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Patriots 53-man roster projection, version 2.0: How will loss of Isaiah Wynn change things?

Ryan Hannable
August 19, 2018 - 9:27 pm

A lot has happened since last week’s first 53-man roster projection.

The Patriots played their second preseason game Thursday night against the Eagles, and also reportedly have lost rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn for the season with an Achilles injury. Of course, that naturally will open up a roster spot.

With two more preseason games to go, a lot can still change between now and when the final 53-man roster needs to be set, but here’s how we see it now.

QUARTERBACK (2): Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer

Nothing has changed here. Rookie Danny Etling has looked better the last couple of practices as he gets more comfortable with the system, but it’s still likely not enough for the team to go with him over Hoyer. We still see Etling destined for the practice squad because of his potential and work ethic.

RUNNING BACK (5): James White, Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, Jeremy Hill, Brandon Bolden

No changes here, either. Burkhead returned to the field for Sunday’s walkthrough so it appears he should be ready for Week 1. There’s been no update on Michel, so his status remains a question mark, but everything seems to point to him being ready for the regular season. Mike Gillislee hasn’t done enough to overtake anyone, but if any of the injuries are more serious than first thought, he could sneak on the team. Also, don’t rule out the team trading the veteran back.

TIGHT END (4): Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, Jacob Hollister, James Develin

Will Tye just hasn’t done enough to overtake Allen or Hollister for a roster spot. Hollister seems primed for a breakout year, as he’s spent a good amount of time with Brady working on their chemistry both during after after practice.

WIDE RECEIVER (5): Julian Edelman*, Chris Hogan, Eric Decker, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Matthew Slater

It’s just hard to find a receiver besides these five deserving to make the roster (Edelman doesn’t count towards the first 53-man roster). Riley McCarron, Braxton Berrios and Devin Lucien have potential, but right now it just seems it makes more sense to go with the veteran in Decker, especially when one of or two of those players could be added to the practice squad. As for Kenny Britt, since he still has yet to participate in a full practice it's hard to put him on the roster. That of course can change over the next few weeks, but right now he remains off.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Trent Brown, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle, Ted Karras, Cole Croston

Everything stays the same here except for Croston taking Wynn’s spot. The second-year player gets the nod over veteran Matt Tobin and Jason King because of his versatility, being able to play both tackle and on the interior. The last spot could come down to the very last week as it is really about who is the best option and a lot can change between now and then.

DEFENSIVE LINE (8): Trey Flowers, Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton, Malcom Brown, Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Adam Butler

As much as we’d like to get Keionta Davis onto the roster given how much he’s played with the first-teamers, it’s just hard to do. He certainly would be one of the last cuts. Vincent Valentine remains off the final roster, as he just hasn’t done enough to make himself standout more than others.

LINEBACKER (7): Dont’a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Marquis Flowers, Nicholas Grisgby, Brandon King

One of these players could be let go to get another player onto the roster as most of the seven linebackers are strictly special teams players. Roberts is a player to watch as Bentley has been really impressive in the first two preseason games and could take his spot. Overall, the majority of players at this position are strictly special teams players.

CORNERBACK (7): Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, Cyrus Jones, Duke Dawson, J.C. Jackson

For 14 straight years, an undrafted rookie has made the 53-man roster and we see Jackson continuing the streak to 15 years this year. Seven may seem like a lot of cornerbacks to carry, but there’s just too much potential here to let any of them go.

SAFETY (4): Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung, Nate Ebner

Once again we kept Jordan Richards off and it’s just because there are too many other strictly special teams players on the roster. Sure, Richards could sneak his way on, but right now we see the Patriots moving on from the former second-round pick.

SPECIALISTS (3): Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona, Stephen Gostkowski

With Corey Bojorquez not appearing in any of the two preseason games, it seems like Allen is in a good spot to make the team and not get overtaken by the undrafted rookie.

Related: Patriots 53-man roster projection, version 2.0