Patriots: Ranking the undrafted free agents and who has a shot at making the 53 man roster

The Patriots have had an undrafted free agent make the team in 18 straight seasons. Will this be the year one doesn’t make the team?

We will see. There are currently five undrafted free agents on the training camp roster. We rank them in order of who we think is most likely to make the team.

1. Brendan Schooler, S, Texas: Schooler has good size at 6-1 205 and profiles as a big nickel or box safety in sub packages. Schooler can play on all special teams so that enhances his value. He is also 25 so he is on the older side for a rookie. Given his versatility and what he brings to the table, he is one of the favorites to make the 53 man roster out of this group.

2. LaBryan Ray, DT, Alabama: Ray played for Nick Saban at Alabama so you know that matters to Bill Belichick. At 6-4 290, he has good size and length. He can play defensive end in base fronts and kick inside to defensive tackle in sub packages. Ray is 24 years old but that won’t matter to Belichick if he wins a spot and can play in the defensive line rotation.

3. DaMarcus Mitchell, ED, Purdue: Mitchell can play on the line as an edge or walk off as a stack backer. That versatility will help him stick as either a back up or in sub packages. Mitchell can also play special teams which will enhance his value. The Patriots have a lot of new faces at linebacker which should help Mitchell in terms of the competition he will face.

4. Kody Russey, C, Houston: Russey played predominately center at Houston but can also play guard. At 6-2 305, he has the type of frame where he can play both positions. The Patriots signed Russey early in the UDFA process which is a sign that they liked him and see him as someone who could possibly stick on the 53 man roster. Given the depth uncertainty along the offensive line, Russey has a decent chance of making the team out of camp if he has a good summer.

5. Jake Julien, P, Eastern Michigan: Julien has a big leg and is good at placing his punts so I can see him pushing Jake Bailey. What also helps Julien is that Bailey is an unrestricted free agent after this season. This will be an interesting storyline going into camp.

All five of these players have a shot at making the roster but that will be determined by their ability to go beyond their position. Versatility is always the key with Belichick and the Patriots staff. The more versatile you are, the better your chances of making the team.