Pats 53-man roster projection (v. 1.1)

A three-headed prognostication of how the team will look come season opener

Updated: July 25, 2012, 5:28 PM ET
By Mike Reiss, Mike Rodak and Field Yates |

Part of the Patriots' offseason strategy was to build better depth on the roster, and the goal seems to have been accomplished. The club looks to have a stronger "middle class" than it did last year.

This thought was reinforced when our team put together its first 53-man roster projection of the year (three versions), and there are some tough cuts.

Training camp could be the most competitive in Bill Belichick's 13 years as head coach, which is the way Belichick likes it. As always, an injury can alter the picture quickly, and a player's projected performance might unexpectedly head in a different direction. Those potential changes will be monitored in ensuing 53-man roster projections.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.