Patriots Training Camp: Breaking Down Offensive Depth Chart

Veterans officially report to Patriots training camp on Thursday, so here’s a primer on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett (3)

How the Patriots handle the quarterback position in training camp is sure to be one of the summer’s biggest storylines. In the past, Tom Brady hasn’t yielded many first team reps to Garoppolo during camp, but with his four game suspension looming that is about to change. Garappolo’s performance both in practice and the preseason games is sure to make headlines as well. If things get shaky it’s not impossible for rookie Jacoby Brissett to push Garoppolo for the starting job. After all, Tom Brady was behind Damon Huard on the depth chart going into camp in 2001.

Running Backs: LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden, Donald Brown, James Develin, Tyler Gaffney, D.J. Foster, Joey Iosefa (9)

The Pats might not have any All-Pro’s on the roster at running back, but they do have an interesting mix. Dion Lewis will start camp on the PUP list, but is sure to return to a prominent role given health. LeGarrette Blount, however, is far from a roster lock. Donald Brown is expected to push Blount for his spot as the between the tackles back. D.J. Foster also presents a threat to James White for the backup receiving back role. Foster was one of the team’s best UDFA pickups, and has Lewis-like moves in the open field.

Wide Receivers: Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Harper, Devin Lucien, Matthew Slater, DeAndre Carter (11)

Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola will open up camp on the PUP list, which means we will see a lot of Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, and Malcolm Mitchell in camp. In essence, this will most likely be a competition for the #3 WR spot behind a healthy Edelman and Amendola. Hogan and Washington are veterans and should be considered the frontrunners, but don’t sleep on rookie Malcolm Mitchell. Mitchell was one of the team’s best draft picks in the 2016 class, and fits into the Patriots offense well with good route running and after the catch ability. This could be Aaron Dobson’s final chance to make an impact and make the roster. A bad camp for him might mean the end of his time with the Patriots.

Tight Ends: Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Clay Harbor, A.J. Derby, Bryce Williams, Steven Scheu (6)

The tight end position might be the most hyped position on the roster. With the addition of Martellus Bennett, the Pats now have one of the league’s best tight end combos. Expect the Patriots to limit Gronk significantly throughout training camp, and most likely keep him off the field in all four preseason games. There’s a small chance Gronk might be more involved just to get on the same page with Garoppolo. Clay Harbor will be on the PUP list to start, but presents a versatile option as the third tight end. As far as Bennett is concerned, all signs point to him making big contributions this season.

Offensive Line:

LT: Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Cameron Fleming, Kyler Kerbyson

LG: Shaq Mason, Josh Kline, Joe Thuney, Ted Karras

C: Bryan Stork, David Andrews

RG: Tre Jackson, Jonathan Cooper, Chris Barker, Keavon Milton

RT: Sebastian Vollmer, LaAdrian Waddle  (16)

The Patriots get a boost with the returns of Nate Solder and heralded offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. The return of Solder means the two tackle spots are likely set with Vollmer manning the right side, but the interior positions are where the competition in camp will be. The Patriots have a lot of decisions to make with a boat load of potential combinations. It will most likely be either Stork or Andrews at center, but there has been some talk of Joe Thuney potentially playing there. Shaq Mason, Tre Jackson, Jonathan Cooper, Josh Kline, and Thuney all have seemingly equal chances to start at either guard position. Finding their best five linemen will be one of the toughest tasks of training camp.