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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots open training camp July 25. 2019 at Gillette Stadium. Here's a projection for the 53-man roster:

QUARTERBACK (3): Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham

In years when the Patriots have selected a quarterback in the middle rounds -- like they did with Stidham this year (fourth round, No. 133) -- they have traditionally kept three players at the position for that initial season. How quickly Stidham develops in training camp -- and he would have to come a long way from where he was in spring practices -- could alter that thinking. Danny Etling (seventh round, 2018) is the odd man out.

RUNNING BACK (5): Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden

This is arguably the deepest position on the roster, and the easiest to project. Michel missed spring practices after undergoing a knee scope, but it isn't expected to affect his 2019 season.

FULLBACK (1): James Develin

He played 35 percent of the offensive snaps in the 2018 regular season, which essentially made him the No. 2 tight end as the Patriots elected for more two-back sets than two-tight-end sets. He's a valuable, dependable cog.

WIDE RECEIVER (5): Julian Edelman, N'Keal Harry, Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios, Phillip Dorsett

Dontrelle Inman still has time to make his case, but he'll need to make up some ground based on what was seen in spring practices. Also, the projection is that Demaryius Thomas opens on the reserve/physically unable to perform list (Achilles). Overall, this shows how much the Patriots are counting on the development of Harry, their first-round pick from Arizona State (No. 32 overall).

TIGHT END (2): Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo

Benjamin Watson won't count against the initial 53-man roster as he serves a four-game NFL suspension, so Izzo (seventh round, 2018) and Stephen Anderson (2018 practice squad) would vie for a second spot. Izzo gets the edge as a blocker, while Anderson is more of a threat as a pass-catcher.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, Brian Schwenke, Hjalte Froholdt, Ted Karras, Dan Skipper

With third-round pick Yodny Cajuste opening training camp on the active/non-football injury list, it threatens his chances to build an all-important foundation in the team's system after also missing spring practices. It could open the door for the towering 6-foot-9 Skipper, a former practice squad player who was taking some second-unit reps at left tackle in the spring. Center/guard James Ferentz deserves a spot, which reflects the strong depth on the line.

 

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers, Lawrence Guy, Mike Pennel, Adam Butler

Fifth-round pick Byron Cowart is on the edge and would be a strong practice-squad candidate, while Keionta Davis is another bubble player of note. By going heavy on linebackers, a case could be made this is too light at the big-bodied defensive tackle spot.

LINEBACKER (7): Dont'a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Ja'Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts, John Simon, Chase Winovich

With some linebackers who have the ability to play on the line of scrimmage in an edge-based role (Hightower, Van Noy, Collins, Simon, Winovich), it complements the defensive line group well. One question: Do the skill sets of Bentley and Roberts duplicate each other?

SECONDARY (10): Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Duke Dawson, Joejuan Williams, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Terrence Brooks

The answer to that question could be tied to Obi Melifonwu's development and role on special teams (he was on the top punt coverage team in spring practices), as the depth at cornerback might make it challenging to carry both Harmon and Melifonwu.

SPECIALISTS (5): K Stephen Gostkowski, P Jake Bailey, LS Joe Cardona, Brandon King (coverage), Matthew Slater (coverage)

After punter Ryan Allen's MVP-caliber performance in Super Bowl LIII, it's hard to believe he could be in jeopardy of losing is roster spot, but the Patriots traded up to select Bailey in the fifth round. Nate Ebner, who is worthy of a spot, is currently on the PUP list.

 

Data Tells a Story

🏀 Best of the best ... Here are the original AP game stories (gamers!) from the top-10 games in tournament history, as voted by a panel of sportswriters:

  1. Villanova and UNC swap 3-pointers in the final seconds as the Wildcats come out on top in the 2016 title game.
  2. "The Shot": Christian Laettner's dagger at the overtime buzzer against Kentucky sends Duke to the Final Four. in 1992.
  3. N.C. State stuns Houston on last-second dunk in 1983 title game.
  4. Villanova upends top-ranked Georgetown in 1985 title game. (Sorry, Nick!)
  5. Duke ends UNLV's run in Final Four in 1991.
  6. Kansas beats Memphis in OT in 2008 title game.
  7. Duke hangs on to beat Butler in 2010 title game.
  8. N.C. State beats UCLA in the 1974 national semifinals.
  9. UNC beats Georgetown for '82 title.
  10. UNC beats Michigan for '93 title.

