The New England Patriots and the rest of the NFL are now set with their rosters after four preseason games and several trades. The AFC champs have not made any major moves but did add two waiver wire wide receivers in Amara Darboh(Released Post writing with medical designation) and Chad Hansen to fortify a unit hard hit by camp injuries, washouts and the four-game suspension for star Julian Edelman. The team kept 23 offensive players and 27 defenders as well as three specialists for the kicking game. The roster construction should give us a good idea what the team will try to do both offensively and defensively.
The Pats want to run the ball more and have invested heavily in the offensive line, even minus long time left tackle Nate Solder. The team locked up right guard Shaq Mason to an extension last week and he joins two other starters who are inked long term. New England is also in talks with new offensive tackle Trent Brown and left guard Joe Thuney. The Pats have four tailbacks who are all multi-dimensional and with the rebuilt receiver corps, Look for the team to run the ball a lot and you might even see two tailbacks in the game at a time. The backs and a stronger tight end unit should be featured as Tom Brady figures out the pass targets.
New England might not have a J.J. Watt or Aaron Donald, but they like depth and kept ten—TEN—defensive linemen. They will rotate them all and play multiple fronts to confuse the opposition. The linebacking unit could be sneaky good with a return to health by defensive captain Donta Hightower #54 and red-hot rookie Ja’Whaun Bentley #51 finding a role. The secondary is deep and talented and will give new defensive coordinator Brian Flores options in both coverage and blitz. Three rookie defensive backs—Duke Dawson #42, JC Jackson #22 and Keion Crossen #3—all made plays and veteran Jason McCourty #30 (Devin #32 twin) has made a nice adjustment to safety. This group and unit will be vastly improved and could be a top ten unit.