FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- If you were to dissect the New England Patriots' roster and rank each player from 1-82, what would your list look like?
That was the task at hand, and it was a challenging one.
The first thought that came to mind was establishing some guidelines for the rankings. These rankings are primarily based on four factors:
2. Importance in the short and long term (which projects development).
3. Positional value.
4. Economic value.
The top 53 aren't necessarily the projected players who will make the final roster coming out of training camp, as a younger player might sometimes be kept over a veteran, even though the veteran could contribute more in the short term. Also, special teams contributions can often be a deciding factor when forming the final 53-man roster.
Layering the roster this way provides a different lens through which to view the team, and also can spark debate as to which players are ranked too high or too low. The plan will be to revisit the list as training camp unfolds.
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.