 

 

 

Celtics Nos. 14, 20 and 22
draft  picks turned into

14. Indiana swingman Romeo Langford,
22. Tennessee big man Grant Williams,
33. Purdue point guard Carsen Edwards,
51. LSU guard Tremont Waters and
Bucks' 2020 protected first-round pick.

Infographic: Homeruns and Touchdowns Not Holding Gen Z's Interest | Statista

 

 

Boston Sports Fans Enjoy October 2018

 

 

Patriots 2019 draft picks

Round 1: #32

Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry

The 6-foot-2, 228-pound physical target  has shown proficiency in making contested catches. 

He can’t get open Turns 22 until December 2019

Play anywhere F inside, X outside Likely X-receiver, is where the suspended Josh Gordon plays.

Pats often reach for speed guys who didn’t really fit their syste

PFF  12th among receivers in the class.  9th wideouts.

7th  with 3.07 yards per route from the slot

2nd with 17 contested catches on the year,

Specific to the selections made by the Patriots, the draft guru had to say the following:

WR N’Keal Harry: “Harry has the best hands in this class. He will be a weapon in the red zone.”

 PFF No. 61 because of his inability to separate on deeper routes. Tough receivers to bring down for a man his size but not that explosive in and out of his cuts down the field,

Round 2:

#56 traded

#64 traded

Round 3:

Chase Winovich, LB, Michigan

My take: The 6-foot-2 6/8 and 256-pound Winovich is a high-motor edge player who projects to help fill the void created by Trey Flowers' free-agent departure. Winovich runs well enough (4.59 in the 40-yard dash) to potentially factor into the special-teams mix. A big personality at Michigan, he could be the 2019 Patriots version of Rob Gronkowski in a sense.

3-77 DE Chase Winovich: a great fit for Belichick’s multischeme defense.”

PFF’s No. 28 Chase Winovich is a high-effort player and the only Power-5 player witht consecitive grades overr 90.0 .

Senior Bowl Coach: I think he's ready to do that at the next level right away because he's so advanced with his hands. Everyone made such a big deal out of Nick Bosa coming out this year because of how good he is with his hands, but Winovich is just as good in that area."

DE depth chart: Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis, Winovich, Ufomba Kamalu, Trent Harris. This is a big year for Rivers, the 2017 third-round pick from Youngstown State who has yet to emerge, and Winovich adds another layer to the depth

 

#97, traded  #73, traded

No. 87 overall: Damien Harris, RB, Alabama

The 5-foot-10, 216-pound Harris was productive at Alabama,was a team captain who was considered a strong locker-room presence. Add in his contributions on special teams  Harris graduated with his degree in December

RB depth chart: Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Harris, Brandon Bolden. All five currently project to make the roster, as this is one of the strongest positions on the roster from top to bottom. Given the possibility of injuries at the position, the Patriots are well covered insurance-wise.

3-87 RB Damien Harris: underrated as a runner,

No. 101 overall: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

My take: Swing offensive tackle, 6-foot-4 7/8 and 312-pound Cajuste is a top candidate to fill it.  Cajuste's injury history bears watching, as he is coming off pre-draft surgery on his quad and he has battled multiple knee injuries.

With third-round draft choice Yodny Cajuste (West Virginia) remaining on the non-football injury list, f

OT depth chart: Isaiah Wynn (LT/LG), Marcus Cannon (RT), Cajuste (LT/RT), Cole Croston, Cedrick Lang, Dan Skipper, Ryker Mathews.

3-101 OT Yodny Cajuste: raw , one year of high school football , some upside

Round 4:

118 Added

Hjalte Froholdt, C/G, Arkansas insurance with starting left guard Joe Thuney entering the final year of his contract in 2019. Also, top center/guard backup Ted Karras is in the final year of his contract. This will increase the competition along the interior of the offensive line, which was rated as the team's No. 6 need entering the draft.

