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Roster re-set with 87 players

6/17/2013

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.

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.