Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Slater’

Patriots Wide Receiver Breakdown: Volume in Numbers at OTAs

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The Patriots’ wide receiving corps was highlighted during the summer of 2013, and it is once again in 2014. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

As organized team activities opened up on Tuesday, May 27, the New England Patriots filled the 90-man roster to maximum capacity by signing two wide receivers. In doing so, one of the positions which grew scarce with attrition and inexperience last season now stands among the squad’s deepest in volume.

It stands at 13.

In a numbers game, though, less than half of that baker’s dozen will ultimately make the 53-man roster. And if the past serves as an indicator of the future, the process will remain a fluid one until then.

That was illustrated last June, as the Patriots stocked OTAs with 10 wideouts. The pool included three incumbents – who combined 21 receptions for the year prior – along with four veteran signings, two rookie draft picks and two undrafted rookies.

The average age of the nucleus was 25 years old.

But by the time OTAs turned into training camp and the preseason, the landscape shifted. Rookie Mark Harrison was never activated from the non-football injury list, incumbent Kamar Aiken and veterans Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones and Lavelle Hawkins were let go. Several more joined only to meet the same fate.

The fate of New England’s 2014 collection is not yet known. Even so, there are some elements that are. (more…)

The Value of a Special Teamer: Matthew Slater’s Unsung Impact on Patriots

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Matthew Slater’s impact on the Patriots is not measured in statistics. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

The 2008 NFL draft saw New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli invest in seven college prospects. The list included Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo, Colorado cornerback Terrence Wheatley, Michigan linebacker Shawn Crable, San Diego State quarterback Kevin O’Connell, Auburn cornerback Jonathan Wilhite and Nebraska linebacker Bo Ruud.

Lost in the shuffle was UCLA wide receiver/defensive back Matthew Slater, whom the team traded up to select in Round 5, pick 153 overall.

At the time, the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jackie Slater was referred to as just that. The 6’0”, 210-pounder’s collegiate resume consisted of zero receptions, two rushes for minus-six yards, 26 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, one punt return for minus-seven yards and 34 kick returns for 986 yards and three touchdowns.

He was considered versatile. He was considered a man of high character. He was considered many things, but the Bruin was not considered one of the two best players from New England’s 2008 draft class.

In hindsight, he was. (more…)

2011 Patriots Roster Prediction 4.0

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Stevan Ridley Patriots

Stevan Ridley made it easy to find an additional roster spot with his performance Thursday night.

After completing another exhaustive exercise of coming up with what I think would be the most productive final roster for the New England Patriots, I’m pretty sure that Nick Caserio and company are going to have more than their fair sure of sleepless nights in the next few weeks.

Let us know how you would change things if you were GM.


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