4-118 OG:

PFF 55  Hjalte Froholdt thrived in pass protection, allowing five pressures all season long is a steal. He played both center and guard.

133 Added

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn, a pre-draft visitor to the Patriots, will initially compete with Brian Hoyer and Etling (2018 seventh-round pick from LSU) Pat's  haven't hesitated to keep three on the initial 53-man roster.

4-133 QB Jarrett Stidham: can make Round 1 throws with Round 7 interceptions. excellent upside

#134

159 overall: Byron Cowart, DT, Maryland 6-foot-3, 298-pound Cowart some scheme versatility, physical makeup is NFL-ready, but production hasn't necessarily matched it. With Lawrence Guy, Mike Pennel, Adam Butler, Frank Herron and David Parry on the interior DT depth chart, Cowart is a developmental prospect.

5-159 DE Byron Cowart: five-star recruit at Auburn trans. some tools.”

Round 5, No. 163 overall: Jake Bailey, P, Stanford  Incumbent Ryan Allen only signed a one-year deal as a free agent

6/6/10 strong leg throughout the week and outperformed the incumbent when it came to hang-time

5-163 P Jake Bailey: my top-ranked punter

Round 6: #205 traded

#239traded   #243traded   #246traded   #252traded

Ken Webster, CB, Mississippi

My take: similar to Western Carolina CB Keion Crossen late in the 2018 seventh round based on some unique athletic traits. The 5-foot-10 7/8 and 203-pound Webster ran a 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash and had a 43-inch vertical jump, which is off the charts. Missed the 2016 season after tearing ligaments in his knee,  Similar to Crossen, he will be tried to special teams.

Kiper sums up New England’s addressed its most pressing need — outside receiver help — in the form of N’Keal Harry in round one and invested in versatility and upside with its other selections. All in all, it is therefore unsurprising to see an A- grade handed out.

DT Adam Butler

free agent out of Vanderbilt, Butler Appearing in all 19 of the team’s games in both 2017 and 2018, as a situational interior pass rusher —He also used against the run on a regular basis during last year’s regular season. contributions on defense and in the kicking game facto roster lock at the defensive tackle position alongside Lawrence Guy and free agency signing Mike Pennel.

OT Cole Croston

undrafted free agent pickup appeared in three games in a reserve role as an offensive tackle playing a total of eight offensive snaps failed to build on the moderate success  he was active for only two games, remainder of the regular season on the scout team. Croston needs to fight for his roster life again in 2019: Isaiah Wynn, coming back from injured reserve, and offseason additions Yodny Cajuste and Jared Veldheer make for an intriguing battle at the offensive tackle position.

DE Keionta Davis

undrafted in 2017 a bulging disc in his neck that also contributed to Davis going undrafted, he was placed on the non-football injury list  in September. earned s 2018 spot on the Patriots’ 53-man roster as a depth at defensive edge.  active for six games and played a total of 14.9% of New England’s defensive snaps on the year.

DE Derek Rivers

the third-round draft pick tore his ACL during New England’s joint practice sessions with the Houston Texans.  One year later, his impact was limited: appeared in only six regular season games and one playoff contest as a depth at defensive edge. a 7.9% playing time share as well as two tackles, a sack and a hurry, and a pair of quarterback hits. In this sense, he certainly has the upside

DE Deatrich Wise Jr.

A fourth-round pick  he develop into a major facto appearing in all 19 of the team’s games, he trailed only Trey Flowers in quarterback disruptions.  2018 was more of the same played a combined 37.5% of the club’s defensive snaps. the path is clear for Wise Jr. to possibly take on an even bigger role in 2019. In Super Bowl 53 —  up to the task

--

Reintroduction of the Class of 2018 is also timely:

By  Week 4, running back Sony Michel No. 31) and cornerback Keion Crossen  No. 243) were on the team's 53-man roster.

