(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2012.)
NAME: Britt Davis
POSITION: Wide receiver
2011 STATS: Out of football until added to Patriots' practice squad for playoffs
INJURY STATUS: No known injuries
CHANCE OF MAKING 53-MAN ROSTER: 10%
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: Davis is a true long shot to make the roster, and is much closer to the outside of the bubble than the inside. However, the fourth-year player could have two things going for him: (1) His size. Davis is 6-foot-3, making him the tallest receiver on the Patriots' roster other than Matt Roark, and (2) His age. Davis is only 26 years old, a veteran by NFL standards, but relative to the Patriots' other receivers, Davis is young. While he has yet to catch a pass in the regular season, he could be a developmental player at a position where several players are set to become free agents after this season.
WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: There have been years when as many as seven receivers have survived the final cut to 53 players. In 2008, C.J. Jones earned the unlikely spot, and was later replaced by Maurice Price, a similarly inexperienced player. It's a niche like that where Davis could slip onto the roster, but unlike Jones or Price, he doesn't figure to contribute much on special teams. If Davis has a strong preseason and there is an injury ahead of him, there is a chance he could beat out a veteran like Donte' Stallworth for a spot. Otherwise, the Patriots would likely turn to draft pick Jeremy Ebert, or an undrafted player like Roark, who is younger than Davis (22 years old), taller (6-foot-5), and adds a special teams angle (owns Kentucky's record for blocked kicks), if there is an extra spot to be had.
CLOSEST COMPETITION: WR Donte' Stallworth, WR Jeremy Ebert, WR Jesse Holley, WR Matt Roark