- Mike Reiss, ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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The following is a look at the Patriots' roster, currently at 51 players (expect more moves ahead), with a quick-hit thought at each position:
Running back (5):
Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount, Leon Washington, Brandon Bolden
Quick hit: As deep of a backfield as the Patriots have had in recent memory; Washington can serve as kickoff returner.
Quick hit: Came on strong in training camp and his presence somewhat allows the Patriots to go thin at tight end.
Wide receiver (6)
Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, Aaron Dobson, Matthew Slater
Quick hit: Can't think of another time that a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team opened the year with three rookies at receiver.
Tight end (3)
Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Zach Sudfeld
Quick hit: With Gronkowski unavailable for the start of the season, they will probably lean toward more 3-receiver and 2-back sets over 2-TE packages
Offensive line (8)
Nate Solder, Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Will Svitek, Josh Kline
Quick hit: Kline, a rookie free agent out of Kent State, surprises to earn an eighth spot for now.
Defensive tackle (3)
Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Joe Vellano
Quick hit: Undrafted rookie Vellano is the choice over former practice squad player Marcus Forston, as this is a position the Patriots figure to look for help.
Defensive end (4)
Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jake Bequette, Michael Buchanan
Quick hit: Maybe the biggest surprise of all as three layers of experienced depth (Justin Francis, Jermaine Cunningham, Marcus Benard) are cut.
Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Steve Beauharnais
Quick hit: Beauharnais, the seventh-round pick out of Rutgers, lands a developmental spot at a position where there were few questions.
Aqib Talib, Kyle Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, Marquice Cole
Quick hit: Dennard's uncertain legal situation could leave this group thinner than desired, but Ryan, the third-round pick out of Rutgers, has been a quick study.
Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner
Quick hit: Veteran Adrian Wilson is placed on injured reserve as the Patriots are essentially back in the same place as last year; the lone addition is Harmon, the third-round pick from Rutgers who many analysts felt was drafted too high.
Ryan Allen (punter), Stephen Gostkowski (kicker), Danny Aiken (long-snapper)
Quick hit: Allen, the two-time Ray Guy Award winner, wins the competition over Zoltan Mesko. He'll also likely serve as the holder on field goals, which had been Mesko's responsibility.
The following is a look at the Patriots' roster, currently at 51 players (expect more moves ahead), with a quick-hit thought at each position:OFFENSE (25)Quarterbacks (2)Tom Brady, Ryan MallettQuick hit: For the fourth time in five years, the Patriots initially keep just two quarterbacks as Tim Tebow is released.