Patriots 53-man roster projection, version 2.0: Some changes following past week of practice

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The Patriots have been at it in full pads for over a week now and some players are coming on strong, while others have taken a step back.

Given the regular-season opener is just under three weeks away, players are running out of time to make their case for a spot on the 53-man roster, especially considering there are no preseason games or joint practices.

Here is our second crack at predicting the 53-man roster (click here for version 1.0).

QUARTERBACK (3): Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer

No changes here, but Newton certainly is looking like the starter, especially with Stihdam reportedly dealing with a hip injury. While the Patriots typically would prefer to only go with two quarterbacks, this is a different type of season.

RUNNING BACK (6): Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, James White, Damien Harris, Lamar Miller, Jakob Johnson

With Michel and Miller being on PUP, Harris is making the most of his opportunities. If the season were to start this week, he would be the No. 1 back, which is a major step given he was only active for two games last season. Undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor is on the bubble, but could sneak on the roster if Michel or Miller are not ready for Week 1.

WIDE RECEIVER (7): Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Mohamed Sanu, Damiere Byrd, Gunner Olszewski, Devin Ross, Matthew Slater

Ross had a strong past week, which is why we have him on the roster this go-around. Jakobi Meyers is not on the roster as of now as he’s been limited the past few sessions and hasn’t done anything of note to date. Undrafted rookies Jeff Thomas and Will Hastings seem like good candidates for the practice squad as they have been limited, or not out there at all in Thomas’ case, of late. The first three veterans are locks, while Byrd and Olszewski has been impressive in the first sessions open to the media.

TIGHT END (3): Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, Jake Burt

Three rookies is a bit of a surprise, but through one week, these are the three best players at the position. Asiasi and Keene are locks and the third spot is the one up for grabs. Burt, an undrafted rookie, has made a few plays and received high praise from the coaching staff. With that being said, it's always possible a veteran from outside the organization could be added.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Korey Cunningham, Jermaine Eluemunor, Yodny Cajuste, Hjalte Froholdt

The starters are all but certain, while Cunningham and Eluemunor have done enough so far to earn backup roles. Cajuste has struggled, but that should be expected given he missed all of last season and should be given the opportunity to get better. Froholdt gets the last spot given his versatility and his potential to have a Ted Karras-like role.

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Beau Allen, Byron Cowart, John Simon, Deatrich Wise

This position does not have much depth, which is why all six of these players are making the roster. It is starting to get a little concerning why Allen hasn’t been on the field and if his absence continues, perhaps his roster spot is in jeopardy.

LINEBACKER (7): Ja’Whaun Bentley, Brandon Copeland, Chase Winovich, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Cassh Maluia, Scoota Harris

There are no changes from our first version, but it is worth keeping an eye on Terez Hall, who has been impressive of late. Maluia and Harris are certainly on the bubble, but both players appear to always be in the right spots and have received tons of praise from the coaching staff.

CORNERBACK (6): Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Justin Bethel

No changes here, as this is the best overall position on the roster.

SAFETY (4): Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Cody Davis

Terrance Brooks is one of the last players not to make the roster, but he could sneak on if Phillips and/or Davis miss anymore time. Dugger has been very impressive and could see an even bigger role than expected.

SPECIALISTS (3): Joe Cardona, Jake Bailey, Justin Rohrwasser

Right now, Rohrwasser is on the roster, but that is because he’s the only kicker currently on the roster. If Nick Folk’s deal becomes official Monday like expected, he would immediately jump Rohrwasser on the depth chart.