Now that the preseason is in the books, the New England Patriots have two days to pare down their roster to the final 53. The Pats are among the most active teams in turning over the bottom of their roster, so the initial picture will hardly represent the roster by season's end.
But months of offseason roster construction have provided a significant sample size from which to evaluate players. And while we must wait until the real games to properly evaluate each player's long-term potential, we now have enough data to determine whether or not they deserve a longer look in the first place.
New England is always good for a surprise or two during final cuts, so it's a fool's errand to what the creative-minded front office has decided upon. The only certainty is the four special-teamers (Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Danny Aiken and Matthew Slater), so they are excluded from this exercise.
Examining the rest of the positions, though, here's one view of the likeliest outcome after the August 30 final cut.