New England Patriots Projected Depth Chart Heading Into 2012 NFL Draft

By Chris Ransom

Tom Brady’s offense looks better than last year for 2012 if everyone can stay healthy.  Brady has different running backs, 2 different fullbacks, 8 different wide receivers, 3 tight ends, and 10 different offensive lineman that are capable of stepping in and making an impact.

New England Patriots Depth Chart

Offensive Depth Chart

Quarterback Starter Tom Brady, backup Brian Hoyer, 3rd stringer Ryan Mallett.

New England Patriots Quarterback Sumary The New England Patriots have one of the best quarterback situations in the league.  Tom Brady is a starter, Brian Hoyer will be next years Matt Flynn in 2013, and Ryan Mallett could be the quarterback of the future as a 3rd stringer.

Running Back Stephen Ridley, backup Danny Woodhead, 3rd stringer Shane Vereen

Running Back Summary New England has a good backfield of rushers.  Some are concerned about this backfield.  I got faith that this backfield will deliver big results in 2012.

Fullback Tony Fiammetta and backup Spencer Larsen

Fullback Summary Tony Fiammetta was one of the reasons Dallas’s running game excelled.  Dallas had offensive tackles and Fiammetta in 2011.  Dallas had an interior offensive line that struggled.  Fiammetta did a great job stepping up to aid as a blocker when he was on the field in 2011.  If Fiammetta gets injured we got Spencer Larsen for depth as a blocking fullback.

Flanker Primary Wide Receiver Wes Welker

Split End Secondary Wide Receiver Brandon Lloyd

Slot Receiver Deion Branch

Depth Receivers Chad Ochocinco, Anthony Gonzalez, Donte Stallworth, Julian Edelman, and Matt Slater

Wide Receiver Summary New England has great depth at wide receiver.  The Patriots depth at wide receiver is more talented than last year.  My only concern is how the Patriots channel the mental mindset of some of their wide receivers if this team starts poorly.  I am not too concerned about that at this point.

Primary Tight End Rob Gronkowski

Secondary Tight End Aaron Hernandez

Reserve Tight End Daniel Fells

Tight End Summary The Patriots continue to bolster the two best tight end set in the league with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Left Tackle Matt Light, backup Marcus Cannon, and third stringer Kyle Hix

Left Guard Logan Mankins and backup Robert Galley

Center Dan Koppen and backup Dan Connolly

Right Guard Brian Waters and backup Dan Connolly

Right Tackle Nate Solder and backup Sebastian Vulmer

Offensive Line Summary New England’s offensive line was pretty strong last year.  New England’s offensive line was playing with injuries and did not start getting healthy until the postseason.  Center Dan Koppen was injured for most of the season and the New England Patriots made Super Bowl 46.  Koppen got a 2 year extension.  When New England has 5 starters on the offensive line this offense can put up 20 points a game.  When the Patriots have 10 players on the offensive line including depth players that can fill in as starters than the offense usually puts up 30 points per game.  New England has better depth at wide receiver than they have had in recent years.  New England’s offense is capable of putting up 35 points a game with the ammunition provided for Tom Brady in 2012.

Tom Brady already gets enough time to throw.  With a fully healthy offensive line plus another year of experience, New England’s offense should post monster offensive numbers once again with an even better cast of playmakers in terms of overall depth than last year.

Defensive Depth Chart

Right End Jermaine Cunningham

Defensive Tackle Vince Wilfork and backup Ron Brace

Defensive Tackle Kyle Love

Left End Jonathan Fanene and backup Brandon Deadrick

Defensive Line Summary New England seems contempt with most of their defensive line.  The Patriots need to take a right end in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Jermaine Cunningham is not capable of starting.  Cunningham may be able to serve as a backup defensive end.

Right Outside Linebacker Jerod Mayo, backup Tracy White, and third stringer Bobby Carpenter

Middle Linebacker Brandon Spikes, backup Dan Fletcher, and third stringer Niko Koutovides

Left Outside Linebacker Rob Ninkovich and backup Trevor Scott

Linebacker Summary New England is returning their starting linebackers.  The Patriots also have much better depth at linebacker then they did last season.

Field Cornerback Devin McCourty

Boundary Cornerback Kyle Arrington

Nickel Cornerback Ras-I Dowling a nickel corner that can play a boundary cornerback role if he stays healthy.

Dime Cornerback Sterling Moore, Will Allen, or Marquis Cole

Quarter Cornerback Sterling Moore, Will Allen, or Marquis Cole

Cornerback Summary New England has 1 cover corner in Devin McCourty.  Arrington can be a ballhawk corner that records interceptions.  Arrington sucks in coverage.

Strong Safety Steve Gregory and backup Sergio Brown

Free Safety Patrick Chung

Safety Summary New England needs another safety for depth.  Patrick Chung could get injured next season.  I am not entirely comfortable with Steve Gregory and Sergio Brown competing for the strong safety spot.  New England needs a safety for depth this season and may need another one in 2013.

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