Having six draft picks on injured reserve Washington Redskins 3vBaltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions  Jacksonville Jaguars 3 each had

impact of the Patriots' Class of 2018 is one of the under-the-radar storylines

Injured

Headlined by top overall pick Isaiah Wynn,

second-round cornerback Duke Dawson Jr. opened the year on IR with a hamstring injury, was designated to return, he never appeared in a game.

fifth-round linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley was seeing increased playing time before his season abruptly ended in Week 3

Linebacker Christian Sam No. 178), Sam's ability to play figures to be initially tied to special teams,

wide receiver Braxton Berrios No. 210) a 190-pound Berrios was a quick and shifty target at the University of Miami.

tight end Ryan Izzo  250) 6-foot-5, 255-pound showed enough promise to make the initial 53-man roster last year before IR

Dawson a versatile defensive back with strong tackling could be tapped in a variety of packages in the team's ever-evolving defense.

 
Gilmore (6-foot-1, 202 pounds) and Jason McCourty (5-11, 195) are the starters at cornerback, with on-the-rise slot man Jonathan Jones (5-10, 190), surprise 2018 undrafted free agent J.C. Jackson (6-1, 198), last year's second-round pick Duke Dawson (5-10, 198), and this year's second-round pick Joejuan Williams (6-3, 212) next on the depth chart.

At safety, everyone returns from last season (Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Obi Melifonwu), with newcomer Terrence Brooks also showing up as a player who projects to make a mark in 2019.

 

 

Benivich de

panell

bentley lb hurt last year against detroit

 
6. Undrafted Meyers making a charge: The Patriots have had an undrafted free agent make the initial 53-man roster 15 years in a row, and NC State wide receiver Jakobi Meyers is this year's leading candidate to extend the streak. The 6-2, 203 pound Meyers was running with the top offense last week  

 

2020 Draft

https://www.pff.com/draft

QUARTERBACK

1. Joe Burrow, LSU
2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
3. Justin Herbert, Oregon
4. Jake Fromm, Georgia
5. Jordan Love, Utah State
6. Anthony Gordon, Washington State
7. Jacob Eason, Washington
8. Josh Love, San Jose State
9. Cole McDonald, Hawaii
10. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

RUNNING BACK

1. Zack Moss, Utah
2. D’Andre Swift, Georgia
3. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
4. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
6. Cam Akers, Florida State
7. Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky
8. Antonio Gibson, Memphis
9. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
10. Darius Anderson, TCU

WIDE RECEIVER

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
2. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
3. Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado
4. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
5. Tee Higgins, Clemson
6. Jalen Reagor, TCU
7. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
8. Denzel Mims, Baylor
9. Michael Pittman Jr., USC
10. Jauaun Jennings, Tennessee

TIGHT END

1. Hunter Bryant, Washington
2. Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
3. Adam Trautman, Dayton
4. Harrison Bryant, FAU
5. Cheyenne O’Grady, Arkansas
6. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt
7. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
8. Devin Asiasi, UCLA
9. Stephen Sullivan, LSU
10. Josiah Degaura, Cincinnati

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

1. Andrew Thomas, Georgia
2. Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama
3. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
4. Josh Jones, Houston
5. Mekhi Becton, Louisville
6. Ben Bartch, St. Johns
7. Jack Driscoll, Auburn
8. Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
9. Lucas Niang, TCU
10. Matt Peart, UConn

INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE

1. Netane Muti, Fresno State
2. Jonah Jackson, Ohio State
3. Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
4. Damien Lewis, LSU
5. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
6. Robert Hunt, Lousiana
7. Nick Harris, Washington
8. Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon
9. Logan Stenberg, Kentucky
10. Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU

DEFENSE


1. Derrick Brown, Auburn
2. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
3. Jordan Elliott, Missouri
4. Ross Blacklock, TCU
5. Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M
6. Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
7. Davon Hamilton, Ohio State
8. Raekwon Davis, Alabama
9. James Lynch, Baylor
10. Bravvion Roy, Baylor

EDGE

1. Chase Young, Ohio State
2. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
3. Curtis Weaver, Boise State
4. Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
5. K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
6. Darrell Taylor, Tennessee
7. Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
8. Terrell Lewis, Alabama
9. Josh Uche, Michigan
10. Bradlee Anae, Utah

LINEBACKER

1. Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
2. Zack Baun, Wisconsin
3. Troy Dye, Oregon
4. Patrick Queen, LSU
5. Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
6. Akeem Davis-Gaither, App State
7. Willie Gay Jr., Mississippi State
8. Davion Taylor, Colorado
9. Cam Brown, Penn State
10. Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech

