Pats: 53-man Roster Projections

RedOctober3829

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My initial roster projection. Last guy on the roster for me is Kristian Wilkerson over N'Keal Harry due to ST's.

QB(2)-Cam Newton, Mac Jones
RB(5)-Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, Rhamondre Stevenson, JJ Taylor
FB/H-back(1)-Jakob Johnson
WR(5)-Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Kristian Wilkerson
TE(4)-Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Matt LaCosse, Devin Asiasi
OL(9)-Isaiah Wynn, Mike Onwenu, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Trent Brown, Ted Karras, Justin Herron, Will Sherman, Korey Cunningham

DL(5)-Henry Anderson, Davon Godcheaux, Lawrence Guy, Christian Barmore, Deatrich Wise
EDGE(4)-Matt Judon, Josh Uche, Ronnie Perkins, Chase Winovich
OTB-LB(4)Dont'a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja'Whaun Bentley, Raekown McMillan
CB(4)-Stephon Gilmore, JC Jackson, Johnathan Jones, Myles Bryant
SAF(4)-DMC, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Jalen Mills
ST(6)-Nick Folk, Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Matt Slater, Justin Bethel, Cody Davis

IR: Stidham, McGrone, Bledsoe, Keene
 

stp

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My initial roster projection. Last guy on the roster for me is Kristian Wilkerson over N'Keal Harry due to ST's..
I think Harry is going to make it. I've read reports that he has been one of the best players on the field for the last several practices.
 

Jungleland

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I find the Lacosse inclusion interesting. Last year they went into the season with 3 and have since heavily upgraded the position. My gut says 6 WR/3TE is much more likely given the Harry/Wilkerson reports so far, but it is totally possible I've missed similar raves on the TE front and/or that things change between now and the end of the month.
 

mwonow

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My initial roster projection. Last guy on the roster for me is Kristian Wilkerson over N'Keal Harry due to ST's.

(snip)

IR: Stidham, McGrone, Bledsoe, Keene
I'm with you on the IR guys. For the roster, the interior OL was underwhelming - might see a trade to provide one more quality player?

Here's my current best guess (limited by the lack of actual reps for these guys, the time between now and cutdown day, and of course, my limited understanding!)

QB (2) C.Newton, M.Jones
RB (4) J.White, S.Michel, R.Stevenson, D.Harris
WR (7) N.Agholor, J.Meyers, K.Bourne, N.Harry, M.Slater, K.Wilkerson, G.Olszewski
TE (3) J.Smith, H.Henry, D.Asiasi
C (2) D.Andrews, T.Karras
G (2) S.Mason, M.Onwenu
T (4) I.Wynn, T.Brown, J.Herron, W.Sherman
DE (2) D.Wise, H.Anderson
DT (4) L.Guy, D.Godchaux, C.Davis, C.Barmore
ILB(4) D.Hightower, J.Bentley, T.Hall, R.McMillan
OLB(6) M.Judon, J.Uche, R.Perkins, A.Jennings, C.Winovich, K.VanNoy
CB (7) S.Gilmore, J.Jackson, J.Mills, M.Bryant, J.Williams, J.Bethel, J.Jones
SS (2) K.Dugger, A.Phillips
FS (1) D.McCourty
ST (3) N.Folk, J.Bailey, J.Cardona

Total players: 53
Created with Pats Picker: http://patsfans.com/patspicker
Tough cuts: RBs Johnson and Taylor; TE LaCosse; WR Nixon; DT Cowart (I came down to him or Wino); LB Langhi; ST Bolden, King and Virgin
 

Eddie Jurak

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My initial roster projection. Last guy on the roster for me is Kristian Wilkerson over N'Keal Harry due to ST's.

QB(2)-Cam Newton, Mac Jones
RB(5)-Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, Rhamondre Stevenson, JJ Taylor
FB/H-back(1)-Jakob Johnson
WR(5)-Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Kristian Wilkerson
TE(4)-Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Matt LaCosse, Devin Asiasi
OL(9)-Isaiah Wynn, Mike Onwenu, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Trent Brown, Ted Karras, Justin Herron, Will Sherman, Korey Cunningham

DL(5)-Henry Anderson, Davon Godcheaux, Lawrence Guy, Christian Barmore, Deatrich Wise
EDGE(4)-Matt Judon, Josh Uche, Ronnie Perkins, Chase Winovich
OTB-LB(4)Dont'a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja'Whaun Bentley, Raekown McMillan
CB(4)-Stephon Gilmore, JC Jackson, Johnathan Jones, Myles Bryant
SAF(4)-DMC, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Jalen Mills
ST(6)-Nick Folk, Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Matt Slater, Justin Bethel, Cody Davis

IR: Stidham, McGrone, Bledsoe, Keene
Are we really sure White makes it? He's aging and moveable, and JJ Taylor might be after his job. Might that Pats go with 8 lineman instead of 9? Otherwise this all looks about right. I could maybe see Hoyer sticking as QB3.
 

