As organized team activities continue and training camp draws nearer, the following is a breakdown of the construction of the Patriots roster, which is at a maximum capacity of 90 players (this total does not include receiver Shun White, who is currently on the Reserve/Military List):
Total players: 90 (44 offensive, 42 defensive, 4 special teams)
Acquired by Patriots in draft: 35
-First round: 7
-Second round: 10
-Third round: 3
-Fourth round: 2
-Fifth round: 4
-Sixth round: 4
-Seventh round: 5
The Patriots have also relied heavily on free agency to build the roster, as 30 unrestricted free agents and an additional 20 players who signed with Patriots as undrafted free agents also figure into the current mix. As Mike Rodak mentioned during yesterday’s quick hit thoughts, the Patriots have a strong history of finding at least one undrafted free agent to stick around each year, but raised the question of whether 2012 will be the year that the trend is bucked.
Finally, the team has dipped into the waiver wire for a pair of claims (Josh Barrett and Danny Aiken), and fielded three trades (four if you include Deion Branch, who is included among the 35 players originally drafted by the team in the list above).
There’s no right or wrong way to build a roster, and these numbers will look much different when the regular season rolls around. However, the statistics provide insight into how the team operates in shaping its roster.