CORNERBACK

1. Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
2. Kristian Fulton, LSU
3. C.J. Henderson, Florida
4. Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State
5. Trevon Diggs, Alabama
6. Jaylon Johnson, Utah
7. Jeff Gladney, TCU
8. A.J. Terrell, Clemson
9. Bryce Hall, Virginia
10. Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn

SAFETY

1. Grant Delpit, LSU
2. Xavier McKinney, Alabama
3. Ashtyn Davis, California
4. Geno Stone, Iowa
5. Kyle Dugger, Lenoir Rhyne
6. Terrell Burgess, Utah
7. Antoine Winfield Jr. Minnesota
8. K’Von Wallace, Clemson
9. Julian Blackmon, Utah
10. Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History

 

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See

Summary Rank of 11-Boston Championship Since 2001

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-5)

Welp. It finally happened. After 10 consecutive seasons of earning a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs — and nine making the AFC Championship Game — the Patriots fell to the Tennessee Titans 20-13 in a game where their league-leading defense did enough to win, but Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Josh McDaniels and a weak supporting cast could not muster enough offense to move on to the divisional round. 

A lot of questions persist into the 2020 offseason. Will Brady return? How much longer will Belichick coach? What will they do if McDaniels moves on? Can the defense curb their late-season decline and remain one of the league’s best? We examine some of those things here.

Can the offense rebuild?

All bets are off with this unit if Tom Brady leaves, as the Patriots signal-caller probably did better than his surroundings would suggest in 2019, earning the 12th-highest overall grade among quarterbacks due in large part to his receivers dropping the second-most passes in the league. The move that sent a second-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu ended up being a bust, as Sanu was able to muster only 0.94 yards per route run as a Patriot. As predicted, the first-round investment in running back Sony Michel could not overcome an offensive line that fell from second to 10th in run blocking this season. First-round pick N’Keal Harry was injured to start the season and then was even less efficient than Sanu was (0.83), while the tight end positions were almost non-existent throughout the entire year. 

To get back to where they want to be in 2020, they have a lot of work to do to rebuild this unit. It was going to be impossible for them to replace Gronk, but they needed to do a better job than Matt LaCosse and Benjamin WatsonEric EbronTyler Eifert and Hunter Henry are some (at least initially) good options in the free-agent market.

With Julian Edelman also getting up there in age, it would also benefit them to invest in the receiver position, and preferably on the outside. There are a number of projected first-round receivers in the upcoming draft, but given Belichick’s track record in drafting receivers in the first round, another trade might be in order.

With all of these question marks surrounding support, would it even make sense for Brady to return? Give me the “no” on that prop.

Can the defense remain elite?

The Patriots were on a historic run for the first half of the season, leveraging brilliant coverage with the best defensive play-calling group in the entire NFL. Despite losing Trey Flowers in free agency, putting almost no emphasis on the pass-rush, the coverage for the Patriots was still the league’s best, earning a 92.7 overall grade in the regular season and holding the league’s leading passer to under 100 yards in their playoff matchup on Saturday. They rushed roughly the median number of players on average while quarterbacks held on to the ball at a rate higher the league average, and their coverage still mostly held up, as they allowed only six yards per pass attempt and brought in 25 interceptions.

In 2020, though, they will not have the pleasure of facing the league’s second-easiest schedule, and they are also looking at the free agency of Devin McCourtyJamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy. Defense is nowhere as stable from season to season as offense is, meaning that the Patriots can be as fundamentally good as they were and still not produce turnovers at a rate that was the league’s third-highest, as they did in 2019, for example. Knowing Belichick and company, though, they might take a look at what is one of the better free-agent classes in terms of defensive backs, and re-stock what is one of the best groups in the league.


 

Tight end. Patriots tight ends ranked last in the NFL in receptions and targets, according to ESPN's Stats & Information. New England was tied with Chicago for the fewest receiving touchdowns from tight ends. Dayton's Adam Trautman is an intriguing small-school prospect who opened eyes at the Senior Bowl. Also, Randy Moss' son, Thaddeus, is a fun story to follow. More positions to watch: WR, G, S, K -- Mike Reiss