that’s on their roster, on the street or from another team.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Lawrence Guy – Adam Butler
Byron Cowart
Deatrich Wise
Beau Allen
Nick Thurman
Xavier Williams
Bill Murray
Michael Barnett

It’s unfortunate that Allen has missed all of training camp with an apparent injury. He’d likely be a projected starter if he could get back on the field.

LINEBACKER
Ja’Whaun Bentley – John Simon – Josh Uche – Shilique Calhoun
Chase Winovich
Brandon Copeland
Anfernee Jennings
Caash Maluia
Terez Hall
Derek Rivers
Scoota Harris
Tashawn Bower

There could be a pretty solid rotation in this group with Winovich, Copeland and Jennings also seeing playing time. It will take a village to replace Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins. Winovich and Jennings could replace Simon and Calhoun on third down, for instance.

CORNERBACK
Stephon Gilmore – JC Jackson – Jonathan Jones
Jason McCourty
Joejuan Williams
Justin Bethel
D’Angelo Ross
Mike Jackson
Myles Bryant

In all reality, the Patriots have four starters here in Gilmore, Jackson, Jones and McCourty, but we had to stop somewhere. McCourty finished fourth among Patriots cornerbacks in snaps last season, but he also dealt with an injury. We’d expect him to come in fourth again this year.

SAFETY
Devin McCourty – Terrence Brooks
Kyle Dugger
Adrian Phillips
Joejuan Williams
Cody Davis

Williams is listed at both positions because he has that type of versatility. There’s really no telling who could start next to McCourty between Brooks, Dugger, Phillips and Williams. The Patriots hope it’s Dugger by the end of the season, but injuries in camp slowed down the rookie’s progress.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Nick Folk – Jake Bailey – Joe Cardona
Justin Rohrwasser

At this point, expect Folk, a veteran, to make the team over Rohrwasser, a 2020 fifth-round pick.

Photo via New England Patriots

Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots

Picked For You