- 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: Matt Stankiewitch
2012 STATS: 12 games (all starts) -- at Penn State
INJURY STATUS: No known injuries
CHANCE OF MAKING 53-MAN ROSTER: 25%
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: At a position where they almost always seem to be plagued by injuries, the Patriots lack experienced depth along the interior of their offensive line. Fourth-year veteran Nick McDonald projects as the top backup, with Marcus Cannon a wild card as he potentially makes the transition from tackle. Beyond that, the Patriots have a trio of undrafted rookies: Stankiewitch, Chris McDonald and Josh Kline. Even if Nick McDonald and Cannon make the 53-man roster, there still may be room for one of the rookies, and Stankiewitch has the easiest transition to the NFL, having played in former offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien's system at Penn State.
WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: The key for Stankiewitch to make the cut might be his versatility. He played guard early in his career at Penn State, and he would bring value if able to play both guard and center in the NFL. But if Chris McDonald or Kline shows a greater ability to switch between both positions, their chances of making the roster over Stankiewitch would be improved.
CLOSEST COMPETITION: G/C Nick McDonald, G Chris McDonald, G Josh Kline