RedOctober3829

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Are we really sure White makes it? He's aging and moveable, and JJ Taylor might be after his job. Might that Pats go with 8 lineman instead of 9? Otherwise this all looks about right. I could maybe see Hoyer sticking as QB3.
I went with 9 linemen because of the amount of plays they run with 6 OL.

We’ll see how White looks in the games and joint practices,but I see them being very TE/RB heavy. I nearly went with only 4 WRs.
 

Soxy

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I'm with you on the IR guys. For the roster, the interior OL was underwhelming - might see a trade to provide one more quality player?
I'm more worried about tackle depth, especially considering Wynn and Brown haven't exactly been pillars of health throughout their careers. I'm assuming they'd kick Onwenu back out to RT if either of the starters gets hurt, moving Brown to LT if Wynn goes down, while starting Karras inside. On paper that seems fine but that's a lot of moving parts. I would think it's more ideal to just sub one guy and try to maintain as much continuity as possible, as opposed to reshuffling 3/5 of the line, but perhaps that's not as much of a concern internally.

In terms of straight tackle depth, there's really not much there unless they're already fully sold on Herron, who was up and down as a rookie (as would be expected). Considering Brown is only on a one year deal and Wynn is a FA after 2022, that would be a better spot to try and acquire some O-line depth, imo. Herron and Sherman are both relatively unknown wild cards.
 

Super Nomario

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Are we really sure White makes it? He's aging and moveable, and JJ Taylor might be after his job. Might that Pats go with 8 lineman instead of 9? Otherwise this all looks about right. I could maybe see Hoyer sticking as QB3.
JJ Taylor has one career catch. I'm not even sure they see him as a receiving type back (he had 23 carries in limited action); he gets lumped in there because he's little. I would be shocked if they moved on from White, who is also a team captain.

The new rules require 8 OL if a team is going to have 48 game day actives, so going with just 8 on the 53 is thin. They could call a guy up from the PS in case of injury, but it probably makes more sense just to roster 9.

In terms of straight tackle depth, there's really not much there unless they're already fully sold on Herron, who was up and down as a rookie (as would be expected). Considering Brown is only on a one year deal and Wynn is a FA after 2022, that would be a better spot to try and acquire some O-line depth, imo. Herron and Sherman are both relatively unknown wild cards.
Herron got a decent amount of run last year - 351 snaps despite missing four games. He beat out last year's veteran backup OT, Jermaine Eluemunor, for playing time down the stretch. He also beat out Korey Cunningham, who had a year in the system and started 6 games with Arizona in 2018. Cunningham's also still on the roster. So I don't see tackle depth as an issue, and as you noted, while it's less than ideal, they do the option to shift some guys around.
 

Eddie Jurak

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JJ Taylor has one career catch. I'm not even sure they see him as a receiving type back (he had 23 carries in limited action); he gets lumped in there because he's little. I would be shocked if they moved on from White, who is also a team captain.
James White had 5 catches as a rookie. Shane Vereen had zero as a rookie and only 8 as a sophomore.
 

Soxy

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Herron got a decent amount of run last year - 351 snaps despite missing four games. He beat out last year's veteran backup OT, Jermaine Eluemunor, for playing time down the stretch. He also beat out Korey Cunningham, who had a year in the system and started 6 games with Arizona in 2018. Cunningham's also still on the roster. So I don't see tackle depth as an issue, and as you noted, while it's less than ideal, they do the option to shift some guys around.
I just see tackle as a much more likely acquisition considering it would solve potential needs in both the short and long term.

Onwenu is in his second season as a 6th round pick, so he's providing surplus value galore. They just re-signed Andrews and Karras. Mason's contract seems like a pretty great deal considering the current market and he's tied up through 2023.

If we're adding O-lineman, we should be finding tackles.
 

SMU_Sox

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These are the guys I’d consider locks:
QB(2): Cam Newton, Mac Jones
OT(3): Wynn, Brown, Herron
OG(2): Onwenu, Mason
C(2): Andrews, Karras
WR(3): Agholor, Bourne, Meyers
TE(3): Henry, Smith, Asiasi
RB(3): Damien Harris, Stevenson, White
IDL(5): Barmore, Wise, Godchaux, Guy, Anderson
OLB/Edge(3): KVN, Judon, Perkins
ILB(2): Hightower, Uche
SS(2): Dugger, Phillips
FS(2): DMC, Mills (role isn’t 100% clear?)
Slot Corner(1): Jon Jones
Outside Corners(2): Gilmore, JCJ
Kicker(1): Neither are a lock but the position is.
Punter(1): Bailey
LS(1): Joe Cardona - (backup is Wise)
STers(2): Bethel, Slater

I have 38 locks. Will be curious if they trend some of their depth or potential depth at positions like RB, edge/OLB. Harry, Michel, Wino —> you could probably get something for them. I’ve said this before but I’ll note it here that I anticipate next years draft to be loaded so getting extra 4-5ths could be prudent.

