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Resetting the Patriots' DT personnel

7/16/2014

With Armond Armstead announcing his retirement on Wednesday, let's revisit the New England Patriots' defensive tackle personnel.

As noted in the "checking the locks" series, Armstead was not viewed as a lock for the team in 2014. This was a change from 2013 when Armstead arrived with great buzz and Bill Belichick once referred to him as a top-3 player in the rotation before a health issue derailed his season before the start of training camp.

This is another reminder of how injuries, or in this case health, can alter plans quickly.

Here's a look at the team's defensive tackle depth chart entering 2014 training camp (updated from a mid-June blog entry):

Vince Wilfork (6-2, 325): Captain and 11-year veteran is making progress in his return from a ruptured Achilles last September. Looks to be moving well.

Tommy Kelly (6-6, 310): Another 11-year veteran, he took another step in his return from a torn ACL by participating in 11-on-11 drills at mandatory minicamp.

Dominique Easley (6-2, 288): First-round draft choice is coming off two torn ACLs in a span of three seasons, suffered in college, and joined his teammates on the field for the first time on the final day of June's mandatory minicamp.

Chris Jones (6-1, 309) Second-year player was claimed on waivers last year and led all Patriots defensive tackles in snaps played in 2013. Best when penetrating.

Sealver Siliga (6-2, 325): After a slow start to his career, the run-stuffer looks like he has built some momentum as a developmental prospect behind Wilfork.

Joe Vellano (6-2, 300): Hard-working second-year player from Maryland is a lunch-pail type of guy who plays with top effort.

Marcus Forston (6-3, 305): Second-year player has spent multiple seasons on the practice squad and has filled in when injuries hit.

L.T. Tuipulotu (6-1, 305): Undrafted free agent from Utah is on the developmental track.

Seali'i Epenesa (6-1, 310): Undrafted free agent from UCLA is on the developmental track.