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After signing of Mike Gillislee, Patriots offense looks loaded

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the New England Patriots enter the NFL draft each year, the ideal scenario is that their roster is stocked in a way that if a game were to be played this week, there wouldn't be any major holes. That way, the club can go in a variety of directions during the draft, with long-range planning in mind.

After the signing of restricted free-agent running back Mike Gillislee on Monday, the New England offense looks loaded.

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett

This is arguably the strongest top-to-bottom depth chart in the NFL. Brady turns 40 on Aug. 3 but has shown few, if any, signs of slowing down. Garoppolo is entering the final year of his contract, while Brissett is signed through 2019 (like Brady).

Running back: Gillislee, James White, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, D.J. Foster, Brandon Bolden

Over a span of the last five weeks, the Patriots have paid up at the position, signing Gillislee, White and Burkhead to deals that average more than $3 million per season in maximum value. This position looks well stocked, with the potential for a diverse committee in which each of the top options brings something a little different to the table. Any other running back added to the roster would seemingly have a tough time making the final cut.

Fullback: James Develin, Glenn Gronkowski

Re-signed to a two-year deal as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Develin brings an element of toughness to the team -- on offense and special teams. Gronkowski provides insurance in the event of injury.

Tight end: Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, Matt Lengel, Michael Williams, Rob Housler

The No. 3 spot could be up for grabs in one of the better competitions, with the potential for a draft pick joining the mix in a year when the position is considered deep in the draft. If Gronkowski and Allen remain healthy -- which is a notable "if" -- they have a chance to be one of the NFL's best 1-2 combinations.

Wide receiver: Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Matthew Slater, Devin Lucien

Including Slater, who is a special teams captain, the Patriots are primed to carry six receivers if everyone is healthy and plays up to his potential. Amendola, who agreed to a reduced contract for the third offseason in a row, figures to be managed carefully early in the season so he's at his best for the long haul.

Offensive tackle: Nate Solder (left), Marcus Cannon (right), Cameron Fleming (swing), LaAdrian Waddle

With Solder, Fleming and Waddle scheduled for unrestricted free agency after the 2017 season, looking ahead to 2018 with a draft pick could make sense. The main issue, however, is that this year's draft class at tackle isn't considered strong.

Offensive guard: Joe Thuney (left), Shaq Mason (right), Ted Karras (left/right), Chris Barker, Chase Farris, Jamil Douglas

One of the more promising positions on the roster, given its youth and upside.

Center: David Andrews, Karras

Andrews is a restricted free agent after the season, which could have the Patriots looking to add another option with the future in mind.