NFL Depth Chart Rankings

Backups grade: 23.1 | Deepest position group: Defensive back
Shallowest: Defensive line | Best non-starter: HB Stevan Ridley (+9.4)

The Patriots' roster has a few players who have looked good in previous years. If it wasn't for his fumbling problem, Ridley could help form one of the best running back duos in the league. At defensive back (beyond their top six players) they have third-round rookie Duron Harmon (-0.5), second-year safety Tavon Wilson (+5.7) and cornerback Marquice Cole (+1.1), who have all looked decent with limited playing time. The Patriots would be in bigger trouble if they had another injury in the front seven or offensive line.


17. New York Giants

Backups grade: 22.0 | Deepest position group: Defensive tackle
Shallowest: Halfback | Best non-starter: DT Mike Patterson (+16.7)

Over the past two years, the Giants have added a few veteran players at defensive tackle and spent two draft picks on the position, which has clearly made it the deepest they have. The other positions have players you wouldn't want starting, which has hurt the Giants this year, especially on the offensive line and at running back.


18. Detroit Lions

Backups grade: 21.9 | Deepest position group: Halfback
Shallowest: Wide receiver | Best non-starter: HB Joique Bell (+18.8)

The Lions excel with their depth at a few positions. In 2012, Bell proved he could be a receiving threat out of the backfield, and this season he has shown he can run the ball as well. There are few backup defensive tackles who are as good at stopping the run as C.J. Mosley (+19.1), and it's also hard to ignore the six touchdowns from Joseph Fauria (+3.7). However, for years, the Lions have lacked depth at receiver behind Calvin Johnson, and Detroit could run into problems at linebacker if either Stephen Tulloch or DeAndre Levy were injured.


19. Buffalo Bills

Backups grade: 20.3 | Deepest position group: Edge rusher
Shallowest: Tight end | Best non-starter: DE Jerry Hughes (+6.2)

Over these past few years, it's been difficult to find a backup running back better than Fred Jackson (+6.1). Hughes has come off the bench to help join one of the scariest four-man rushes in the league and Marquise Goodwin's (+2.3) recent play might not keep him a No. 4 wide receiver for long. The Bills have one of the least-experienced group of backups in the league, which makes it harder to gauge just how good these players are.


20. Houston Texans

Backups grade: 20.1 | Deepest position group: Offensive line
Shallowest: Halfback | Best non-starter: OT Ryan Harris (+7.8)

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