Monday, September 01, 2014

Cover32 Grade Day: How good is the New England Patriots final roster? | New England Patriots

Grade Day: How good is the New England Patriots final roster? | New England Patriots

The New England Patriots went into game four of the preseason on Thursday night against the New York Giants with a roster still in flux. Rather than grading the players who did not make the cut, Grade Day will take a look at the final cut-downs.


The Patriots made their big moves cutting down to 75 as they put their faith in the young players and let veteran front-seven defenders Tommy Kelly, Will Smith and James Anderson go. The Patriots kept their young core on the defensive line around veteran Vince Wilfork with first-round draft pick Dominique Easley; last season’s young trio Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones and Joe Vellano; and sixth-round pick Zach Moore. Disappointing 2012 third-round draft pick Jake Bequette was shown the door after three disappointing training camps. Former Green Bay second-round pick Jerel Worthy did not stick on the roster after an underwhelming training camp.

The Patriots are surprisingly thin at linebacker. Impressive young players Ja’Gared Davis, Steve Beauharnais, and Chris White (after initially making the original 53) were released. Undrafted free agent James Morris was placed on injured reserve after a strong preseason. If New England is truly going back to the 3-4, then Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are at linebacker, with the trio of Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. Darius Fleming becomes the depth inside and Michael Buchanan sticks as the depth outside linebacker.

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