Gilmore, Harris, Ealy, Cooks, Gillislee debut as starters for Patriots

AP

It’s unofficial depth chart season, and one of the first teams to unveil it’s non-binding hierarchy of players has dropped several newcomers into key roles.

On defense, the Patriots list cornerback Stephon Gilmore (pictured), linebacker David Harris, and defensive end Kony Ealy as starters.

Gilmore’s status is hardly a surprise; he was a big-money free-agent acquisition. If he wasn’t instantly the starter across from Malcolm Butler, that would be a problem.

Harris made it to the No. 1 spot after arriving after the end of the offseason program. While not designated as the middle linebacker, that’s undoubtedly his spot, with Dont'a Hightower and 2016 sixth-rounder Elandon Roberts the apparent starters on the outside.

Ealy came to New England via trade from the Panthers after a disappointing 2016. In a contract year, he hopes to recapture the three-sacks-in-Super-Bowl-50 form before he hits the market.

On offense, former Saints receiver Brandin Cooks appears as a starter in front of Chris Hogan. Malcolm Mitchell, a pleasant surprise in 2016 as a rookie, is listed as a third-stringer. On the other side, it’s Julian Edelman followed by Danny Amendola. (It’s unclear which three would be on the field when the Patriots go with three, putting one of them in the slot.)

Former Bills running back Mike Gillislee is listed as a starter, too, along with running back James White. Former Bengals running back Rex Burkhead is No. 2 behind Gillislee. (It’s unclear which back would be the one back on the field, if/when the Patriots deploy only one.)

Throughout August, coaches will say that these depth charts mean nothing. Even though they surely mean something. For the Patriots, with new veterans taking up five of 22 starting spots, it means that changes have come to the defending Super Bowl champions — changes that could propel them to their sixth title in 2017.

16 responses to “Gilmore, Harris, Ealy, Cooks, Gillislee debut as starters for Patriots

  1. looking good

    although, that is rudimentary as it gets for bb
    in a bb defense

    mcclellin will be the chess
    piece with van noy in the mix at lb

    deatrich wise is turning heads at strong side de in place of nink

  2. They mean nothing, especially for the Pats. The Pats base defense is usually only two linebackers and five DB’s, with Duron Harmon being the 5th, with four lineman. On offense the Pats rarely have two RB’s on the field at the same time usually going with two TE, three WR along with the QB and five lineman. As for Ealy he better get his head out of his butt if he doesn’t want to get released.

  3. I’ve seen deep rosters in preseason many times and come December things can get much leaner. A couple of injuries can separate the good from the great. I know there’s a few silver & black fans that may agree.

  4. styro1 says:
    August 6, 2017 at 12:25 pm
    They mean nothing, especially for the Pats. The Pats base defense is usually only two linebackers and five DB’s, with Duron Harmon being the 5th, with four lineman. On offense the Pats rarely have two RB’s on the field at the same time usually going with two TE, three WR along with the QB and five lineman. As for Ealy he better get his head out of his butt if he doesn’t want to get released.

    1 0 Rate This

    ——–

    i am
    not buying the ealy rheotirc so early on. as long as he keeps moving forward and doesn’t flatline

    sometimes the bigger the responsibilities comes with a shock value
    at first

    as long as he keep progressing, he should be ok

    grissom
    is way too small to be a wwakeside de rotational guy

  5. The Pats are loaded for a few more runs at the trophy before Bill and Tommy hang em up. Their dynasty has absurd but all good things must come to an end.

  6. tylawspick6 says:
    August 6, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    grissom
    is way too small to be a wwakeside de rotational guy
    _________________________

    Belichick generally trends to DE’s that have have hybrid LB/DE size because of their versatility. He just selected 2 more of the type in 6’5″ 271lb Wise and 6’5″ 250 lb Rivers. At 6’4″ 265 Grissom is slightly bigger than Ninkovich and just about the same size as Flowers, Ealy and 15 lbs heavier than Rivers. You should be more careful whose nonsense you regurgitate when you try to sound knowledgeable.

  7. Tom Brady – QB with 5 rings – Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)

    Bill Belichick – Coach with 7 rings – Best Of All Time (BOAT)

    Trolls – Dumbest Of All Time (DOAT) – silly trolls who believe that the NFL is a computer game where a “system” decides who wins. Maybe the concept of talent & hard work is too many words to think about all at once.

  8. Too early to know who will emerge as starters. The three receivers will be Cooks, Edelman, and Hogan, but Mitchell and Amendola will both play a lot and there are always injuries. Wise can beat out Ealy. We’ll have to see how this plays out.

  9. styro1 says:
    August 6, 2017 at 12:25 pm
    They mean nothing, especially for the Pats. The Pats base defense is usually only two linebackers and five DB’s, with Duron Harmon being the 5th, with four lineman. On offense the Pats rarely have two RB’s on the field at the same time usually going with two TE, three WR along with the QB and five lineman. As for Ealy he better get his head out of his butt if he doesn’t want to get released.

    _________________

    Do even watch football???

    Go to the Patriots website… Look at the Depth Chart… The play a base 4/3 … You listed the Patriots Nickle Defense, and you even got that wrong. Harmon is on the Bench… The 5th DB is Rowe Three Corners Not Three Safety’s.

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