The thing with Wino is unless he gets better and more consistent as a run defender he won’t be a full time starter here. He’s a very good situational pass rusher but some teams might actually see him as a potential full time starter. His pressure stats are excellent and 5.5 sacks as a rotational guy in both his first two years is intriguing production.

If it were up to me I would keep Wino and maybe drop Jennings who is going to be an early down defender only and who was really bad when he played in space last year. I think they played him out of position because they had to. The issue there is I’m not sure Jennings even has day 3 value in a trade. He was considered a reach and he’s not explosive or athletic. Run stuffing edges are not rare.

WR: I want them to go bare bones here. 4 tops if they can. Same with RB. I’d rather they kept another DB, edge, OL, Vs WR/RB. Say like Bryant who is a valuable backup nickel and can handle some split zone safety things vs Sony Michel or Wilkerson or JJ Taylor.

Glad to see Joejuan Williams having some positive news from camp. He and Harry are having their best camps so far. Wouldn’t be nice if those guys developed just into average caliber starters? Williams has a chance to show he can be a valuable rotational corner at least.

Feels like this has the makings of a very balanced team with elite special teams. Bill has stocked up at the trenches on both sides of the ball. Really excited for Preason opener. They have a really good 10-53 whoever they settle on.

Edit: might have missed some locks. If I missed someone let me know.
 

Super Nomario

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James White had 5 catches as a rookie. Shane Vereen had zero as a rookie and only 8 as a sophomore.
Sure, but neither of them was handed the receiving back job in year 2 either. Part of my point on Taylor is I'm not even sure they see him as that kind of back - despite his size, he was pretty much an early down back last year. He only played 50 snaps last year and carried the ball on 23 of them. He was not particularly productive as a receiving back in college.

White may be showing some signs of decline, but he's still good, still a team captain / leader, and he's making peanuts. First of all, 1 year / $2.5 MM is not very much. Secondly, it's all guaranteed, so they save nothing cutting him - they save more money cutting Taylor and keeping White than the other way around. And third, it's even more dramatic, because White is playing under the four year qualifying contract, so his cap hit per OTC is only about half what they're actually paying him. Cutting White costs $1.25 MM more than keeping him.

I just see tackle as a much more likely acquisition considering it would solve potential needs in both the short and long term.

Onwenu is in his second season as a 6th round pick, so he's providing surplus value galore. They just re-signed Andrews and Karras. Mason's contract seems like a pretty great deal considering the current market and he's tied up through 2023.

If we're adding O-lineman, we should be finding tackles.
I agree tackle is an issue for 2022, which is why I'm surprised they didn't go after it in the draft this year until late. But I think you're trying to thread too fine a needle here. A T who can be an upgrade on Herron will be expensive enough, but a starter-caliber guy who can plug in at T in 2022 is going to cost even more. They rarely go outside the organization for OL investments, so I don't see them playing in that kind of space. Most of their external moves are for guys like Eluemunor and Cunningham - and Herron already beat out both those guys last year.
 

Section30

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Are there any changes in practice squad/roster rules to try and avoid Covid impact? With the Delta variant causing positive tests by the fully vaccinated is the NFL allowing for any larger roster adjustments?
 

Soxy

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These are the guys I’d consider locks:
QB(2): Cam Newton, Mac Jones
OT(3): Wynn, Brown, Herron
OG(2): Onwenu, Mason
C(2): Andrews, Karras
WR(3): Agholor, Bourne, Meyers
TE(3): Henry, Smith, Asiasi
RB(3): Damien Harris, Stevenson, White
IDL(5): Barmore, Wise, Godchaux, Guy, Anderson
OLB/Edge(3): KVN, Judon, Perkins
ILB(2): Hightower, Uche
SS(2): Dugger, Phillips
FS(2): DMC, Mills (role isn’t 100% clear?)
Slot Corner(1): Jon Jones
Outside Corners(2): Gilmore, JCJ
Kicker(1): Neither are a lock but the position is.
Punter(1): Bailey
LS(1): Joe Cardona - (backup is Wise)
STers(2): Bethel, Slater

I have 38 locks. Will be curious if they trend some of their depth or potential depth at positions like RB, edge/OLB. Harry, Michel, Wino —> you could probably get something for them. I’ve said this before but I’ll note it here that I anticipate next years draft to be loaded so getting extra 4-5ths could be prudent.

