Defensive Tackles (5)
Starters: Alan Branch, Malcom Brown
Depth: Lawrence Guy, Vincent Valentine, Woodrow Hamilton
Like last season, Alan Branch and Malcom Brown lead New England’s stout defensive line. Former third-round pick Vincent Valentine will aim to increase his role in the defense in his second season. And Woodrow Hamilton makes the 53-man roster in his second offseason with the team.
Cut: Darius Kilgo, Josh Augusta*, Adam Butler*
Defensive Ends (4)
Starters: Trey Flowers, Kony Ealy
Depth: Derek Rivers*, Deatrich Wise*
The Patriots lost Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard in free agency and look to succeed them with younger talent. Trey Flowers began taking over for Sheard in the latter half of 2016 and performed well enough to take his job. The Patriots acquired Ealy in a trade with Carolina in March. He’ll take over for Chris Long at left defensive end.
Cut: Geneo Grissom, Corey Vereen*