Saturday, September 05, 2015

Comparing Patriots Roster To Projection

Bill Belichick has formalized his team's initial 53-man roster this afternoon, five days before the Patriots open the season against the Steelers.

Belichick is known for constantly tweaking his roster so expect many changes, even in the time from this evening to the opener on Thursday.

Here is a look at how TheBostonInsider did in projecting the 53-man roster compared to the actual roster.

Quarterback (2) - Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

This was an easy group to predict once Brady's four game suspension was overturned by Judge Richard Berman.

Running Back (4) - Brandon Bolden, Dion Lewis, James White, Travaris Cadet

I did not anticipate Jonas Gray being let go, especially with LeGarrette Blount out for the first game.  I also did not see Cadet making the team because he missed the entire preseason.  I guess he did enough in the offseason to convince Belichick he can help this team win.

Tight End (4) - Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Michael Hoomanawanui, Michael Williams

With fullback James Develin lost for the season to a broken leg, Hoomanawanui may be used to fill that role.  Williams, recently acquired from the Lions, will likely take on the role of blocking tight end as he also has experience playing offensive tackle.

Wide Receiver (5) - Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Chris Harper, Matthew Slater

As Slater is almost strictly a special teams contributor, the Patriots are going with just four receivers for now.  Brandon LaFell will start the season on the PUP list, meaning he can't play until after Week 6, and Reggie Wayne was released today, reportedly at his request.  Do not be surprised to see the team add a receiver early in the week.

Offensive Line (10) - Nate Solder, Ryan Wendell, Bryan Stork, Tre' Jackson, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Cameron Fleming, Shaq Mason, Josh Kline, David Andrews

I originally thought that Belichick would go with nine offensive lineman with the final cut coming down to Andrews or Kline but, at least for now, both have made the team.

Defensive Line (10) - Malcolm Brown, Dominique Easley, Alan Branch, Sealver Siliga, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom, Rufus Johnson

I figured Johnson to be on the outside looking in but a strong training camp and preseason earned him a spot on the initial 53-man.

Linebacker (5) - Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins, Dont'a Hightower, Jonathan Freeny, Eric Martin

5-for-5 in my last projection.

Cornerback (4) - Malcolm Butler, Tarrell Brown, Logan Ryan, Bradley Fletcher

I was right earlier in predicting that Robert McClain would not make the cut but I did think that Justin Coleman would make the 53-man cut to start the season.  Coleman is a likely candidate for the practice squad.  I'd like to see Charles James II, cut today by the Texans, get a shot with the Pats.

Safety (6) - Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Jordan Richards, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner

6-for-6 in my last projection.

Specialists (3) - Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona

Again, no surprises with these three but I did go 3-for-3 here.

Overall, that's good for 49 out of 53. Not a bad showing for an amateur.

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