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News Blitz 6/26: Breaking down the depth chart

Posted Jun 26, 2014

This edition of the Patriots.com news blitz takes a look at the team's depth chart and focuses on some of the most competitive position battles.

WEEI's Christopher Price broke down the entire Patriots roster based on age. He discovered that the current average age of the team is 25.3, which ironically is the same average the Patriots had at this time last year. Additionally, Price found the average age for each position on the roster -- the quarterbacks had the highest average age (28), while the tight ends and running backs had the two youngest average ages (24 and 23.5, respectively).

Zuri Berry of Boston.com made a pre-training camp depth chart projection in order to size up where the best competition will be during camp. One position he expects to be highly competitive is the defensive line.

"With 16 on the current roster, and nine on the 53-man roster last season, it's obvious the competition at defensive line will be one of training camp's highlights," says Berry.

One of the other positions that Berry expects to be competitive is the offensive line group. ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss breaks down the position and gives a guess as to how many players they will keep. He believes there are 7 "locks" on the offensive line, which include Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Logan Mankins as well as the three rookies (Cameron Fleming, Jon Halapio, Bryan Stork).

Comcast Sports Net's Tom Curran, Mike Giardi, and Phil Perry explain that this upcoming season is a "pseudo contract year" for Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones. Both Jones and Hightower have contracts that are set to expire after the 2015 season and the Patriots will likely want to extend both players well before they become free agents.

"I really like the way Hightower overcame the adversity of last year," said Giardi. "That's the kind of player I thought that they had drafted. I like that, I like the confidence. There's clearly an air of confidence about him that he has not had since he's been here."