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Assessing layers along d-line

In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, the Patriots defensive line is in the spotlight. It looks like a case of the rich getting richer, with Shaun Ellis officially off the physically unable to perform list and Albert Haynesworth appearing close to a return.

In the piece, the line was layered into three parts -- locks, players who should make the team, then longshots.

Locks: Ellis, Haynesworth, Vince Wilfork, Andre Carter, Kyle Love, Jermaine Cunningham and Myron Pryor

Should make it: Gerard Warren, Eric Moore, Mark Anderson, Mike Wright

Longshots: Landon Cohen, Kade Weston, Darryl Richard, Alex Silvestro, Markell Carter, Clay Nurse

PUP: Ron Brace, Brandon Deaderick

Some of those longshots would be on other rosters based on the way they've played this preseason, which highlights the team's depth.

Last year, the Patriots kept eight defensive linemen on the roster coming out of training camp. This year, counting hybrids such as Cunningham, it looks like it could be as many as 11 or even 12.