The thing with Wino is unless he gets better and more consistent as a run defender he won’t be a full time starter here. He’s a very good situational pass rusher but some teams might actually see him as a potential full time starter. His pressure stats are excellent and 5.5 sacks as a rotational guy in both his first two years is intriguing production.

If it were up to me I would keep Wino and maybe drop Jennings who is going to be an early down defender only and who was really bad when he played in space last year. I think they played him out of position because they had to. The issue there is I’m not sure Jennings even has day 3 value in a trade. He was considered a reach and he’s not explosive or athletic. Run stuffing edges are not rare.

WR: I want them to go bare bones here. 4 tops if they can. Same with RB. I’d rather they kept another DB, edge, OL, Vs WR/RB. Say like Bryant who is a valuable backup nickel and can handle some split zone safety things vs Sony Michel or Wilkerson or JJ Taylor.

Glad to see Joejuan Williams having some positive news from camp. He and Harry are having their best camps so far. Wouldn’t be nice if those guys developed just into average caliber starters? Williams has a chance to show he can be a valuable rotational corner at least.

Feels like this has the makings of a very balanced team with elite special teams. Bill has stocked up at the trenches on both sides of the ball. Really excited for Preason opener. They have a really good 10-53 whoever they settle on.

Edit: might have missed some locks. If I missed someone let me know.
I'd put Sony Michel as a lock over Stevenson, who I don't envision having much of a role on this team in 2021. Not sure if they'll be able to get him on the PS but he seems like a candidate for a redshirt year of sorts, which is what they've done with a lot of their rookie RBs throughout the years.

I think Sony and Harris will more or less split carries and they're likely to run the ball a lot regardless of who is playing QB, so should be plenty of touches to go around between the two.

I agree tackle is an issue for 2022, which is why I'm surprised they didn't go after it in the draft this year until late. But I think you're trying to thread too fine a needle here. A T who can be an upgrade on Herron will be expensive enough, but a starter-caliber guy who can plug in at T in 2022 is going to cost even more. They rarely go outside the organization for OL investments, so I don't see them playing in that kind of space. Most of their external moves are for guys like Eluemunor and Cunningham - and Herron already beat out both those guys last year.
It's not like I think they have to do something there before the end of camp. Just thought it was strange to hear concern about the interior O-line. If the Pats are looking to add someone at the O-line, I would have to imagine it's on the outside and not the inside.
 
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IMO, there's not remotely a chance that they'd cut Stevenson and try to get him through to the PS. He would never make it through. I do agree that he could get redshirted.
 

mwonow

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That's really too bad about Raekwon, who seems like a good guy and a good player, and has a seriously cool name.

I had him on my 53. I'm going to replace him with a RB - I'd like to go with JJohnson, but I think BBolden is more likely to stick (didn't he get a large-ish guarantee this season?)
 

Super Nomario

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QB (3): Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham* (makes initial 53 then goes in IR)
RB (5): Damien Harris, James White, Sony Michel, Brandon Bolden, Rhamondre Stevenson
WR (6): Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, N'Keal Harry, Gunner Oszlewski, Matthew Slater
TE/FB (4): Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Devin Asiasi, Jakob Johnson
OT (4): Isaiah Wynn, Trent Brown, Justin Herron, Will Sherman
IOL (5): Shaq Mason, Michael Onwenu, David Andrews, Ted Karras, Alex Redmond
DL (5): Deatrich Wise, Devon Godchaux, Henry Anderson, Lawrence Guy, Christan Barmore
OLB (4): Kyle Van Noy, Matt Judon, Chase Winovich, Ronnie Perkins
ILB (3): Dont'a Hightower, Josh Uche, Ja'Whaun Bentley
CB (7): Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Myles Bryant, Justin Bethel
S (4): Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Cody Davis
ST (3): Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Nick Folk
Stidham goes on IR and they add another guy, maybe an ILB (Hall? Brandon King?)
I think they find another guy to IR and get J.J. Taylor on, too, by Week 1. Maybe Stevenson?
 

