Patriots depth chart: Undrafted receiver, second-year returner emerging

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots cast will be quick to tell you that their favorite Super Bowl ring is "the next one." As the reigning Super Bowl champs get back to work during training camp and the preseason, they'll be constructing and battling for spots on what they hope is another banner roster. 

Given that a solid majority of the Super Bowl winning roster is back in 2019, there aren't many battles going on in Foxborough, but New England does have some spots along the depth chart that folks would be wise to keep an eye on this summer. 

With a 31-3 win over the Lions under their belt, the Pats saw a few players continue to make a name for themselves as they push for a spot on the 53-man roster. 

Check below for updates on everything depth chart related for the Patriots throughout the preseason as we track all the key battles that will affect the team's outlook in 2019.

Offense


StarterBackupDepthDepthDepth
QB Tom Brady Brian Hoyer Jarrett Stidham

RB Sony Michel James White Rex Burkhead Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden Nick Brossette, Jakob Johnson
FBJames Develin  




LWR Phillip Dorsett Maurice Harris Dontrelle Inman Cameron Meredith Gunner Olszewski
RWR N'Keal Harry Demaryius Thomas Matthew Slater Damoun Patterson Danny Etling
SWR Julian Edelman Braxton Berrios Jakobi Meyers Ryan Davis
TE Benjamin Watson Matt LaCosse Ryan Izzo Stephen Anderson Lance Kendricks, Andrew Beck, Eric Saubert
LT Isaiah Wynn Dan Skipper Yodny Cajuste Cedrick Lang Tyree St. Louis, Martez Ivey
LG Joe Thuney Ted Karras James Ferentz

C David Andrews Ted Karras James Ferentz

RG Shaq Mason Hjalte Froholdt James Ferentz 

RT Marcus Cannon Dan Skipper Cole Croston

The starting left tackle position is the most important spot to watch on offense this summer. 2018 first round pick Isaiah Wynn, who is currently projected to be the starter, took a positive step following New England's preseason opener as he's now started to participate in full-contact 11-on-11 drills. Wynn is recovering from a torn Achilles that sidelined him all of his rookie season. 

At receiver Jakobi Meyers was the big story coming out of the preseason opener. He continued his strong camp by catching six of his eight targets for 69 yards and two touchdowns. So far, the undrafted receiver is fitting in seamlessly into the offense and seeing a solid amount of first-team reps. First round pick N'Keal Harry, meanwhile, also impressed in his brief showing in the opener. 

Second-year receiver Braxton Berrios caught all three of his targets on the night and really impressed with his play in the punt return game, which could be his avenue to make the 53-man roster. 

Under center, fourth round pick Jarrett Stidham played well completing 14 of 24 for 179 yards and a touchdown. If he continues to play at a high level, it's not out of the realm of possibility he rivals Brian Hoyer for the backup role to Tom Brady. 

One thing that was a bit head-scratching in the opener was third round pick Damien Harris not seeing any action. If that continues, one would have to wonder if Sony Michel is simply going to see a ton of carries all season long. 

Defense


StarterBackupDepthDepth
DE Deatrich Wise Jr. Keionta Davis Chase Winovich Trent Harris
DT Mike Pennel Jr. Adam Butler David Parry Byron Cowart
DT Lawrence Guy Danny Shelton Ufomba Kamalu
DE Michael Bennett John Simon Derek Rivers Nick Thurman
LB Kyle Van Noy Jamie Collins Sr. Brandon King Shilique Calhoun
LB Elandon Roberts Ja'Whaun Bentley Calvin Munson
LB Dont'a Hightower Christian Sam Terez Hall
LCB Jason McCourty J.C. Jackson Joejuan Williams Keion Crossen
RCB Stephon Gilmore Jonathan Jones Duke Dawson Jr. Ken Webster
FS Devin McCourty Duron Harmon Nate Ebner A.J. Howard
SS Patrick Chung Obi Melifonwu Terrence Brooks Malik Gant

On defense, the entire unit as a whole played extremely well, even as most of the starters didn't suit up. Third round pick Chase Winovich was able to get on the board with 1.5 sacks, while 2017 third rounder Derek Rivers was also able to get after the quarterback with two sacks on the night. This is a pivotal summer for Rivers, so him getting off on the right foot in this game could go a long way in preserving his future in New England. 

One Patriot who has an uphill battle to make the roster is 2018 second round corner Duke Dawson. He was burned out of the gate on a 24-yard pass, which won't help his cause in what is already a very deep secondary. 

Special teams


StarterBackupDepth
K Stephen Gostkowski

P Ryan Allen Jake Bailey
LS Joe Cardona

KR Sony Michel Matthew Slater
PR Julian Edelman Patrick Chung Braxton Berrios

Braxton Berrios was impressive fielding punts and could very well have carved out a role for himself in that regard. He fielded four and traveled a total of just 35 yards, but often made something out of nothing, streaking up the sideline for extra yardage on one of them. Again, Julian Edelman is the best on the roster at this position, but, because of the value he has as a receiver, it doesn't make sense to expose him to injury unless they get desperate. 

At punter, Ryan Allen saw the bulk of the work in the preseason opener, but fifth round pick Jake Bailey has impressed at various points this summer. This battle is ongoing, but the rookie has the inside track. 

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