The front of the Patriots’ roster is pretty stacked and if every starter can stay healthy throughout the year the Patriots will be really hard to beat. The back half of the roster however, does leave some room for concern if someone does get hurt.
The thinnest position on the team was Tight End, but now that spot is pretty deep with the signing of Tim Wright. The second thinnest position was at Linebacker, and the spot is still paper-thin. Outside of Mayo, Hightower and Collins, there is little to no depth. The Patriots made another move making the position even thinner: they released Chris White. There are currently only 4 linebackers on the roster. Outside of the starting 3, the only reserve is Daruis Flemming. I foresee the Patriots signing someone like Kevin Riddick or maybe even Pat Angerer, just to add depth at the position.
Offensive line is also something to keep an eye on. With Mankins gone, the starting line is most likely going to be Solder, Connelly, Wendell (at least for now), Cannon, and Vollmer. Even though there has been talk that Vollmer may slide inside, I still see him starting this year on the edge. Don’t be surprised if Brian Stork takes over the starting Center job after the season starts. It may happen because Wendell has been outworked, or because someone (like Vollmer) gets hurt, or the Patrots just want to shuffle the line around to see what works.
If everyone on the roster stays healthy the sky is the limit. If the Patriots can stay as healthy as teams like the Broncos or Seahawks did last year, then I expect them in the Superbowl. The Patriots made it to the AFC Championship game with basically no Tight End, very little at receiver, and a patchwork defensive line. So if the key players stay off IR this year, expect big things. With this kind of talent on the team expectations are Superbowl or bust.