Lyons’ 53-man Patriots roster projection

Patriots 53 Man Roster Projection

The Patriots lost to the Titans, 23-7, in their final preseason game on Friday night. Roster cutdown day is on Tuesday. By 4pm of that day New England’s roster will need to be at 53 players. After a month of training camp and three preseason games, this is what I project the roster to look like.


Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe

Jones is the clear starter and I expect a bounce back season from him. Malik Cunningham has been a fun story, but I want him on the practice squad to open up room for extra bodies along a shaky offensive line. Cunningham will be valuable in helping the Patriots prepare for the bevy of mobile quarterbacks they will face this season.

Running back

Rhamondre Stevenson, Ezekiel Elliott, Ty Montgomery, Pierre Strong

The signing of Elliot is a boost to a group that includes Stevenson, a top ten back in the league. Elliot will provide a strong complement to Stevenson. Montgomery will help in the passing game and Strong gives more versatility than Kevin Harris would.

Wide Receiver

DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Juju Smith-Schuster, Demario Douglas, Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte

Douglas and Boutte, both sixth round picks, make the roster for me. I think Douglas could have a real role as a possession slot, similar to Troy Brown/ Wes Welker/ Julian Edelman. Bourne is primed to have a season like 2021 and not like his doghouse 2022. Smith-Schuster has health concerns, but gives the Patriots a great after-the-catch runner.

Tight End

Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, Matt Sokol

Henry is the lead tight end and Gesicki is a hybrid tight end/ big slot. Sokol is a solid blocker and will provide depth. I expect at least several games of heavy 12 personnel usage.

Offensive Tackle

Trent Brown, Riley Reiff, Conor McDermott, Sidy Sow

Brown is the starter at left tackle, but the right tackle spot is still in flux. If there are inconsistencies early in the season, I wouldn’t be shocked if Mike Onwenu is moved to right tackle, a spot where exceled in 2020.

Interior Offensive Line

David Andrews, Kody Russey, Cole Strange, Mike Onwenu, Atonio Mafi

Andrews, Strange and Onwenu is a good starting trio. Mafi is developmental and Russey provides depth at center. Sidy Sow can also play inside, though it appears as the Patriots want him at tackle.

Defensive End

Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise, Keion White, Dan Ekuale, Josh Uche

Some projections will list Uche as a linebacker, but his primary role is pass rushing off the edge, so I have him here. White can play defensive tackle in certain packages. Guy and Wise will be used heavily with Uche increasing his role depending on how well he defends the run.

Defensive Tackle

Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Carl Davis

I was ecstatic when the Patriots drafted Barmore in 2021. He has shown flashes of dominance, especially in his rookie year, but injuries have prevented him from having a consistent impact. If he can stay healthy this season, I expect a great year from him.


Matt Judon, Anfernee Jennings, Chris Board, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Jahlani Tavai, Calvin Munson, Marte Mapu

Judon is the best player on the team. Jennings has steadily improved since his 2020 rookie season and Bentley is a leader and true run stopper in the middle of the defense. Munson and Board will make significant special teams contributions.


Kyle Dugger, Jalen Mills, Jabrill Peppers, Adrian Phillips

I just wrote that Judon is the best player on the team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Dugger is by the end of the season. The free safety spot is still unanswered, but I like Jalen Mills there. Don’t sleep on Marcus Jones or Jonathan Jones getting some time there if things don’t go well early. New England uses so many three safety packages that all of these guys will get playing time.


Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Christian Gonzalez, Myles Bryant

Jack Jones is the swing piece of the entire secondary for me. If his legal troubles don’t keep him off the field, he allows the Patriots defense to be very flexible and adaptable to any matchup. Jack Jones and Gonzalez on the outside allows you to put Jonathan Jones in the slot or potentially a dime package with all three Joneses and Gonzalez.


Matthew Slater, Chad Ryland, Joe Cardona, Bryce Baringer, Brenden Schooler

The Patriots spent draft picks on a kicker and punter in 2023 and I think both make the roster.