New England Patriots: Pre-Camp 53-Man Roster Projection

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady /
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HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Dont’a Hightower
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Dont’a Hightower /

Linebacker – 6

  1. Dont’a Hightower
  2. David Harris
  3. Kyle Van Noy
  4. Elandon Roberts
  5. Shea McClellin
  6. Harvey Langi

Outside linebacker is easily the thinnest position on the Patriots depth chart. Fortunately, the recent signing of inside linebacker David Harris will allow Dont’a Hightower to move outside. Kyle Van Noy and Shea McClellin will split snaps at will (weak-side) linebacker with Harris in the middle and Hightower on the strong side.

Second-year linebacker Elandon Roberts should also see a larger role in New England’s defense. Pairing Roberts with Harris will create 3-4 inside blitzing opportunities while loading the line with run-stoppers like Lawrence Guy and Alan Branch to take up blocks.

In nickel looks, safety Patrick Chung will also line up as an outside linebacker over the tight end.

Don’t be surprised if New England makes room elsewhere for undrafted rookie linebacker, Harvey Langi. The team’s versatile defense makes up for the thin group of outside linebackers but having depth at the position will help in case of an injury.