Patriots Roster Projection 2.0: Ty Montgomery cements a spot in Foxboro

Now that we’re two games into the preseason, we’re starting to get a better idea of ​​where this Patriots team might be, roster-wise, in Week 1.

Friday’s game against Carolina was especially important for guys like Ty Montgomery, Anfernee Jennings and Jalen Mills.

Montgomery got the reps he deserves with the first-team offense, Jennings played the second-most defensive snap behind only Jonathan Jones as he tried to carve out a role for himself, and Jalen Mills continued to show his excellence at cornerback.

There is always plenty spots on the must-have list – and the Pats still need to knock out 30 (!!) players by week one. It’s gonna get interesting.

Here’s where I think they are heading into their two joint practices and match against Vegas this week:

Quarterbacks (3): Mac Jones, Brian Hoyer, Bailey Zappe

Output: None

Despite another strong performance from Bailey Zappe on Friday night, I still think the Patriots will keep three QBs. I’m about to kick Hoyer off the board, but the thought of Mac Jones getting injured and New England handing the keys to a fourth-round rookie puts a sour taste in my mouth.

Zappe may change his mind this week with another strong outing against Vegas, but for now, Hoyer remains on the team.

Running backs (5): Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, Ty Montgomery, Pierre Strong Jr., JJ Taylor

Excluding Kevin Harris

I know we still have a week to go, but I think JJ Taylor beat Kevin Harris for the fifth RB slot on Friday night. When we think of that Shanahan out-of-area running program that New England is trying to implement, we don’t think of big backs like Kevin Harris – we think of speedsters like Raheem Mostert. That’s what JJ Taylor can deliver. Plus, he’s a comeback man – and we know Bill likes being able to double up.

Also, even though I already had him on the roster last week, Ty Montgomery cemented his place on this team Friday night. The dual-threat WR/RB is going to play a big role in this Patriots offense.

Wide receivers (5): DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Lil’Jordan Humphrey

Departures: Tyquan Thornton (IR), Kristian Wilkerson (IR), Josh Hammond, Tre Nixon

The New England wide receiver room continues to be the “star,” for lack of a better term, of the Patriots camp. One second they’re in the deepest position on the team, the next they’re throwing punches in practice, and now everyone’s injured.

We were aware of Wilkerson’s injury in training on Wednesday – but now rookie Tyquan Thornton is set to miss eight weeks or more with a collarbone injury. Baylor’s second-round pick had such a good first NFL training camp that New England was apparently fielding calls to trade a veteran receiver (cough cough Kendrick Bourne). Thornton’s injury means it looks like they won’t be able to get creative. They will remain with Parker, Meyers, Agholor and Bourne in the top 4.

Lil’Jordan Humphrey showed up on Friday, making 5 catches for 71 yards and making a spectacular play on special teams that might have secured a spot on the roster. There’s still plenty of time for things to change, but for now LJ is on my 53.

Tight end (3): Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Devin Asiasi

Out: Dalton Keene, Matt Sokol

Last week I only had two tight ends here, but Hunter Henry’s health tells me they’ll probably have to hold on to a third.

Devin Asiasi showed he was usable on Friday, picking up three catches from Bailey Zappe. According to the WR room, I could also see them trying to use LJ Humphrey in a TE/FLEX type role (h/t Phil Perry), making Asiasi expendable. For now though, he’s doing 53 as an inactive Sunday type of guy.

Offensive line (8): Isaiah Wynn, Cole Strange, David Andrews, Mike Onwenu, Trent Brown, James Ferentz, Justin Herron, Yodny Cadjus

Departures: Drew Desjarlais, Will Sherman, Yasir Durant, Kody Russey, Chasen Hines, Andrew Stuber, Arlington Hambright, Bill Murray

No change on the offensive line since last week. We think Isaiah Wynn might be a strange man with his injury and the emergence of Yodny Cadjus, but for now I’m keeping him here. There aren’t enough tackle skills on this list to get rid of him.

Start 5, an IOL swing to Ferentz, and two swing tackles to Herron and Cadresse.

Defensive line (5): Deatrich Wise Jr., Davon Godchaux, Lawrence Guy, Christian Barmore, LaBryan Ray

Out: Carl Davis, Henry Anderson, Daniel Ekuale, Sam Roberts, Jeremiah Pharms Jr.

My only change here is to swap Henry Anderson with LaBryan Ray. Ray, an undrafted rookie from Alabama, has shone this preseason. Anderson is a savvy veteran – but they already have him on the D line with Wise and Guy.

They give the rookie a chance to show his worth on NFL Sundays.

Linebackers (6): Matthew Judon, Ja’Whuan Bentley, Josh Uche, Raekwon McMillan, Mack Wilson Sr., Anfernee Jennings

Departures: Cameron McGrone, Ronnie Perkins, Jahlani Tavai, DaMarcus Mitchell, Harvey Langi, Nate Wieland

Nothing new here since last week – as Cam McGrone, Ronnie Perkins and Jahlani Tavai haven’t done anything worth changing.

Anfernee Jennings played the majority of the game at linebacker for the Patriots on Friday — which can be considered two ways: a bad thing because he’s out there and needs to show he’s worth a roster spot, or a good thing. thing because he played a solid game in the reps given to him.

I think it’s the latter. Jennings will make the list.

Cornerbacks (7): Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, Terrance Mitchell, Shaun Wade, Myles Bryant

Departures: Malcolm Butler (IR), Joejuan Williams (IR)

Although Malcolm Butler and Joejuan Williams were taken off my roster last week, both CB veterans headed to injured reserve, which made life much easier in the discount market.

Shaun Wade impressed again on Friday, and Myles Bryant continues to show his worth on special teams — keeping himself on the roster for another week.

Safeties (4): Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips, Jabrill Peppers

Out: Joshuah Bledsoe

I hate to cut on Joshuah Bledsoe here, who had an awesome camp, but there are just too many mouths to feed on this list.

Bledsoe feels like a guy who could make his way onto the Pats’ practice squad, but even if he doesn’t, I’m comfortable with a room of McCourty, Dugger, Phillips and Peppers.

Specialists (7): Jake Bailey, Nick Folk, Joe Cardona, Matthew Slater, Justin Bethel, Cody Davis, Brendan Schooler

Out: Tristan Vizcaino, Jake Julian

Can we have too many specialists?!

Well, probably – but Bill Belichick doesn’t think so. Brenden Schooler earns a spot this week as he continues to get plenty of reps on special teams. The rest is the same. Kicker, punter, long snapper and your gunners.

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