- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Examining the New England Patriots' roster:
Garoppolo has made a serious run at the No. 2 job, putting Mallett's spot in jeopardy. Mallett sticks here because Bill Belichick has previously talked about how quarterback is one position where a team can never have enough depth.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Played a hunch at this spot last week with Ridley and looks like that was off the mark. Haven't seen enough spark from White to move away from Ridley.
That he was held out of the preseason finale speaks to the valuable contributor that he has become.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
If the preseason finale is any indication, with Wright playing 43 of 70 snaps (including penalties), the former Buccaneer is going to be a significant part of the team's plans.
WIDE RECEIVERS (5)
Haven't seen enough from Josh Boyce to warrant giving him a roster spot. Wonder if there would be any trade interest there.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
LT Nate Solder
LG Josh Kline
RG Dan Connolly
LT/RT/RG Marcus Cannon
OT/G Jordan Devey
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
DT Chris Jones
DE Zach Moore
DE Joe Vellano
Vellano's standing was reflected in that he didn't play in the preseason finale, which probably means he has earned a spot. Jerel Worthy to the practice squad?
Beauharnais has been back and forth between the roster and practice squad in past projections, but his value in leading the defense is deemed important in the final projection, especially with Mayo and Hightower dealing with ailments that have kept them off the field.
Because Browner is suspended for the first four regular-season games, he won't count against the initial 53-man roster limit. But he is included here because he is obviously a significant part of the team's overall planning for the 2014 season. Butler, an undrafted free agent from West Alabama, was the surprise story of the preseason. Now the question is who starts opposite Revis.
In an unexpected twist, it looks like Chung and Wilson could provide more value to the team from a defensive/special teams standpoint than Duron Harmon, who is eligible for the practice squad and could land there.
No surprises here, unless the Patriots keep their eyes on available snappers.