The Patriots’ initial 53-man roster for the 2022 NFL season is here.
On Tuesday, the team made 26 moves to reach the league-wide roster limit, cutting 24 players and placing two others on injured reserve. Don’t expect this lineup to remain intact as long as the Pats are expected to shuffle some players this week and before their regular season opener in Miami.
The Patriots didn’t trade up, but as always there were a few surprises. The biggest was Pats running back three-time Pro Bowl specialist Justin Bethel.
For the 19th straight year, an undrafted free agent made the Patriots’ starting 53-man roster when defensive end DeMarcus Mitchell and special teamer Brenden Schooler made the team. In all, nine rookies made the team.
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ first 53-man roster for the 2022 season.
Mac Jones, Brian Hoyer, Bailey Zappe
No surprises here. The Patriots entered training camp with good depth at their quarterback position and didn’t mess with it. You have the newbie, your veteran mentor, and a rookie. It’s a perfect quarterback room setup.
Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, Ty Montgomery, Pierre Strong
Cut: JJ Taylor, Kevin Harris
Montgomery was carted off the field in Las Vegas with an ankle injury. The fact that the Pats cut Taylor and Harris could be a good sign for the veteran. Instead, the team could also place Montgomery on injured reserve and bring back one of the younger running backs. With only Harris and Stevenson, the Pats are in good shape.
Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton
Cut: Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Tre Nixon, Josh Hammond / Injured Reserve: Kristen Wilkerson
The plan here will be to place Thornton on injured reserve. He had surgery on his collarbone last week and will be out for 6 to 8 weeks. The Pats still have nice depth with Meyers, Parker, Agholor and Bourne. It will be interesting to see if they sign another receiver when Thornton is on IR.
Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith
Cutting: Devin Asiasi, Matt Sokol, Jalen Wydermyer
Asiasi was a surprise. The 2020 third-round pick had a solid summer and looked like the third tight end on the roster. Instead, this draft class, which saw Dalton Keene cut earlier, took another hit. Henry and Smith have looked solid this summer and both should factor heavily into the offense.
Trent Brown, Cole Strange, David Andrews, Michael Onwenu, Isaiah Wynn, Yodny Cajuste, Justin Herron, Chasen Hines
Cut: Arlington Hambright, Drew Disarle, Yasir Durant, Will Sherman, Chasen Hines, Cody Rushey, James Ferentz
The Patriots opted to keep Wynn, who had been the subject of trade rumors. It’s probably a good move. The team needs as much offensive line depth as it can get. This group didn’t look great in the preseason, so hopefully it only gets better.
Help wanted: For Mac Jones to improve, the Patriots need the offensive line to step up
Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise, Sam Roberts, DeMarcus Mitchell, Carl Davis
Cut: LaBryan Ray, Henry Anderson, Jeremiah Phams
Suspended: Daniel Ekwale / Injured Reserve: Henry Anderson
He is in great form with Godchaux, Barmore, Guy and Wise. Roberts is a great story. The sixth-round pick moves the team out of Division II Northwest State Missouri. Mitchell is another undrafted free agent gem who earned a roster spot.
Matthew Judon, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Mack Wilson, Raekwon McMillan, Anfernee Jennings, Josh Uche, Jahlani Tavai
Cut: Cameron McGrone, Harvey Langi, Nate Wieland
There are a lot of new faces here. That group will be led by Judon and Bentley, but Wilson and McMillan will help at inside linebacker. Jennings was one of the best stories of the camp. The 2020 third rounder is finally healthy and it showed. McGrone got a lot of hype this season, but it never materialized.
Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Myles Bryant, Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, Shaun Wade
Cut: Terrance Mitchell
There was a time when Mitchell practiced with the starting defense. Instead, the Pats will move Jonathan Jones to the outside opposite Jalen Mills. They also retain several young cornerbacks in Marcus Jones, Myles Bryant, Jack Jones and Shaun Wade. The arrow points up with this group.
Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Jabrill Peppers, Joshuah Bledsoe
Cut: Brad Hawkins
Bill Belichick said Monday that he was more comfortable with his safety group. This is clearly the Patriots’ deepest position. There are four legitimate players in McCourty, Phillips, Dugger and Peppers. Bledsoe is another great story out of camp after missing his 2021 rookie season with a wrist injury.
Nick Folk, Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Matthew Slater, Cody Davis, Brenden Schooler
Cut: Tristan Vizaino, Justin Bethel
Bethel was the biggest surprise for the Patriots. He is a three-time Pro Bowler and a great specialist. We didn’t see that coming. Instead, the team selects Schooler, a standout undrafted free agent.
This article originally appeared in The Providence Journal: New England makes 27 moves to expand roster to 53 on NFL cut day.