2013 NFL Draft: Patriots Need to Add to Receiving Corps

Deandre Hopkins

Is Deandre Hopkins going to get some first round looks from New England?

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

Chad O’Shea, Patriots receivers coach, better get used to meeting a lot of new faces in 2013. After essentially swapping Wes Welker for Danny Amendola and Brandon Lloyd for Donald Jones, the Patriots certainly aren’t done addressing the receiver position this off-season.

What options are left in free agency and the 2013 NFL Draft?

Signing restricted free agents to offer sheets just doesn’t seem to happen anymore, despite earlier reports of the Patriots perhaps pursuing Steelers wideout Emmanuel Sanders.

Victor Cruz (Giants) and Danario Alexander (Chargers) are other restricted free agent options if Bill Belichick wants to break the mold. If the Patriots add any receivers in free agency, I would imagine it would be bringing back Julian Edelman or Brandon Lloyd to team-friendly deals. Darrius Heyward-Bey (Raiders) and David Nelson (Bills) are longer shots to join the team.

If free agency isn’t going to do the trick, which receivers from the 2013 NFL Draft might the Patriots target?

First Round Picks:

Other than Tavon Austin, who probably won’t make it past the St. Louis Rams, if I’m taking a receiver in the first round, it needs to be a guy who can play the “X” receiver position.

Deandre Hopkins (Clemson)

Hopkins didn’t “wow” anyone at the NFL combine, but his consistent routes, great hands and all-around athleticism makes him a relatively safe pick for a team needing a receiver to come in and contribute on day one. Even without 4.3 speed, Hopkins can separate down the field and is adept at getting off press coverage.

Justin Hunter (Tennessee)

Hunter isn’t a great catcher of the ball, nor a top-notch route runner. However, his 6’4″ frame, plus speed and athleticism, and solid leaping ability will make him very tempting for a team that wants to stretch the field vertically. The Patriots will have to decide if Hunter will be more Randy Moss or more Chad Jackson. Personally, I’d stay away.

Keenan Allen (Cal)

Allen has what it takes to be an “X”, but I see him as more of an intermediate guy than a true field-stretcher – even more than Hopkins. He could certainly surprise me though, as he has battled sub-par quarterback performances over his career at Cal.

Day Two Picks

On day two, you can pick up second tier “X” prospects, the top of the “Z” receivers, and guys that can play in the slot.

Markus Wheaton (Oregon State)

If I needed to sum up Markus Wheaton in one phrase it would be “Deion Branch with speed.” Out of all the receivers in this draft, I think Wheaton would be the first to gel with Tom Brady and “click” into the offense.

Robert Woods (USC)

Most NFL fans have seen Robert Woods play over the last couple of years with Matt Barkley. Woods is a passionate player with great hands and the versatility to run a lot of different routes. Woods would be an ideal fit to replace Brandon Lloyd in my opinion.

Aaron Dobson (Marshall)

Dobson is known for his incredible catches, but he has developed over the last two years into more of a complete receiver. He isn’t a blazer, but he can separate down the field and has worked to perfect the entire route-tree. The Patriots have had pretty good luck with Marshall receivers in the past (Moss, Troy Brown), it might be worth giving another one a shot.

Late-Round Options

In the late rounds, you are going to find guys with flaws that might be able to contribute down the line. Find a guy with an angle – Julian Edelman for example – and see what happens.

MarQuies Gray (Minnesota)

Gray was a college quarterback that also saw time at the receiver position. I think he’ll be a WR / TE joker in a similar mold to Aaron Hernandez. He didn’t time well, which might push him down to where the Patriots have a shot at nabbing him.

Keenan Davis (Iowa)

Davis was over-shadowed by teammate Marvin McNutt in 2011 and failed to carry the load in the Hawkeyes dismal offense last year. As a fourth or fifth option, an NFL team could jump at his potential to excel in an NFL offense.

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25 Responses to “2013 NFL Draft: Patriots Need to Add to Receiving Corps”

  1. Rockdog says:

    Hey, wouldn’t it be nice for Tom to one day have a top WR. He deserves it. Imagine Megatron, Julio Jones, AC Green or someone of that talent level here. It would be amazing. As much as I think they need and should have CB’s and Safeties, part of me says trade all our picks for a top WR. We’d be a threat to score 50 every game.

