New England Patriots: 53-man roster projection after two preseason games

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 10: Cyrus Jones Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

Cornerback (6): Duke Dawson, Stephon Gilmore, Cyrus Jones, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, Eric Rowe

Jason McCourty’s spot has been rumored to be in jeopardy as Eric Rowe has taken the majority of the snaps at the second corner position across form Gilmore. McCourty had an up and down performance in his first preseason performance of the year on Thursday. Jason got beaten badly on a double-move near the goal line resulting in an Eagles touchdown. McCourty still has a valuable skill set but isn’t forcing the Patriots to keep him around based on his play.

Stephon Gilmore had a nice bounce back performance against the Eagles and will roll into the season locked in as the number one cornerback. Jonathan Jones is back healthy and could see serious playing time as the slot corner along with his usual special teams usage.

Cyrus Jones is perhaps the biggest question mark after missing all of last year with a torn ACL. If he is healthy enough to return punts in September (without fumbling them), its not worth giving up on the second round pick quite yet. J.C. Jackson also is an intriguing option who could make the could work his way onto the roster or be a top practice squad candidate.

Rookie corner Keion Crossen started for the Patriots in the slot against the Eagles but struggled mightily. The seventh-round pick was called three penalties, including two defensive pass interference calls, and struggled out of press coverage. New England started second-year corner Jomal Wiltz in the slot the week before against Washington.