Bubble watch: James Develin

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

NAME: James Develin

POSITION: Fullback

AGE: 24

2012 STATS: 1 game, no statistics

INJURY STATUS: No known injuries.


WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: The Patriots offense lacks a fullback, which for most game plans, isn't a big deal. But there have been times in recent seasons when a fullback has been incorporated. In some cases, it's been a tight end (Aaron Hernandez or Michael Hoomanawanui last season), while other times, there has been a pure fullback on the roster (Lousaka Polite in late 2011, or Develin for one game in 2012). So it's not out of the question that Develin could earn a spot again this season.

WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: Unless there is a major shift in offensive philosophy, the Patriots will maintain an up-tempo attack this season. Unless Develin can provide value in the passing game over a tight end on the roster, he isn't the ideal player to be part of a fast-paced/no-huddle system. That limits his role to 5-10 snaps per game as a lead blocker, making him unlikely to be part of the 46-man game-day roster.

CLOSEST COMPETITION: FB Ben Bartholomew, TE Zach Sudfeld