It's extremely early... and I usually don't do this, but I've got extra time, and the current training camp situation his highly intriguing. Not to mention I just got my appendix removed earlier in the week - so being laid up at home is giving me more time to read and write. I just thought I would take an early stab at a final roster, obviously injuries and off-field issues will make a huge impact on this. I also have a few positions that I can't decide between a couple players. I think those positions have the most fierce competition right now and its too close to call a winner yet. (Hell, it's so early in camp, it's too early to call 40% of the roster locks)
3 QB - Manning, Osweiler, Weber
5 RB - McGahee, Hillman, Gronkowski, Moreno, Johnson/Fannin/Ball
5 WR - Decker, Thomas, Stokely, Caldwell, Willis/Grisham
4 TE - Dreessen, Tamme, Thomas, Green
8 OL - Clady, Beadles, Walton, Kuper, Franklin, Clark, Blake, Harris
4 FS/SS - Carter, Moore, Adams, Bruton
5 CB - Bailey, Porter, Florence, Harris, Bolden, (Thompson)*
7 LB - Miller, Williams, Mays, Woodyard, Irving, Trevathan, Johnson/Mohamed
4 DT - Warren, Wolfe, Bannan, Unrein/Vickerson
4 DE - Dumervil, Hunter, Ayers, Garland/Jackson
LS - Paxton
K - Prater
P - Colquitt
R - Thompson (Squid)
53 TOTAL PLAYERS
**Not even going to attempt a PS at this point.**
I'd like to note that because of the extreme versatility of the lineman on our roster, I feel comfortable going with only eight. Franklin and Beadles both have experience at Tackle and Guard. Walton and Blake both have G/C experience... so I think we can shift people around in a pinch.
You'll notice that I went pretty heavy on CB's carrying Squid as a return man. I think the way the league is going and the talent we've got at CB it just makes sense to keep these guys. Also I think Chris Harris is the type of player that can be plugged into Safety, even Woodyard could in a huge bind. (If the Pats can start a former QB/WR at Corner and make it to the Superbowl, why the heck not, right?). I really like our talent level on the back end and think that some of those corners could play safety, with Moore or Adams shifting to SS in a tight spot. Versatility is key.
For TE's I've chosen to keep Green and Thomas.. which I am not too confident about, since I kept Chris Clark, and Gronkowski, who both have experience at TE. We may keep only 3 TE's because of this... so maybe we'll carry an extra RB or WR there, or even a 9th Lineman... so I just wanted to throw that out there. My options for swapping out the 4th TE with another player would be G Manny Ramirez, RB Johnson/Fannin/Ball, or WR Willis/Grisham. Also, if we do drop one of the TE's because of Gronk and Clark... I think we'll drop Green - even though he's the better all around TE. Mostly because if we're only keeping 3 TE's they need to be Pass-catching TE's. Green's job would get taken by Gronk or Clark in a jumbo package if we were one TE down. I like Green a lot, and hope we keep him - but like I said... I'm not too confident this will happen.
Defensively we've got so much competition going on, it's nearly impossible to guess who will win the battles at backup Linebacker and nearly every position along the Defensive Line. I like the talent that is competing for those positions and I believe we'll field a solid group on the front line. Who will play DL on our team is a question mark, but the fact that they will be stout and solid under Del Rio is NOT a question mark.
I'm excited and extremely optimistic about this season. Looking forward to attending the scrimmage tomorrow, and even more so for the first preseason game next week! Thanks for reading, and of course: