NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones
With the first round of the draft complete, here’s a look at which offensive prospects the New England Patriots may be considering in the second round.
WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon St.
Perhaps the most likely pick of the players listed, Wheaton has incredible speed, explosiveness, and agility; combined with his versatility and excellent routes, he recalls Deion Branch and Mike Wallace. He may be sitting atop New England’s draft board.
WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee*
If the Patriots are looking to add another dimension to their offense, Hunter would fit the bill, although New England would likely have to move up in order to secure him. The Patriots have lacked a receiver with both size and speed since trading Randy Moss.
WR Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
Patton has almost everything the Patriots seemingly look for in a wide receiver: adequate size, outstanding production, and, most importantly, measurables. He runs crisp routes and does a nice job of controlling his body along the sidelines, making him a good fit.
WR Stedman Bailey, West Virginia*
Bailey could very well last into the late second round due to concerns about his timed speed, but he is a legitimate deep threat who also offers an effective option on routes outside the hashes; he is one of the most logical fits for New England’s spread looks.
WR Robert Woods, Southern California*
At Southern California, Woods was asked to line up all over the field; he runs crisp routes and possesses reliable hands as well. However, he lacks the same physical tools as many of the other options listed; his poor three-cone drill could turn off the Patriots.
WR Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech*
Rogers has some character concerns which must be investigated, but he is a smart, competitive player with intriguing physical tools; he could represent a smart risk at the end of the second round, who could offer New England a flexible, big-bodied weapon.
WR Keenan Allen, California*
Allen’s not the fastest or most durable prospect, but has a decent shot of being available in the late second round and could provide New England with a polished, reliable short-to-intermediate option. His lack of speed may push Bill Belichick towards other options.