First Look at the 90-Man Roster: 2019 Positional Breakdown

-by DNOMN8R314

With Jared Veldheer and Dontrelle Inman officially taking the roster spots that once belonged to Calvin Anderson and Xavier Ubosi, the Patriots’ 90-man roster officially stands at 91. (They have an extra spot because of the international assigment of fullback Jakob Johnson. And this also omits the suspended Josh Gordon.)

It’s fully possible the roster shifts around further by the time camp rolls around, but as this is the first time the roster is in a semi-settled state at 90 (okay, 91) players, we can finally break down how each position group looks on paper. Here we go:

Quarterback
Returning: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Danny Etling
Added vets: none
Rookies: Jarrett Stidham (4th)

Brady is still Brady, and Hoyer is still a capable veteran backup. Stidham’s draft position makes it very unlikely he is left off the roster, meaning the summer will be an uphill battle for Etling, a seventh-round pick last year, to stick.

Running back
Returning: Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead
Added vets: Brandon Bolden
Rookies: Damien Harris (3rd), Nick Brossette (UD)

The Patriots strengthened their already-strong RB corps this offseason, bringing in Bolden as an all-purpose backup and core special teamer, then snagging the 215-pound Harris in the third round this year. The team lacked a “bruiser”-type back last season, and Harris will be expected to claim that role in short order.

Fullback
Returning: James Develin
Added vets: none
Rookies: Jakob Johnson (int.)

We all know how much of a beast Develin is, but Johnson is in the other fullback mode, playing as more of a fullback/tight end hybrid. He’ll have a roster exemption throughout the season unless he makes the 53, which is not considered likely.

Wide receiver
Returning: Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Damoun Patterson, Matthew Slater, Josh Gordon (susp.)
Added vets: Maurice Harris, Demaryius Thomas, Dontrelle Inman
Rookies: N’Keal Harry (1st), Jakobi Meyers (UD), Ryan Davis (UD)

New England saw some notable departures from their wideout room this offseason, with Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson leaving in free agency. But Bill Belichick again restructured the position through mid-level and late-period free agent signings (though he did make an unsuccessful attempt to sign Adam Humphries) before selecting a first-round receiver for the first time in his Foxboro tenure. Behind Edelman and Harry (and possibly Dorsett), the field (no pun intended) is open.

Tight end
Returning: Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson
Added vets: Matt LaCosse, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Benjamin Watson
Rookies: Andrew Beck (UD)

After Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement, pretty much everyone guessed the Patriots would make an early play for a tight end in this year’s draft. Instead, Belichick made 10 selections at other positions before signing Beck as an undrafted rookie. The veterans are intriguing: LaCosse has flown under the radar but was the first tight end signed by New England in free agency, Seferian-Jenkins is a former second-round pick with ability as a pass catcher, and Watson returns to Foxboro after nine seasons of strong play elsewhere. Obviously no one player can replace Gronkowski, but this group has nice diversity in their skills, and players like Izzo and LaCosse have had moderate success in both blocking and receiving while in a limited role. This should be a fun group to watch.

Tackle
Returning: Isaiah Wynn, Marcus Cannon, Cole Croston, Dan Skipper
Added vets: Cedrick Lang, Jared Veldheer
Rookies: Yodny Cajuste (3rd), Tyree St. Louis (UD)

After missing last season due to injury, 2018 first-rounder Wynn is in line to start at left tackle, while Cannon continues to man the right side. Tenth-year veteran Veldheer and third-rounder Cajuste should provide solid backup – in particular, Veldheer should be able to start in case Wynn is not yet completely recovered – meaning the rest of this party will have a tough battle to make the squad.

Guard
Returning: Joe Thuney, Shaq Mason, Ted Karras, Brian Schwenke
Added vets: none
Rookies: Hjalte Froholdt (4th)

The Patriots maintain continuity on their interior line and add another young player into the Dante Scarnecchia pipeline. Froholdt, a strong run blocker, has the draft position to stick on the roster, meaning the Patriots will have to keep four guards for Karras and/or Schwenke to stick – a possibility if the coaches decide Froholdt is not ready to be the first guard off the bench. (Another note: Froholdt, like Karras and Schwenke, can play center.)

