New England Patriots Depth Chart (90-man OTA edition)

The Pats added two undrafted wide receivers today, bringing their roster to the limit of 90. Here’s an up-to-date depth chart with rookies highlighted in yellow. 

Shit Pats Fans Say: Offseason Edition (by Fitzy01821)

The one good thing about the offseason? The Shit Pats Fans Say Offseason Edition!

Looking to see the Pats play on the road this year? Join the Patriots Tailgate Group on Facebook, a great resource to bring Pats fans in other cities together for the games. I’ll be in San Diego this December, hope to see plenty of my Pats fan brethren there!

An Early Preview of Patriots’ Training Camp Position Battles

Training camp is just over two months away, and while we’ll get a brief reprieve in mid-June with mini-camp, for the most part this will be one of the quietest times of years. (Unless someone gets arrested for a homicide again this year…)

With the majority of the roster set, here’s an early preview of some of the biggest positional battles we’ll have an eye on.

1. Defensive Line vs. Health: Last year the Pats finished the season with Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones and Joe Vellano as their top three defensive linemen. Now, four new players enter the fold who are coming off significant injuries. Vince Wilfork (torn Achilles), Tommy Kelly (ACL), Armond Armstead (infection) and first-round pick Dominique Easley (ACL) could end up anywhere from the top of the depth chart to the PUP list. There are plenty of questions at this spot, but if most of those returning are healthy and able to go, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

2. Interior OL: Incumbents Ryan Wendell (C) and Dan Connolly (RG/C) vs. rookies Bryan Stork (C/OG) and Jon Halapio (G). Wendell received a new contract but it wasn’t the kind of deal that makes you think he’s set in stone for the long term. Connolly is taking a sizable cap hit as well, but he has started a full season at center, so that versatility is a plus for him. Both Stork and Halapio have potential to start right out of the gate and that could be a badly-needed upgrade of size and talent to the interior OL.

3. X Wide Receiver: 2013 2nd-round pick Aaron Dobson could have the inside track but he’s still recovering from offseason foot surgery and that could hurt his progress. Kenbrell Thompkins showed promise early in 2013, but faded down the stretch. Can he bounce back? Newly acquired free agent Brandon LaFell was a versatile threat in Carolina but saw limited time at X due to Steve Smith’s presence. He could really blossom with a player like Brady. Second-year player Mark Harrison missed all of his rookie year recovering from injuries, he has the size and measurables. If he can live up to them he could be the wild card here.

4. Running back: Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are roster locks, but behind them Brandon Bolden will have competition from rookies James White, Stephen Houston, Roy Finch and Jonas Grey for two, and possibly three, spots. White should be a lock as well, while the most direct competition could be Houston vs. Bolden for the short-yardage situations.

5. Designated Pass Rusher: The Pats are extremely thin at defensive end and who will step into the DPR role remains a question. They signed Will Smith who is still recovering from an ACL tear. Who knows if he still has the gas needed to consistently get after the quarterback. That then leaves second-year player Michael Buchanan, who started in the DPR role early in 2013 before being replaced. Jake Bequette hasn’t done much of anything in his first two seasons and will need to take a huge step forward to keep his job this year. Rookie Zach Moore is coming out of a small school and will likely need time to develop a full array of pass rush moves.

Updated New England Patriots Depth Chart

Here’s the latest including all rookie signings, including some tryout names. Rookies are in yellow and as a rule I put them near the bottom of the depth chart. Players coming off injuries are in italics.

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My favorite yet from DesigningSport.com!

My favorite yet from DesigningSport.com!

Best of The New England Patriots | 2013-2014 Season Highlight Presentation (by mike vaz)

Patriots re-loaded for 2014 Super Bowl run

The New England Patriots have made a number of interesting moves this offseason, retooling their team for yet another Super Bowl run with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick running the show.

As far as the oddsmakers are concerned, the future betting lines for the Patriots this season still have them among the favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. You can sign up at Sportbet.com to look for the best NFL lines, with the Pats already a 3.5 point favorite for their season opener in Miami.

The headline moves of the offseason have to begin with the acquisitions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Those two cornerbacks should instantly transform the Pats’ secondary into one of the most impressive in the NFL.

Internal moves like re-signing Julian Edelman and re-working deals for Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly were imperative and help maintain the leadership structure and continuity in New England.

Of course the Pats had plenty of injuries last season, and the return of Jerod Mayo, Rob Gronkowski and Wilfork should provide a big boost. This is still a team that made it to the AFC Championship despite a litany of injuries that would’ve devastated most other teams.

The Pats built for the future in the draft, but first-round pick Dominique Easley could be just the pass rusher they need immediately despite coming off a second ACL tear last season. Center Bryan Stork could push for starting time immediately, while quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will have a couple seasons to be groomed as a potential replacement for Tom Brady.

The potential trouble spots for the Pats include their depth at defensive end, linebacker and tight end. Injuries to starters at these three positions could be disastrous. 

Second-year player Duron Harmon has also been pencilled in as a starter at safety alongside Devin McCourty. If Harmon fails to live up to expectations the Pats could have some trouble on the backend of the defense as well.

There could also be questions at receiver where the Patriots must count on their three second-year wideouts to make a jump in production. Aaron Dobson is still recovering from offseason foot surgery and his return to action is imperative. He’s the most talented X-receiver on the roster.

Despite some questions about their depth, there are few rosters in the NFL as talented as the Patriots. With arguably the best players in the NFL on the offensive and defensive side of the ball in Tom Brady and Darrelle Revis, there is little reason to think the Pats won’t be in the hunt for a championship.

Join Frenz and I this morning as we recap the Pats’ draft haul and what we think are still concerns facing the team’s depth.