Bubble watch: Jake Bequette

(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2013.)

NAME: Jake Bequette

POSITION: Defensive end

AGE: 24

2012 STATS: 3 games (0 starts), 0 tackles

INJURY STATUS: No known injuries.


WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: Because of his draft status, Bequette earns the highest probability to make the roster in this year's "Bubble Watch" series. It would be downright surprising for the Patriots to cut ties with a third-round pick after just one season. After a quiet 2012 campaign, Bequette will have a fresh start this preseason to dig his feet in on defense, and if he is unable, he will have an uphill battle for a roster spot in 2014.

WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: While Bequette might be most closely competing with Jermaine Cunningham for a role on the defense, Michael Buchanan may be the wild card for Bequette making the team. If the seventh-round pick from Illinois flashes something this summer, he could join Chandler Jones and Francis as young pieces at the position, making Bequette and/or Cunningham more expendable. But if the Patriots can't find a spot for Bequette on their roster, trading him would seem more likely than placing him on waivers.

CLOSEST COMPETITION: DE Michael Buchanan, DE Jermaine Cunningham, DE Justin Francis