Center
Returning: David Andrews, James Ferentz
Added vets: Jake Eldrenkamp
Rookies: Tyler Gauthier (UD)

Like I said, the Patriots maintain continuity on their interior line. Eldrenkamp, a futures signing, and UDFA Gauthier will look to show they are more than just summer depth.

Defensive end
Returning: Deatrich Wise Jr., John Simon, Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis, Trent Harris
Added vets: Michael Bennett, Shilique Calhoun
Rookies: Chase Winovich (3rd)

Belichick preemptively addressed Trey Flowers’ departure in free agency by acquiring Bennett from Philadelphia, then nabbed the relentless Winovich on the second day of the draft. Behind them, the depth chart mostly consists of developing young players alongside veterans Simon (who played well in New England last year) and Calhoun (who never panned out in Oakland). This is mostly a young group of players, so there’ll be a focused eye on their development in camp this year.

Defensive tackle
Returning: Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Ufomba Kamalu, Frank Herron
Added vets: David Parry, Mike Pennel, Nick Thurman
Rookies: Byron Cowart (5th)

Ex-Jet Pennel is in line for an immediate starting job alongside Guy, both larger defensive tackles, but like their counterparts on the edge, there is a lot of youth in this group. Butler has carved out a role as a sub rusher in his first two seasons, and Parry started for Indianapolis during his first two seasons (’15 and ’16), but there is still a lot of room for development in this position as well.

Linebacker
Returning: Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts, Christian Sam, Calvin Munson, Brandon King
Added vets: none
Rookies: Terez Hall (UD)

Of the returning players, three had key roles on defense last year, one played exclusively on special teams, one was on the practice squad, and two landed on injured reserve. Hightower and Van Noy are sure to be the top duo once again, with Bentley the likely third starter, as he started the first three games last year before landing on IR. Like the tight ends, there is a diversity of roles in this group, with Sam a coverage linebacker and Roberts a run-stopper, and the battle for roster spots – which should fully include Hall – ought to be fascinating.

Cornerback
Returning: Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Keion Crossen, Duke Dawson
Added vets: none
Rookies: Joejuan Williams (2nd), Ken Webster (7th), D’Angelo Ross (UD)

Like with the running backs, Belichick loaded up an already-loaded depth chart, adding the 6-foot-3 Williams in the second round. Along with the three rookies, a trio of rising sophomores are returning, one of whom (Jackson) started five games and racked up three interceptions. With the talent in this group, the battle for roster spots should be intense.

Safety
Returning: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Obi Melifonwu, Nate Ebner, A.J. Howard
Added vets: Terrence Brooks
Rookies: Malik Gant (UD)

Behind starters McCourty, Chung, and Harmon, depth here is uncertain. Brooks and Ebner specialize (again, no pun intended) in special teams, Howard spent last postseason on the practice squad, Melifonwu has insane athleticism but never found his fit in Oakland, and Gant is an undrafted rookie. This is another position battle where roster spots are open for claiming.

Special teams
Returning: Stephen Gostkowski (K), Ryan Allen (P), Joe Cardona (LS)
Added vets: none
Rookies: Jake Bailey (P, 5th)

For the second straight season, we’ll witness a punter battle in New England. Bailey, unlike most Belichick-preferred punters, is right-footed, but he showed in college plenty of the abilities Belichick likes from his left-footers: putting different spin on the ball and dropping punts near the opposing goal line, for instances. Bailey also has the advantage of being drafted, but once players take the field, that distinction won’t matter.

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Neil X
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Neil X

14 down, 2 to go.

GOOOOO BRUUUUUIIIIINNNNSSSSS!!!!!

Deadsmack #EverythingWeGot
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Deadsmack #EverythingWeGot

Karen Guregian @kguregian
Rob Gronkowski happy in retirement, no plans for comeback

https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/06/02/rob-gronkowski-happy-in-retirement-no-plans-for-comeback/

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

It’s not going to happen.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

win the first, second, and third, win the game?

rondo723
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rondo723

win the game, win the game

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

I thought the only requirement is to score more than the opponent, damn.

memokerobi
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memokerobi

ANDY RUIZ JR ONE OF THE BIGGEST UPSETS IN BOXING HISTORY

bring
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bring

Even if nobody noticed?

