Roster re-set with 87 players

June, 17, 2013
6/17/13
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The Patriots have three open spots on their 90-man roster. With the organized team activity/minicamp portion of the offseason program complete, it's a good time to re-set the roster with a quick-hit thought at each position.

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
AP Photo/Charles KrupaTim Tebow is currently No. 3 on the Patriots QB depth chart.
Quarterback (3)
Tom Brady
Ryan Mallett
Tim Tebow

Quick hit: The compelling question is now whether the Patriots will keep three quarterbacks after sticking with just two last season. Brady and Mallett are locks.

Running back (5)
Stevan Ridley
Shane Vereen
Brandon Bolden
LeGarrette Blount
Leon Washington

Quick hit: Bolden, after making the club in 2012 as a rookie free agent, missed all spring practices and his status bears watching as training camp approaches

Wide receiver (11)
Danny Amendola
Michael Jenkins
Julian Edelman
Kenbrell Thompkins
Kamar Aiken
Aaron Dobson
Josh Boyce
Donald Jones
Lavelle Hawkins
Matthew Slater
Mark Harrison

Quick hit: With 11 receivers, the team is thin compared to the league average at the position. This could be an area for another signing. No clear-cut answers outside of Amendola based on what reporters saw at OTAs/minicamp.

Tight end (7)
Rob Gronkowski
Aaron Hernandez
Michael Hoomanawanui
Daniel Fells
Jake Ballard
Zach Sudfeld
Brandon Ford

Quick hit: Even with top players Gronkowski and Hernandez not practicing in the spring, the Patriots are still deep. They are carrying as many tight ends as any team in the NFL.

Fullback (2)
James Develin
Ben Bartholomew

Quick hit: A pure fullback wasn’t carried on the roster for most of 2012.

Offensive tackle (8)
Nate Solder
Sebastian Vollmer
Marcus Cannon
Will Svitek
Markus Zusevics
Elvis Fisher
Kevin Haslam
R.J. Mattes

Quick hit: Solder (left) and Vollmer (right) are locked in as the starters, and it will be interesting to see if Svitek – signed to a one-year free-agent deal this offseason -- sticks as the swing guard.

Center/guard (7)
Logan Mankins
Dan Connolly
Ryan Wendell
Nick McDonald
Josh Kline
Matt Stankiewitch
Chris McDonald

Quick hit: Tackle Marcus Cannon projects as a top backup at right guard. The team could look to bolster this area with one of its open roster spots.

Defensive tackle (6)
Vince Wilfork
Tommy Kelly
Armond Armstead
Marcus Forston
Cory Grissom
Joe Vellano

Quick hit: Potentially too thin at this spot, it would make sense to think that the Patriots are eyeing this position with one of their three open roster spots.

Defensive end (7)
Rob Ninkovich
Chandler Jones
Justin Francis
Jermaine Cunningham
Jake Bequette
Michael Buchanan
Jason Vega

Quick hit: The intrigue at this spot is in the competition for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, with a handful of younger players with upside.

Linebacker (11)
Jerod Mayo
Dont’a Hightower
Brandon Spikes
Jamie Collins
Dane Fletcher
Steve Beauharnais
Niko Koutouvides
Mike Rivera
Jeff Tarpinian
Marcus Benard
A.J. Edds

Quick hit: Hightower appeared to have a strong spring, positioning himself to increase his playing time by being more of a factor in sub packages. He played 51.6 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie in 2012.

Cornerback (8)
Aqib Talib
Alfonzo Dennard
Kyle Arrington
Ras-I Dowling
Logan Ryan
Marquice Cole
Brandon Jones
Stephon Morris

Quick hit: Dowling’s standing on the depth chart looks better than initially thought, as he had a strong spring minicamp performance.

Safety (7)
Devin McCourty
Adrian Wilson
Steve Gregory
Tavon Wilson
Nate Ebner
Duron Harmon
Kanorris Davis

Quick hit: Cornerback Marquice Cole has been getting some work at safety with McCourty, Ebner, Harmon and Davis all not cleared to fully participate in practice.

Punter (2)
Zoltan Mesko
Ryan Allen

Quick hit: Two left-footed punters set for a training camp competition that figures to be judged over time, in terms of which player is more consistent.

Kicker (1)
Stephen Gostkowski

Quick hit: David Ruffer was waived last week, leaving Gostkowski (signed through 2014) as the team’s lone kicker.

Long snapper (2)
Danny Aiken
Mike Zupancic

Quick hit: Aiken has held the job for the last two seasons after the Patriots claimed him on waivers from the Bills.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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