Captaincoop

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QB (3): Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham* (makes initial 53 then goes in IR)
RB (5): Damien Harris, James White, Sony Michel, Brandon Bolden, Rhamondre Stevenson
WR (6): Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, N'Keal Harry, Gunner Oszlewski, Matthew Slater
TE/FB (4): Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Devin Asiasi, Jakob Johnson
OT (4): Isaiah Wynn, Trent Brown, Justin Herron, Will Sherman
IOL (5): Shaq Mason, Michael Onwenu, David Andrews, Ted Karras, Alex Redmond
DL (5): Deatrich Wise, Devon Godchaux, Henry Anderson, Lawrence Guy, Christan Barmore
OLB (4): Kyle Van Noy, Matt Judon, Chase Winovich, Ronnie Perkins
ILB (3): Dont'a Hightower, Josh Uche, Ja'Whaun Bentley
CB (7): Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Myles Bryant, Justin Bethel
S (4): Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Cody Davis
ST (3): Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Nick Folk
Stidham goes on IR and they add another guy, maybe an ILB (Hall? Brandon King?)
I think they find another guy to IR and get J.J. Taylor on, too, by Week 1. Maybe Stevenson?
That looks pretty good. I could possibly see Joejuan Williams getting cut in favor of Michael Jackson, and Wilkerson making the team in the Stidham spot.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I can’t see it. Too much competition for that 53rd spot.
What’s Folk’s cap hit if cut? (EDIT: $1.225M)
What’s Bill’s faith in a rookie?
What’s the chances either one of them remains around NE, just in case? (Or could Nordic make it to PS?)
Im sort of proceeding on the assumption that Nordin shows enough to make the team (or be snapped up on waivers) but not enough to convince Belichick will go into a season with a rookie kicker. I agree it is unlikely.
 

mwonow

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QB (3): Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham* (makes initial 53 then goes in IR)
RB (5): Damien Harris, James White, Sony Michel, Brandon Bolden, Rhamondre Stevenson
WR (6): Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, N'Keal Harry, Gunner Oszlewski, Matthew Slater
TE/FB (4): Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Devin Asiasi, Jakob Johnson
OT (4): Isaiah Wynn, Trent Brown, Justin Herron, Will Sherman
IOL (5): Shaq Mason, Michael Onwenu, David Andrews, Ted Karras, Alex Redmond
DL (5): Deatrich Wise, Devon Godchaux, Henry Anderson, Lawrence Guy, Christan Barmore
OLB (4): Kyle Van Noy, Matt Judon, Chase Winovich, Ronnie Perkins
ILB (3): Dont'a Hightower, Josh Uche, Ja'Whaun Bentley
CB (7): Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Myles Bryant, Justin Bethel
S (4): Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Cody Davis
ST (3): Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Nick Folk
Stidham goes on IR and they add another guy, maybe an ILB (Hall? Brandon King?)
I think they find another guy to IR and get J.J. Taylor on, too, by Week 1. Maybe Stevenson?
Did you give any consideration to leaving Carl Davis on? Seems like he's attracting a bunch of positive notice so far in camp.
 

Super Nomario

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Did you give any consideration to leaving Carl Davis on? Seems like he's attracting a bunch of positive notice so far in camp.
I didn't. Honestly I think 5 DL might be too many so I didn't think about a 6th. Davis does give them that traditional NT body type, which they don't really have. But someone probably has to get hurt to squeeze him on.
 

Soxy

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I'm expecting Jakob Johnson to be on the practice squad to start the season. Pats still have a roster exemption for him, so they could stash him on the PS without having to pass him through waivers. Seems like an obvious move unless they deem him absolutely necessary against Miami in week one, which seems unlikely.
 

axx

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Jarrett Stidham* (makes initial 53 then goes in IR)
That sounds like a Bill move. Especially since I think the retractable IR is still going to be in effect this year. Stash him in case of an emergency.
 

Zedia

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I'm expecting Jakob Johnson to be on the practice squad to start the season. Pats still have a roster exemption for him, so they could stash him on the PS without having to pass him through waivers. Seems like an obvious move unless they deem him absolutely necessary against Miami in week one, which seems unlikely.
I'm not sure. The exemption allow them to carry an extra player until cutdown day, but I don't see why another team couldn't sign him off the practice squad. He has PS eligibility, but not sure if he's protected (like he was his first year).

https://www.patspulpit.com/2021/5/4/22418783/jakob-johnson-roster-exemption-patriots-offseason

The Patriots retained Johnson via the exclusive-rights free agency tender earlier this offseason, giving him another chance to earn a spot on the team. Until then, however, he will not count against the roster due to the exemption.
Despite this status, Johnson will be able to participate in all team activities over the offseason and throughout training camp. He therefore can be seen as a 91st player available for New England until roster cutdown day in September.
His status as an International Player does not just allow Johnson to be carried with a roster exemption, but also to serve on a practice squad for three additional seasons after his status is lifted.
 

Big McCorkle

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Using a roster spot to keep Jakob Johnson around seems like a waste of a not-worthless resource. Even if you really, really, really want to make extensive use of the fullback position, Jonnu Smith exists and is more than capable of lead blocking, taking handoffs, and running routes out of the backfield.

