In Depth Look At Wide Receiver: Past, Present, and Future

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

With camp just a few days away, it is fitting that we look at one of the most crowded and talented positions on the roster. With this group, Tom Brady and the Patriots offensive have a chance to put up some record breaking numbers. The real question is whether or not there will be enough passes to go around to keep everyone happy.

The Past:

With a much larger sample size than that of the Runningback position, we might be able to get a better sense of what the Patriots look for in their WR’s. In the past ten years, the Patriots have drafted 9 Receivers . From those nine players, here are their averages:

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 198 Lbs

40 Yard: 4.44 sec

Vertical: 35″

Bench: 15 reps

Broad Jump: 10’1″

3cone: 6.78 sec

Shuttle: 4.19 sec

The Patriots clearly do not put a lot of stock in a players height when it comes to Receivers. Each year, draftniks fall in love with the HT/WT/SPD guys and there is no indication that the Patriots look for those players. What it seems the Patriots do look for is a combination of change of direction, lateral agility and explosion. One player who is not part of the teams averages is Brandin Cooks, but his pro day results are at or better in every category than the teams average, which makes sense and should correlate to success in the system. Keep this in mind when watching future players at the position.

The Present:

Here is the current roster heading into camp:

Brandin Cooks

Julian Edelman

Chris Hogan

Malcolm Mitchell

Danny Amendola

Devin Lucien

Andrew Hawkins (update: retired 7/25/2017)

Jacob Hollister

Austin Carr

Like I said before, this group is stacked with talent. Cooks, Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell, and Amendola are as good of group as there is in the NFL. Each player brings a unique set of skills and play style to the field, giving McDaniels lots of options as far as groupings, formations, and play calls. The scary thing is, this doesn’t even include the best Tight End in football. The bottom four players have very little shot to make the team unless their is an injury. Amendola might be the one guy who is fighting to keep his job, but Hawkins or one of the younger guys is going to have to have an impressive camp to beat him out.

The Future:

Here is the list of Senior Wide Receivers I will be watching this fall. This Senior class is not the strongest and will benefit greatly from the underclassman who I anticipate to declare for the draft. These are in no particular order, but I have to put my Cyclone at the top of the list.

Allen Lazard, Iowa State

James Washington, Oklahoma State

Dante Pettis, Washington

DJ Chark, LSU

Darren Charrington, Oregon

Jester Weah, Pittsburg

Michael Gallup, Colorado State

Anthony Miller, Memphis

Austin Proehl, North Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

30 Responses to “In Depth Look At Wide Receiver: Past, Present, and Future”

  1. Jeff says:

    I wonder if McClellin, Hightower, or some other linebacker will ultimately take over some of Ninkovich’s role. Unless the rookies really flash, you may need some reinforcements. I think Ealy may be a situational pass rusher on this defense, so you’re missing a starting DE.

    • GM-In-Training says:

      Setting the edge. Most of the LB the Pats have run about 250 pounds, and are not built to be as stout setting the edge. Deatrich Wise Jr. is about 275 and has the potential to set the edge well.

      Geneo Grissom was pretty close, physically to Ninkovich. He’s pretty athletic. He’s had a couple years to learn. I’ve worried he was neither fish nor foul, and would have a hard time excelling at any one role, but maybe his time has come.

      • Jeff says:

        If they only want to set the edge, Guy might be the best bet. I wouldn’t count on a rookie being ready to start at DE this season, so assuming Flowers has one starting spot, you’re looking at Guy, Ealy (probably best as a pure pass-rusher), or one of your hybrid linebackers. If Ealy steps up, that’s obviously ideal, as Guy is probably a bit too big to be able to mix in a great pass-rush from the spot. Hightower has the best size but I still won’t be surprised if McClellin is mixed in at the end of the line quite a bit. Hopefully we learn more as training camp continues.

        • steve earle says:

          All kinds of thoughts being expressed so one more won’y hurt. What is the chance Bill makes a deal, say a WR like Carr or a TE for a DE prospect from a team that may have difficulty making that teams 53? Other then that looks like we have to wait til cut down day and try to find possibly a vet to fill the roll. Watching practice a couple days last week (Thur. & Sat.) O’ Shaughnessy looked really good. Would like to see him make the 53. We’ll see. Maybe some other tradeable possibility? Any ideas?

      • steve earle says:

        On Grissom, not holding my breath. This is his 3rd year (make or break) but we haven’t seen much to hope for but never say never I guess.

  2. macspak says:

    Nink retires, unfortunate but understood. First of this off season’s surprises? There goes everybody’s 53 man rosters.

    • steve earle says:

      Everybody’s? How so it’s only one spot on the 53. I think that just makes it more likely Wise has a better shot of sticking unless BB brings in another player. Nink will be missed he was such a part of the success for so many years, best of luck to him.

