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Monday, April 29, 2013
Post-draft Patriots roster reset

By Field Yates

With the NFL draft now over, let's reset the Patriots roster with a projected depth chart at each position. Depth charts are always fluid, and we expect these to change in the coming weeks and months as we learn more about the additions to the roster and their roles.

NFL rosters can include up to 90 players at this juncture of the offseason, and the Patriots likely will add another crop of undrafted free agents in the coming days. For now, only those confirmed by ESPNBoston.com are included.

Including our confirmed undrafted free agents, the Patriots roster currently stands at 73 players, leaving room for 17 additions.

Quarterback (3)


1. Tom Brady
2. Ryan Mallett
3. Mike Kafka

Quick hit: The team could look to add an extra arm for the purposes of OTA’s and minicamps, but with Brady and Mallett in tow, the position is secure at the top.

Running back (5)


1. Stevan Ridley
2. Shane Vereen
3. Leon Washington
4. Brandon Bolden
5. LeGarrette Blount

Quick hit: An area of depth got deeper with the addition of Blount. He’s a niche player -- not an every-down back -- and the Patriots have a nice stable of talent in the backfield.

Fullback (1)


James Develin

Quick hit: We thought the return of Josh McDaniels might result in more two-back sets, but that turned out not to entirely be the case.

Wide receiver (9)


1. Danny Amendola
2. Aaron Dobson
3. Julian Edelman
4. Josh Boyce
5. Donald Jones
6. Michael Jenkins
7. Kamar Aiken
8. Matthew Slater
9. Andre Holmes

Quick hit: No position will be watched more closely (similar to last offseason). If Dobson or Boyce can make an immediate impact, the passing game should be in good shape.

Tight end (6)


1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Aaron Hernandez
3. Jake Ballard
4. Michael Hoomanawanui
5. Daniel Fells
6. Zach Sudfeld

Quick hit: If healthy, this group is as dynamic as any other tight end group in the NFL. But Gronkowski, Hernandez and Ballard all enter 2013 recovering from injuries.

Offensive tackle (4)


1. Nate Solder (left)
2. Sebastian Vollmer (right)
3. Will Svitek (swing)
4. Markus Zusevics (right)

Quick hit: The duo of Solder and Vollmer is unquestionably strong. Svitek provides insurance for Solder on the left side with the ability to play on the right side as well.

Guard (5)


1. Logan Mankins
2. Dan Connolly
3. Marcus Cannon
4. Nick McDonald
5. Chris McDonald

Quick hit: Mankins anchors the line with his toughness, while Connolly, Cannon and Nick McDonald have unique positional versatility. Cannon could still work at tackle, but the addition of Svitek allows the team to try him inside more.

Center (2)


1. Ryan Wendell
2. Matt Stankiewitch

Quick hit: Coming off a standout season, Wendell will look for another strong campaign before becoming a free agent. Connolly and Nick McDonald can play center too if needed.

Defensive end (7)


1. Chandler Jones
2. Rob Ninkovich
3. Justin Francis
4. Jermaine Cunningham
5. Jake Bequette
6. Michael Buchanan
7. Jason Vega

Quick hit: Another veteran pass rusher would go a long way for this group. John Abraham remains available and could provide a nice boost. Jones looks to build off of a promising rookie season.

Defensive tackle (7)


1. Vince Wilfork
2. Tommy Kelly
3. Brandon Deaderick
4. Kyle Love
5. Armond Armstead
6. Marcus Forston

Quick hit: We’d expect Kelly to have a shot to start alongside Wilfork, with each having backups to set up a nice rotation. Armstead is an intriguing player with a high upside.

Linebacker (10)


1. Jerod Mayo
2. Dont’a Hightower
3. Brandon Spikes
4. Jamie Collins
5. Dane Fletcher
6. Mike Rivera
7. Niko Koutouvides
8. Steve Beauharnais
9. Jeff Tarpinian
10. Marcus Benard

Quick hit: The appeal of adding Collins could be rooted in his athleticism to play in space and cover. The uniquely athletic top draft choice could be used in a variety of ways in 2013.

Cornerbacks (7)


1. Aqib Talib
2. Alfonzo Dennard
3. Kyle Arrington
4. Logan Ryan
5. Ras-I Dowling
6. Marquice Cole

Quick hit: The top trio is a holdover group from 2012, and Ryan may compete for time in sub-packages as a rookie. Dowling, despite a track record of injuries, remains an intriguing player because of his size.

Safeties (6)


1. Devin McCourty
2. Tavon Wilson
3. Steve Gregory
4. Adrian Wilson
5. Duron Harmon
6. Nate Ebner

Quick hit: It’s easy to peg McCourty as one starter, but more difficult to decipher who will align next to him in base defenses. With the addition of Wilson in free agency and Harmon, the third safety drafted in two years, the Patriots have a nice blend of youth and experience.

Specialists (3)


Punter Zoltan Mesko
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski
Long Snapper Danny Aiken

Quick hit: Aiken and Mesko enter the final year of their contract in 2013, while Gostkowski has two years remaining on his deal.