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Good. Night all.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Will be interesting to see how the STL goalie responds on Monday.

rking88
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rking88

well… good win there… now its time for bed… 12 hour work day today and another 10 on the books for tomorrow…

goodnight all… 2 down, 2 to go!

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Yikes. Take care

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

And as bad as they were outplayed in game 2, the B’s almost stole it. Pity since they could be up 3-0 right now, all things being the same tonight.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

3rd period recap:
1. STL tips the ice for most of the time but can’t get it done
2. Bruins PK did well, but it had to in the 3rd
3. Excellent PP
4. Bruins win!!!

Dingo
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Dingo

Game recap: The Bruins and the officials (some what) are taking the Blues’ Broad Street Bullies routine to task.

MrLucky
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MrLucky

Glad to see the B’s pour it on too after the Blues were gooning it up while getting their asses kicked.

MrLucky
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MrLucky

Do the Blues still play Gloria after giving up a touchdown?

bring
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bring

It’s only one game, but Blues should be embarrassed

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Who doesn’t have a goal yet?

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Tuuka. 🙂

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

DINNNOOOAALL!!!!!

rking88
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rking88

there we go… hope C Mac is ok

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Still no hat trick, I’m disappointed.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

ENG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Should have passed back to Tuuka and let him lob one up.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Get an ENG!!!

rking88
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rking88

Hurley over there in the twitter feed seems to feel as though the blues are getting away with quite a bit as well haha

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Away game I guess.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

We should get a make up call for that penalty, that was sad.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Won’t happen.

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Pasta has a goal? I guess hell will be freezing over tonight

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

LOL

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

1. The Bruins haven’t tested the backup goalie
2. The Bruins have spent the majority of the 3rd period in the penalty box, letting STL back in the game
3. They’re starting the too cute extra passing game again, producing no offense.

rking88
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rking88

jesus christ… are we gonna play the whole 3rd period down a man?

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Both goals are off Bruins.

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

Effing Chara. Come on.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

If I’m Cassidy, I call a timeout and read the riot act on stupid penalties.

rking88
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rking88

frustrating that the B’s are picking up penalties when the Blues have been toeing the line all game with the physicality

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

B’s have no shots on goal in the 3rd. Keep playing aggressive dammit.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Dumb

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Nice. PK

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Weak, he hooked Carlo’s stick up into his own crotch.

rking88
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rking88

stupid penalties… bruins can’t do that shit

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Oh boy.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

OK. the B’s can’t let up and play prevent. STL has too much firepower, particularly the Tarasenko line.

rking88
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rking88

yep… gotta keep the pressure on and try to play strong on the forcheck… early goal here would be nice

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Was that Tuuka playing Theon Greyjoy? 🙂

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

2nd period recap:
1. Bruins keep the pressure and score
2. First line responding to Cassidy’s comments after game 2
3. B’s still having clearing problems.
4. STL goalie pulled.
5. Rask still staying cool.

rking88
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rking88

could one of these times where the blues are getting rough after the whistle please get called for a penalty? they shouldn’t be allowed to be shove tuuka

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Agreed. Ref’s are to blame for the rough play.

rking88
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rking88

im all for rough hockey and letting them get physical… but the blues are pushing the envelope trying to instigate

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

But That’s their game. It’s how they beat San Jose.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Need to test the backup. Goalie now. Before he gets too warm. And game ready.

rking88
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rking88

they’re trying to lull him into a false sense of security by never letting him see the puck

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Still. Having clearing problems.

rking88
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rking88

yeah… not great

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Almost seems like the Blues have a PP.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Well, we are down a defenseman

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

????

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Griz is out, the rest a getting extra minutes.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Nope. Moore was activated.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Ahh, missed that.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

And so far is holding his own.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Screened his own goalie, and wimped out of the block, nice.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Blues PK kind of sucks.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Thank you.

rking88
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rking88

KRUUUUUGGGGG

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Ok. Get the goal back on this PP. stomp on necks again.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Hate to say it, But Rask will need to win this game for them.

bring
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bring

Uhhhhh….

bring
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bring

Clearing problems again

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Yep. Getting out hustled again.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Own goal

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Shit.

rking88
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rking88

B’s special teams has been lights out… the PP and the PK