As noted in the "checking the locks" series, Armstead was not viewed as a lock for the team in 2014. This was a change from 2013 when Armstead arrived with great buzz and Bill Belichick once referred to him as a top-3 player in the rotation before a health issue derailed his season before the start of training camp.
This is another reminder of how injuries, or in this case health, can alter plans quickly.
Here's a look at the team's defensive tackle depth chart entering 2014 training camp (updated from a mid-June blog entry):
Vince Wilfork (6-2, 325): Captain and 11-year veteran is making progress in his return from a ruptured Achilles last September. Looks to be moving well.
Tommy Kelly (6-6, 310): Another 11-year veteran, he took another step in his return from a torn ACL by participating in 11-on-11 drills at mandatory minicamp.
Dominique Easley (6-2, 288): First-round draft choice is coming off two torn ACLs in a span of three seasons, suffered in college, and joined his teammates on the field for the first time on the final day of June's mandatory minicamp.
Chris Jones (6-1, 309) Second-year player was claimed on waivers last year and led all Patriots defensive tackles in snaps played in 2013. Best when penetrating.
Sealver Siliga (6-2, 325): After a slow start to his career, the run-stuffer looks like he has built some momentum as a developmental prospect behind Wilfork.
Joe Vellano (6-2, 300): Hard-working second-year player from Maryland is a lunch-pail type of guy who plays with top effort.
Marcus Forston (6-3, 305): Second-year player has spent multiple seasons on the practice squad and has filled in when injuries hit.
L.T. Tuipulotu (6-1, 305): Undrafted free agent from Utah is on the developmental track.
Seali'i Epenesa (6-1, 310): Undrafted free agent from UCLA is on the developmental track.