New England Patriots: Final 53-man roster projection

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25: Chris Hogan (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25: Chris Hogan (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 25: Chris Hogan
DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 25: Chris Hogan /

Tight End (4)

  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Dwayne Allen
  • James O’Shaughnessy
  • James Develin (FB)

Starting tight end Rob Gronkowski is, to no surprise, a lock to make the Patriots roster. Former Colt Dwayne Allen doesn’t have the same job security as Gronk, but it would still come as a surprise to see him cut.

Like Foster and Bolden, deciding between veteran James O’Shaughnessy and rookie Jacob Hollister isn’t easy to make. Hollister was labeled a favorite to make the team immediately after inking a deal with New England as an undrafted free agent. In the Patriots’ first preseason game, he hauled in seven catches for 116 yards, adding more coal to his barrelling hype train.

O’Shaughnessy didn’t post the strong preseason numbers that Hollister did, but he did contribute as a blocker on Mike Gillislee’s touchdown and two-point conversion versus the Detroit Lions. In addition, O’Shaughnessy’s 361 career snaps on special teams add value and intrigue to his potential as a third-string tight end. He’ll make the 53-man roster while New England hopes Hollister can revert to the practice squad for a year of developing.

Wide Receiver (6)

  • Brandin Cooks
  • Chris Hogan
  • Malcolm Mitchell
  • Danny Amendola
  • Austin Carr
  • Matthew Slater
  • Julian Edelman (IR)

Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan will serve as the Patriots starting wide receivers while Julian Edelman misses the season recovering from a torn ACL. In three wide receiver sets, second-year wideout Malcolm Mitchell will work as an outside receiver while Cooks moves to the slot. Veteran pass catcher Danny Amendola has familiarity with New England’s system and will be used as a slot receiver in relief of the injured, Edelman.

Like Jacob Hollister, rookie wide receiver Austin Carr was considered an undrafted free agent signee who could land a spot on the Patriots’ 53-man roster come Week 1. His impressive touchdown grab against the Jacksonville Jaguars drew more attention to his name and If not for Edelman’s injury, he would’ve been a priority player to sign following roster cut downs. New England could possibly hold on to Carr as a fifth wide receiver while Matthew Slater returns to full health.