Also, this whole exercise makes me wonder what the problem would be with getting rid of the 53-man roster entirely and instead just letting the salary cap function as an effective limit on roster size. You'd still keep the 46-man gameday limit, of course. If nothing else it would allow for some extra degree of strategy on the part of front offices, choosing between paying more on individual players or instead investing on carrying a lot of depth and developmental prospects.
 

Soxy

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I'm not sure. The exemption allow them to carry an extra player until cutdown day, but I don't see why another team couldn't sign him off the practice squad. He has PS eligibility, but not sure if he's protected (like he was his first year).

https://www.patspulpit.com/2021/5/4/22418783/jakob-johnson-roster-exemption-patriots-offseason
My understanding is that they can either designate him as a member of the regular PS, which would mean they could promote him to the roster during the season, or they could stash him as an extra guy on the PS all year long and he would be ineligible to be promoted to the active roster. I don't believe they need to expose him to waivers either way due to the roster exemption. Jeff Howe from The Athletic seems to agree with my interpretation:

10. There haven’t been a ton of fullback opportunities in training camp, so Jakob Johnson hasn’t gotten a lot of shine. With a roster exemption, the Patriots could theoretically preserve his spot for as long as possible by calling him up from the practice squad.
With the injuries to Keene and Henry, and Asiasi just being activated off the COVID list, maybe there's an opportunity there for Johnson. But I tend to agree with this:

Using a roster spot to keep Jakob Johnson around seems like a waste of a not-worthless resource. Even if you really, really, really want to make extensive use of the fullback position, Jonnu Smith exists and is more than capable of lead blocking, taking handoffs, and running routes out of the backfield.
I expect a lot of 12 and 11 personnel, so not a lot of 2-back stuff anyways. On a pretty loaded roster that should have a lot of competition for the last spots, why not stash Johnson on the PS and get an extra guy on the team?
 

Super Nomario

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I'm skeptical there's a big role for a FB when everyone is healthy, but when someone is hurt (like right now with Henry), I'd imagine they'd want that arrow in the quiver. You can think of Jakob as Jonnu's backup, in a sense. He also finished 8th on the team in special teams snaps last year.
 

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I'm skeptical there's a big role for a FB when everyone is healthy, but when someone is hurt (like right now with Henry), I'd imagine they'd want that arrow in the quiver. You can think of Jakob as Jonnu's backup, in a sense. He also finished 8th on the team in special teams snaps last year.
IDK, if Johnson is on the team, that's a bad sign for me. I don't see him as Jonnu's backup at all; I think Johnson is FB-only. And he's not a very good FB--the PFF grades tell that story, and he offers zero value in the passing game. People tend to remember Johnson's highlight reel blocks, and I think that clouds their judgment of his overall (in)effectiveness as a blocker. I'd rather they go with an extra traditional RB or TE than Johnson. Like, I'd take Bolden 100 out of 100 times over Johnson. Bolden, although undersized for it, could probably take on some situational FB and H-Back duties. Asiasi could, at least physically.

As for ST, Bolden could easily replace Johnson's snaps there. Rhamondre possibly could, or Perkins (who I believe has been getting a good look on ST this camp). If there's a spot for Brandon King, he's an easy choice as well.

In short, and I'll continue to die on this hill, Jakob Johnson is a much better story than football player. (I'd also argue if it weren't for the story/his background, I don't think there'd be much interest if he stayed or left).
 

Captaincoop

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So has Belichick been keeping him on the roster out of sentimentality? It seems like he sees value there, at least relative to other options.

I can't see our star FA tight end being used as a lead blocker in short yardage situations, but maybe that's not the FB role this year.
 

EL Jeffe

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Aug 30, 2006
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So has Belichick been keeping him on the roster out of sentimentality? It seems like he sees value there, at least relative to other options.

I can't see our star FA tight end being used as a lead blocker in short yardage situations, but maybe that's not the FB role this year.
No, of course BB hasn't kept Johnson around out of sentimentality (I think he's a good story for the fans, that's all). He's kept Johnson around because the overall WR/TE/FB have been absolutely dreadful the past two years and they didn't have a better option. In 2019, he was a PS guy (which is fine for a guy like him) who got called up when Devlin got put on the shelf, and Jak played 4 games. The 2020 roster was an absolute dumpster fire. When Ryan Izzo is your #1 TE (by a good margin), there's going to be room for a guy like Johnson. Now they've added Jonnu, Henry, Bolden, LaCosse, Rhamondre, Agholor, Bourne, etc and the roster looks a lot different. The skill position groups are so much better and deeper than they've been the past two years. Johnson isn't competing against absolute flotsam for a 53-man roster spot this season like he did in 2020.
 

rodderick

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IDK, if Johnson is on the team, that's a bad sign for me. I don't see him as Jonnu's backup at all; I think Johnson is FB-only. And he's not a very good FB--the PFF grades tell that story, and he offers zero value in the passing game. People tend to remember Johnson's highlight reel blocks, and I think that clouds their judgment of his overall (in)effectiveness as a blocker. I'd rather they go with an extra traditional RB or TE than Johnson. Like, I'd take Bolden 100 out of 100 times over Johnson. Bolden, although undersized for it, could probably take on some situational FB and H-Back duties. Asiasi could, at least physically.

