Saturday, July 12, 2014
Checking the locks: How many open spots?
By Mike Reiss
As part of this slow time on the NFL calendar, when we'll be taking a break to recharge for the 2014 season, we introduced the pre-produced "checking the locks" series in which we analyzed the players on the Patriots' roster who are "locks" to stick. Today is the final entry of the series, which recaps the "locks" to account for how many open spots are there for the taking:
Quick-hit thoughts: With 24 offensive players falling into the category of lock or near-lock, it highlights how there aren't too many major roster-based questions at this time. An injury can always change the picture, as can a standout performance from an undrafted player who isn't currently on the radar.
Quick-hit thoughts: With 22 defenders falling into the category of "sure-fire lock" or "near lock," it is similar to the offense in the sense that most of the roster seems pretty well set. The backup linebacker spot is one area that seems to have the most possible outcomes, which brings the defensive numbers down a bit.
Quick-hit thoughts: Not much drama in this area, which is unlike 2013, when Allen successfully challenged incumbent Zoltan Mesko.
Overall, there were 49 players across the roster placed in the "sure-fire lock" or "near lock" categories, and all teams will carry a 53-man roster. If everyone's healthy, it provides a snapshot of the odds facing some of those players who are in the "trying to get in the door" category of this series.