  2. Stephen S says:

    One thing I was thinking of is it would be nice to see all the recievers that meet the requirements that BB has such as 3 cone 40 captain etc and where round wise they go with the need/fit a complete picture per say to make a more informed decision

    • manxman2601 says:

      Wrote this elsewhere during the combine:

      “Looking back at the numbers the following are pretty much perfect in terms of ideal Patriots measurables (40, 10 yd split, vert, 3-cone):

      Markus Wheaton
      Ryan Swope

      Swope scores better than Wheaton. I wonder if his tiny hands are a factor though.

      Da’Rick Rogers almost qualifies as perfect but his 10 yard split is poor (1.67)

      Marquess Wilson is also very good although his vert 34.5″ is fairly average.


      Maybe Quinton Patton (not so great 40 or Vert)
      Justin Hunter (no 3-cone)
      Tavon Austin (Poor Vert, no 3-cone)
      Chris Harper (Good except his 40 time could be better)
      Mark Harrison (not great 3-cone)”

  3. Nuf Ced says:

    I’d rather spend a 3 on Sanders at this point than draft any of these guys… not terribly impressed with any WRs at the East/West or the Senior Bowl.

    • cc says:

      If was so good,….if he had so much potential,…if he was that stable & steady…..wouldn’t Pittsburgh keep him?
      Sorry, but I’d keep the 3rd rounder away from a rival team & let them keep their not worth it receiver….
      On top of it; regarding any other move….I use this year’s 3rd and next years 3rd & move-up this year into the second for an even better tiered player/possition and like it.

  4. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like Markus Wheaton, but I think Mark Harrison Looks more like a BB type WR at 6’3″ 231, and runs well at 4.46, and cone drill 6.99. BB could get him in the 3d for sure, and use #1-#2 for other needs.
    BB would have to get Wheaton at #29, as he’s gone by #59, …just not sure I see BB doing that, ..BUT??

    • Stephen S says:

      Where do you see Wheaton going at? What if we traded our 1st as you said many times and recieved an earlier 2nd rounder

  5. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like Hopkins, but I think he’s gone to Minn. My favorit to end-up a Patriot is Markus Wheaton, but with the picks we now have, you would have to take him at #29, to get him. It could be the year BB does somthing like draft a WR 1st.

  6. Vt Bill says:

    The depth appears so good that it wouldn’t seem necessary to invest a 1st rd pick on a WR. the second round will provide enough selection to get a very good WR with sufficient speed, as oposed to a real burner with sufficient hands. Theres something kind of fishy with guys like Ryan Swopes, who everyone says isn’t that fast , but then runs a 4.3 at the combine. Speed and football speed.

  7. AM says:

    Given the depth at WR in the draft, now is the time to revamp the position by double-dipping, following the pattern previously set at TE and RB. I say Hopkins on Day One and Dobson on Day Two.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      AM My thoughts exactly, sounds like you drinking my koolaid! lol

    • Ken W says:

      I like the idea but not round 1 & 2. Patriots don’t have many picks to play around with. When they did it with TE’s and RB’s they had multiple picks in the 2nd-4th rounds. Tough to justify using almost half your picks this year on WR’s.

      • AM says:

        That is a fair point. I’m hoping they will be able to trade back from #29 and still get Hopkins, while picking up another 3rd or 4th round pick. Still, if not, I would bite the bullet–it is a huge area of need.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      This would be hard to understand, taking two WR’s, given the other team needs. I think better chance one this year and one next year.
      A free Agent, like WR Early Doucet looks to be a great value.

      • AM says:

        My thinking is that a) they need at least two WR, b) the ones available in free agency are so-so at this point without a huge investment of capital, and c) this is a deep draft for WR. Better that they should fill other needs through free agency, where options are both cheaper and plentiful (e.g., CB, OT).

  8. menelvagor says:

    Danario Alexander is RFA Chargers not Rams

  9. azdude says:

    What about the Quinton Patton or Marquees Wilson?

  10. Bobby says:

    Marquise gray, not goodwin

  11. Bobby says:

    What about Darick Rogers?

    • NEPD says:

      Another decent option on the field. Off of it, there have been some serious issues. If a team is comfortable with those, he could be a steal. Same with Wilson from Wash State.

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