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) /
5 of 8
FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 18: Trey Flowers
FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 18: Trey Flowers /

Defensive Tackle (4)

  • Alan Branch
  • Malcom Brown
  • Lawrence Guy
  • Vincent Valentine

Like the offensive line, the Patriots’ defensive tackle group didn’t undergo many alterations over the offseason. Lawrence Guy will join the rotation as a versatile run stuffer who’s capable of playing both defensive end and tackle. Rookie defensive linemen Adam Butler possesses a build similar to Guy’s and could be utilized in a similar fashion.

Starters Alan Branch and Malcom Brown will, again, serve as New England’s top two interior defensive linemen with Vincent Valentine seeing more involvement in his second season.

Defensive End (4)

  • Trey Flowers
  • Deatrich Wise
  • Adam Butler
  • Geneo Grissom
  • Derek Rivers (IR)

On the edge, New England remains dangerously thin after losing Rob Ninkovich to retirement, rookie Derek Rivers to a torn ACL, and parting ways with Kony Ealy last week.

Trey Flowers and rookies Deatrich Wise, and undrafted standout Adam Butler will rotate at defensive end with Lawrence Guy and Dont’a Hightower occasionally filling in. At 6-foot-4, 305-pounds, Guy possesses the physical attributes needed to stop the run, while Hightower is capable of creating a presence as a pass rusher.

Third-year defensive end Geneo Grissom has seen a rise in his stock throughout the summer, although, it’s likely he’s used more on special teams than on downs one to three.