      • steve earle says:

        Just another thought, Harvey Langi could also benefit by getting more looks and snaps in camp. He is said to have diversity to play a number of positions. Only question is can he take advantage of the opportunity?

      • macspak says:

        Did you read a single 53 projection that did not include Ninkovich? I didn’t. So, everybody’s 53 now is wrong. Back to the drawing board. Rather than Langi I was wondering if Harris could control the edge against the run?

        • macspak says:

          did you really think Wise’s spot was in question?

        • steve earle says:

          No, never saw one without Nink but the rest of the rosters are still valid, the other 52 spots so everyone’s roster is only off by one. I have seen projections that have Wise and Langi on the PS so just saying, this could open an opportunity for one of them. I expect to see one or two UDFA make the team by opening day anyway so most projections at this point will need revisions at any rate. It’s just the way football is, things change unexpectedly.

    • EdgeX says:

      Sad to see him go.

      Opens up a coveted spot for another on the 53 man roster.

      Ealy, Flowers, Wise, Rivers is our starting defensive end position players unless they add another before start of season. And knowing the Patriots wouldn’t be surprised to see them address the position by poaching another team’s DE during roster cuts and/or do a trade.

      • steve earle says:

        And that is another good possibility EdgeX. Not time to panic by any means but gives us things to think and talk about.

  3. macspak says:

    Jordan Richards – nice to see him doing well. Sometimes it takes a player this long to get it and show what they can do. Rather he comes into his own in year three rather than a rookie who may take the same 2 to 3 years to get it.

    • macspak says:

      see Tavon Wilson most recently – starting for Detroit. Nink and Vrabel are other good examples but there are many more. Stephen Neal, Connolly et al. Who’s that DB Pats drafted and cut after a few years and went on to play well for the Colts – Butler?

    • steve earle says:

      Agree he has looked good so far. Heck everyone has, this looks like something really special building. Boy, will cuts be hard.

  4. GM-In-Training says:

    Carr is looking pretty good.

    At his pro day, his 3-cone (6.70) was what you expect from a Pats slot receiver, but his straight line 40 (4.62 seconds) and 10-yard dash (1.6) were not. I’m not sure what to make of him. He seems to have good hands and good intangibles. I’m curious if he’ll still look good against first team defenders. TBD.

    • EdgeX says:

      I’m not sure that straight line 40 speed really matters as much for a slot guy. The 3 cone time is more telling though. Besides the difference between a 4.5 guy and 4.6 guy really ain’t much and could be improved upon as he gets more strength and conditioning – i.e. see Malcolm Butler.

      If you can’t tell I’m definitely rooting for him. He’s got a bigger build than Edelman or Amendola so maybe he can hold up better in the long run and fill the 4th/5th WR spot in the future.

      • GM-In-Training says:

        It’s actually his 10-yard split in the 40 that worries me. Carr ran 1.60. Edelman ran 1.52. That acceleration does matter for slot guys to create separation on crossing routes. Some of the scouting reports on Carr worry he’s not fast coming out of breaks.

  5. Russell says:

    Patriots sign WR Tony Washington, 26 ??? There are NO spots on the 53 man roster for a WR, and I doubt the Patriots carry more than 1-2 on the P-Squad.
    Interesting note; The Steelers sign starting, LOT Villanueva for 4 yrs. $24 mil. CHEAP!

    • steve earle says:

      Can only be for camp body and insurance in case of an outbreak of WR injuries. I have been expecting an OC/OG to be signed so this is a surprise.

    • macspak says:

      seems rather senseless, doesn’t it?

  6. td says:

    Not only was Cooks’ combine measureables better than Pat’s averages, his 40 and shuttle times were best in his WR class, which included guys like

    OBJ, Gints
    Allen Robinson, Jax
    Martavis Bryant, Pit
    Sammy Watkins

    Going to be fun to see Brady hit him running up the seam than Gronk…gonna be six.

  7. steve earle says:

    Report out WR Hawkins retires today. Okay guys will that open a spot at WR or not?

    • EdgeX says:

      I think it will give more reps for Austin Carr and Devin Lucien which I think is a good thing. Both these guys I think have potential…not sure if they will be able to realize it before end of camp though.

      • steve earle says:

        Makes sense. I think Carr is most likely of the two to be able to take advantage the opportunity it’s just will there be room on the 53?

  8. NJ fan says:

    Edelman was not a UDFA, he was drafted in the 7th round.

  9. EdgeX says:

    Out of all the WR’s Cooks and Carr are the two players I’m most interested to see how they perform. When does the Preseason games start already!?!?

    • steve earle says:

      Not soon enough Edge, the past few weeks have been boring. Just rehashing what we have known sense the draft ended. Geeze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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