Early Projections for New England Patriots' Final 53-Man Roster

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Early Projections for New England Patriots' Final 53-Man Roster
USA TODAY Sports
Julian Edelman could have a lot of company at the receiver position.

As the 2014 NFL draft concluded, Bill Belichick and the rest of the New England Patriots coaching staff immediately turned their focus to deciding how their new crop of draft picks and undrafted free agents might fit on this upcoming season's 53-man roster.

As rookie contracts—and their negligible impact on the salary cap—become more and more valuable in the NFL, higher-priced veterans should worry about their spots. The burden of proof is on the veteran to demonstrate that the money they are being paid is cap room well spent.

Looking over the Patriots' current roster, I see three instances where undrafted rookies might be able to stick over their older counterparts.

Here is my initial projection for who will exit the tunnel against the Miami Dolphins in the season opener. Rookies are listed in italics.

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