- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
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(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2013.)
NAME: Armond Armstead
POSITION: Defensive tackle
2012 STATS: 46 tackles, 6 sacks with Toronto (CFL)
INJURY STATUS: No known injuries.
CHANCE OF MAKING 53-MAN ROSTER: 80%
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: It's always possible that they bring in veteran competition, but at this point, the Patriots seem to be banking on Armstead being a contributor this season. Behind presumptive starters Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, the Patriots are thin at defensive tackle, giving Armstead a strong chance to stick, even if no reason other than being a big body on the roster. But Armstead has upside as a pass rusher beyond that, and it wouldn't be surprising if he begins to emerge in the NFL after a brief stint in Canada.
WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: While there have been players recently -- Cameron Wake and Brandon Browner, most notably -- who have carried their success in the CFL to the NFL, it's not a given. Armstead's case is different than many, as he went to the CFL after leaving USC with a medical condition. But even if he's considered an "extra draft pick" by the Patriots this season, there is still the risk that he's simply not ready. If Jermaine Cunningham and/or Justin Francis can fill the void as interior rushers, there is an outside chance Armstead could fall off the radar, at least initially.
CLOSEST COMPETITION: DT Marcus Forston, DE Jermaine Cunningham, DE Justin Francis