New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the second half of a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

  • With the final preseason game in the books, the Patriots attention now turns to the final step of training camp – roster cuts. By 4 p.m. on Tuesday, they have to cut down from the 80 players they currently have to their initial 53 man roster.

    What will those cuts look like? As we’ve done after the first two preseason games, let’s take a run at projecting the roster, and looking at what changed this week in Las Vegas.

    Note: Players are listed alphabetically by position. Rookies are in italics

  • Quarterbacks (3)

    Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4), quarterback Brian Hoyer (5), and quarterback Mac Jones (10) jog out for warm-ups before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4), quarterback Brian Hoyer (5), and quarterback Mac Jones (10) jog out for warm-ups before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    –Brian Hoyer
    –Mac Jones
    Bailey Zappe

    Changes from Roster Projection 2.0None

    Once again, no changes at QB. Brian Hoyer’s contract makes him an unlikely cut and return candidate. The real battle is who will be the second quarterback dressed behind Mac Jones on Sundays.

  • Running backs (5)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26: Quarterback Brian Hoyer #5 of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to running back J.J. Taylor #42 during their preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 23-6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: Quarterback Brian Hoyer #5 of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to running back J.J. Taylor #42 during their preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 23-6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    -Damien Harris
    -Ty Montgomery
    -Rhamondre Stevenson
    Pierre Strong Jr.
    -J.J. Taylor

    Changes: Added J.J. Taylor

    If Ty Montgomery’s injury causes him to miss time, the Patriots will need to carry an extra running back to start the season. J.J. Taylor gets the nod over Kevin Harris for his performance Friday night. Taylor ran hard and made a tremendous effort play to recover a fumble, while Harris put the ball on the ground twice. Harris could still be brought back on the practice squad, or to the roster if Montgomery ends up on IR.

  • Wide receivers (6)

    Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (1) catches a pass as Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Sam Webb (48) defends in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (1) catches a pass as Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Sam Webb (48) defends in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    –Nelson Agholor
    –Kendrick Bourne
    –Lil’Jordan Humphrey
    –Jakobi Meyers
    –DeVante Parker
    –Tyquan Thornton

    Changes: None

    Montgomery’s injury also cuts into the depth at wide receiver, given his versatility. He’d played some snaps in the slot this summer. This is the second week in a row the receiver depth has taken a hit, after Tyquan Thornton’s shoulder injury last week. That makes it even more likely the team keeps an extra receiver outright instead of trying to cut and return a player. Lil’Jordan Humphrey remains the leader for that final spot.

  • Tight ends (2)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 11: Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots looks on ahead of the the preseason game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 11: Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots looks on ahead of the the preseason game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    –Hunter Henry
    –Jonnu Smith

    Changes: None

    This position projection hasn’t changed since the spring. Devin Asiasi looked like he may have been making a late push, didn’t get a chance to put a cap on it after not playing Friday night.

  • Offensive line (7)

    Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (72) lines up during the first half of a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (72) lines up during the first half of a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    –David Andrews (C)
    –Trent Brown (T)
    –Yodny Cajuste (T)
    –James Ferentz (C/G)
    –Michael Onwenu (G/T)
    Cole Strange (G)
    –Isaiah Wynn (T)

    Changes: None

    Justin Herron, Arlington Hambright, and Kody Russey all feel like contenders for an eighth offensive line spot, but the new practice squad elevation rules should allow the Patriots to keep just seven linemen on the initial 53. Yodny Cajuste and James Ferentz have proven to be the best depth options.

  • Defensive line (6)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 11: LaBryan Ray #74 of the New England Patriots looks on during the preseason game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 11: LaBryan Ray #74 of the New England Patriots looks on during the preseason game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    –Christian Barmore
    –Carl Davis
    –Davon Godchaux
    –Lawrence Guy
    LaBryan Ray
    –Deatrich Wise

    Changes: Cut Sam Roberts

    With injuries at other positions requiring the team to carry more depth, those spots have to come from somewhere. Sam Roberts popped in two of the preseason games but didn’t do much beyond that. He’s a player the Patriots could reasonably get through waivers and bring back. LaBryan Ray ends up getting the final spot here.

    Another player to watch on the bubble is UDFA DaMarcus Mitchell. Mitchell has primarily been a special teams player this summer, but put some good pass rush reps on tape Friday night.

    Note: Because Daniel Ekuale will serve a two-game suspension to start the season, he won’t count against the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster but the team does not have to cut him.

  • Linebackers (7)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26:  Linebacker Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots hits quarterback Chase Garbers #15 of the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: Linebacker Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots hits quarterback Chase Garbers #15 of the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    –Ja’Whaun Bentley
    –Anfernee Jennings
    –Matthew Judon
    –Raekwon McMillan
    –Jahlani Tavai
    –Josh Uche
    –Mack Wilson

    Changes: None

    Based on the playing time he’s been getting, Jahlani Tavai appears to be a big part of the Patriots’ plans – just as Bill Belichick alluded to earlier this month. He’ll rotate with Raekwon McMillan and Mack Wilson next to Ja’Whaun Bentley. On the outside, it looks like Anfernee Jennings and Josh Uche will rotate opposite Matthew Judon.

    Cameron McGrone played his best football of the summer Friday night, but it may be too little too late. He’s a player to watch for the practice squad.

  • Cornerbacks (6)

    Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Jack Jones (34) celebrates after making a play against the Las Vegas Raiders during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Jack Jones (34) celebrates after making a play against the Las Vegas Raiders during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

    –Justin Bethel
    –Myles Bryant
    Jack Jones
    –Jonathan Jones
    Marcus Jones
    –Jalen Mills

    Changes: Cut Terrance Mitchell

    Terrance Mitchell had a strong start to camp, but hasn’t built on that momentum since joint practices began. He’s seen his reps decrease since Jonathan Jones started playing on the boundary. That, combined with Jack Jones’ strong showing in Vegas could lead to him being left off the roster. This is also a position where the Patriots could look to add externally during and after roster cuts.

  • Safeties (5)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26: Safeties Devin McCourty #32 and Adrian Phillips #21 of the New England Patriots stand on the field between plays against the Las Vegas Raiders during their preseason game at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 23-6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: Safeties Devin McCourty #32 and Adrian Phillips #21 of the New England Patriots stand on the field between plays against the Las Vegas Raiders during their preseason game at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 23-6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    –Joshuah Bledsoe
    –Kyle Dugger
    –Devin McCourty
    –Jabrill Peppers
    –Adrian Phillips

    Changes: None

    Another position with no changes. This might be the best position group on the Patriots’ roster.

  • Special Teams (6)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26: Place kicker Nick Folk #6 of the New England Patriots kicks a 22-yard field goal during the second half of a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: Place kicker Nick Folk #6 of the New England Patriots kicks a 22-yard field goal during the second half of a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    –K Nick Folk
    –P Jake Bailey
    –LS Joe Cardona
    –Matthew Slater
    –Cody Davis
    Brenden Schooler

    Changes: Added Brenden Schooler

    We’ve had Brenden Schooler on the fringe for the last two roster projections, but at this point he’s done too much to not be on the team. He grabs the 53rd spot.

  • Bubble watch

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during warm-up before a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during warm-up before a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    Which players just snuck onto the roster? Who just missed the team? As we do with every roster projection, let’s take a look at the players on the bubble.

    Last three off:

    -Kevin Harris
    -Terrance Mitchell
    -Sam Roberts

    Last three on:

    -J.J. Taylor
    -Brenden Schooler
    -Yodny Cajuste

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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