As for ST, Bolden could easily replace Johnson's snaps there. Rhamondre possibly could, or Perkins (who I believe has been getting a good look on ST this camp). If there's a spot for Brandon King, he's an easy choice as well.

In short, and I'll continue to die on this hill, Jakob Johnson is a much better story than football player. (I'd also argue if it weren't for the story/his background, I don't think there'd be much interest if he stayed or left).
I agree that Johnson isn't really anything special as a player, but if you're not keeping him then you likely aren't just plugging guys like Bolden and Asiasi in at FB. You probably are moving away from the position entirely, which they've done in the past at times (and I think the current skill position group is taylor made for playing without a fullback anyway).
 

DourDoerr

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Who's the best bet among the OL to get plugged in at FB on some goal line, short yardage situations?
 

EL Jeffe

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It doesn't even need to be an OL. They've used Elandon Roberts, Dan Klecko, Bryan Cox, etc. Heck, they may decide Bentley or Perkins could play short yardage FB.
 

Super Nomario

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IDK, if Johnson is on the team, that's a bad sign for me. I don't see him as Jonnu's backup at all; I think Johnson is FB-only. And he's not a very good FB--the PFF grades tell that story, and he offers zero value in the passing game. People tend to remember Johnson's highlight reel blocks, and I think that clouds their judgment of his overall (in)effectiveness as a blocker. I'd rather they go with an extra traditional RB or TE than Johnson. Like, I'd take Bolden 100 out of 100 times over Johnson. Bolden, although undersized for it, could probably take on some situational FB and H-Back duties. Asiasi could, at least physically.

As for ST, Bolden could easily replace Johnson's snaps there. Rhamondre possibly could, or Perkins (who I believe has been getting a good look on ST this camp). If there's a spot for Brandon King, he's an easy choice as well.

In short, and I'll continue to die on this hill, Jakob Johnson is a much better story than football player. (I'd also argue if it weren't for the story/his background, I don't think there'd be much interest if he stayed or left).
To be clear: I agree, Johnson is just a fullback. The Patriots figure to run 2 tight end sets most of the team, probably the vast majority of the time when Smith and Henry are healthy. The question for me is, what do they do when one of those guys is not healthy? Do they just plug in Asiasi or LaCosse and try to run the same stuff (much less effectively)? Do they do more conventional 11 personnel stuff with three receivers (even though their receivers are nothing special)? Or do they play a conventional fullback in Johnson (which they did 37% of the time last year)? I think the likeliest answer is that they'd mix in all three. I don't really love any of the solutions though. I think the case for Johnson is he plays a half dozen snaps a game under ordinary circumstances, 20-25 snaps a game (basically what he did last year) if one of the TE is hurt, and contributes 10-12 snaps a game on ST. But maybe he'd be better off on the practice squad until needed.
 

SMU_Sox

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Running back is another area where all six are tough cuts. JJT really is like a little Dion and is showing us more versatility and explosiveness. He can be your outside or change of pace guy who can catch a little too. His return skills looked nice tonight.
Bolden is your ST steady reliable all around backup who Bill values for his good ST play and reliability. Bill would pay him $2m this year which is steep for his role but shows you he was valued like other ST guys contracts.
Rhamondre is another between the tackles guy who has shiftiness, burst, and enough speed. And we all know White, Harris, and Michel. Those are six guys who could all have a role.

I’m less excited about the corner depth. I know you can’t have above average starters as your depth but they looked like backups. JJW had one of those days where the end results were ok but he was beat and out of position too often. Michael Jackson looked a tick slow. Mills didn’t impress me much either. Outside corner ideally you have 3 guys who can play because you often need 3 starting caliber outside corners. Maybe when Gilmore comes back and everyone slides down a role it will be that much better but these guys didn’t look good against backups either.

There were a lot of other guys who had up and some down nights but I just want to highlight those two groups right now as we think about the 53.
Quick edit on JJT: his receiving ability is somewhat still of a projection so I might be jumping the gun there.
 

lexrageorge

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Bumping just to speculate a bit on the fate of the players on PUP/NFI:

With the joint practices starting, we can safely state we are in the meat of training camp. With one less preseason game, I would expect the starters to get a lot of run Thursday night, so the players on the bubble will have to take advantage of their opportunities in practice and the last quarter Thursday. Players that have not been activated yet are running out of time to make a camp impression.

Winovich was just activated and started practicing on Sunday, so he'll likely see some real game action Thursday night. That leaves:

NFI:
Cameron McGrone: Likely a redshirt season for their 5th round pick after November ACL surgery.

Joshuah Bledsoe: Not sure his injury, but likely looking at the same.

PUP:
Stidham: He's out until late October at the earliest. Will definitely start the year on reserve/PUP.

Byron Cowart: He's one that could find it difficult to win a job given the depth at DL. Going on reserve/PUP would give him some more time in the event of injuries to those ahead of him on the depth chart. Unclear what his injury was, other than that he did miss the mini-camp practices as well.

Terez Hall: Spent most of last season on the practice squad. Likely destined for the same if he recovers from offseason ankle surgery.

Stephon Gilmore: Saved the best for last. It's possible that the team is being extra cautious with their #1 corner as he recovers from knee injury. It starts getting interesting, however, if he's not activated for the Giants practices next week. I'm scarred from the Kemba experience, so I may be worrying more than necessary. Unclear what, if any, impact his contract situation is having on his status.
 

RedOctober3829

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deep inside Guido territory
Final Roster Projection
QB(2)Newton, Jones
RB/FB(6): Harris, White, Stevenson, Taylor, Bolden, Johnson
WR(5): Agholor, Bourne, Meyers, Gunner, Harry
TE(3): Henry, Smith, Asiasi
OL(9): Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Karras, Herron, Ferentz, Cajuste
DL(5): Guy, Barmore, Godcheaux, Wise, Davis
LB(7): Hightower, KVN, Uche, Bentley, Judon, Perkins, Jennings
CB(6): Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Mills, Williams, Wade
SAF(4): DMC, Dugger, Phillips, Bryant
ST(6): Cardona, Bailey, Folk, Slater, Davis, Bethel

--Mills can bounce back and forth between CB and S so they really have 5 safeties plus Cody Davis.
--I added Cajuste as the swing tackle and 9th OL as Herron has been used as more of an extra blocking TE/6th OL in preseason games. Therefore, you need another body that can play tackle and Cajuste has popped lately.
--I am still not sure that Anfernee Jennings makes the roster, but he's a 2nd year player and it's rare that BB lets those guys go(outside of Duke Dawson).
--I am also not sure that Carl Davis makes the roster as 5 DL seems to be too many, but he's looked pretty good and has been playing meaningful snaps.
--I took off a TE(LaCosse) and added another RB in Bolden. With Sony gone, his spot seems safe along with JJ Taylor.
--JJW is squarely on the bubble, but I think he ultimately makes it.
--2 QBs is a risk, but I think they can get a QB to the practice squad and bring him up when they need him whether it's Hoyer or a FA after cuts.
 

Bowhemian

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Final Roster Projection
QB(2)Newton, Jones
RB/FB(6): Harris, White, Stevenson, Taylor, Bolden, Johnson
WR(5): Agholor, Bourne, Meyers, Gunner, Harry
TE(3): Henry, Smith, Asiasi
OL(9): Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Karras, Herron, Ferentz, Cajuste
DL(5): Guy, Barmore, Godcheaux, Wise, Davis
LB(7): Hightower, KVN, Uche, Bentley, Judon, Perkins, Jennings
CB(6): Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Mills, Williams, Wade
SAF(4): DMC, Dugger, Phillips, Bryant
ST(6): Cardona, Bailey, Folk, Slater, Davis, Bethel

--Mills can bounce back and forth between CB and S so they really have 5 safeties plus Cody Davis.
--I added Cajuste as the swing tackle and 9th OL as Herron has been used as more of an extra blocking TE/6th OL in preseason games. Therefore, you need another body that can play tackle and Cajuste has popped lately.
--I am still not sure that Anfernee Jennings makes the roster, but he's a 2nd year player and it's rare that BB lets those guys go(outside of Duke Dawson).
--I am also not sure that Carl Davis makes the roster as 5 DL seems to be too many, but he's looked pretty good and has been playing meaningful snaps.
--I took off a TE(LaCosse) and added another RB in Bolden. With Sony gone, his spot seems safe along with JJ Taylor.
--JJW is squarely on the bubble, but I think he ultimately makes it.
--2 QBs is a risk, but I think they can get a QB to the practice squad and bring him up when they need him whether it's Hoyer or a FA after cuts.
You thinking that Chase Wino is getting cut?