Three Wide Receivers the Patriots Could Draft in the First Round

Tom Brady Josh McDaniels

Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels are still looking for another target. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa

Other than Julian Edelman, out of the wide receivers that are under contract with the New England Patriots for 2013, not one of them caught a pass from Tom Brady last season.

In just a matter of a month or so, the Patriots have completely restructured their wide receiver corps. We have seen Wes Welker sign with the Denver Broncos, Brandon Lloyd released while the team has welcomed Danny Amendola, Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins. Not to mention that the team could very well be welcoming Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders to the team as well—as we sit hours away from learning whether or not the Steelers will match Nwe England’s offer sheet on Sanders.

Whether or not that the Steelers decide to match New England’s offer or let Sanders walk, I still do believe that there’s a legitimate shot that the team could draft a wide receiver in the first round. In that spirit, let’s take a look at three possible wide receivers that will be available at No. 29 overall.

DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

In my most recent mock draft, I have DeAndre Hopkins slotted in at No. 29 overall going to the Patriots.

Granted, this would be a dream scenario for me, as I have been pumping Hopkins’ tires for the past couple of weeks, but he certainly could be a legitimate target for New England.

Standing in at 6’2″ and weighing 205 pounds, Hopkins not only has the required size to be a productive X wide receiver in the NFL, but he has all the tools and potential to be a perennial Pro Bowler.

Hopkins will develop as a possession receiver in the NFL and certainly could end up being a quarterback’s go-to-receiver or simply the quarterback’s “security blanket.”

Out of all the wide receivers that are likely to be available at No. 29, DeAndre Hopkins would be my ideal selection.

Keenan Allen, California

Much like DeAndre Hopkins, I foresee Keenan Allen developing into a big-time wide receiver in the NFL.

Allen had quite the productive career at California as he emerged as one of the top possession receivers at the college ranks.

My biggest knock against Allen is that he might not have the kind of speed that can consistently burn opposing cornerbacks—there will certainly be cornerbacks that are far more faster than Allen.

However, if Allen is available at No. 29—which might be a stretch, as he might be the first wider receiver taken off of the board—then the Patriots should consider bringing in the former Golden Bear.

Robert Woods, USC

I’m not completely sold on Robert Woods. However, he does project to be a top 45 or even top 30 selection in the draft.

Woods’ biggest strength is that he’s an outstanding route runner and should evolve as a solid possession receiver at the next level. Woods was an All-State track star in high school, and it shows in the way that he runs his routes as he doesn’t lose much speed.

Aside from being one of the best route runners in this year’s class, he certainly has the best set of hands—there’s no question about it. Woods’ probably has the largest catch radius out of any wide receiver in this year’s draft, as he stands in at 6’1″ and has a pretty impressive jumping ability.

If the Patriots want a guy that can run just any route on the route tree in an extremely fluid fashion as well as having the speed to break a 50-yard touchdown, then Robert Woods is their guy.

Other receiver options in play in the first round: Quinton Patton (LA Tech), Justin Hunter (Tennessee)

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10 Responses to “Three Wide Receivers the Patriots Could Draft in the First Round”

  1. VT Bill says:

    I’m sure they made the Sanders offer because they did not see anything they liked at 3rd round. So if Pitt matches the offer and Sanders stays in Piitsburgh, Pats will look to Rd 1 or 2 for there WR. With that as clearly the biggest need, I hope they use a 1st on one of the 3 mmentioned. Hopkins seems healthy and fast enough with huge hands. You gotta love him

  2. J H TARBORO says:

    All 3 receivers are good 1st round picks, there has been a lot smokescreens according to various media outlets and real team needs, and what fits your system, i have feeling that the WRs are going to fall much further back than anticipated, don’t be surprised if we’re looking Tavon Austin in the face at 29, it’s based on system fit and a team placed value on their boards.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I have Tavon Austin going to the Jets.

      • Jeff M says:

        The Jets should worry about getting a QB first lol!

      • Steve Leggett says:

        The Jets really “almost have to” draft a DB @9 now that Revis is gone, then the best QB available @13 because Sanchez has proved time & time again he isn’t an NFL QB.
        In any case we’re lucky to be in the NLF Least division.
        The Pats have done little to improve themselves and Brady is another year older with a whole bunch of new & unproven receivers. But, they are still sitting on a bunch of cap money & hopefully an Abraham or a Freeney will be here shortly or it will be another frustrating “good year” with a quick exit come playoff time.

  3. jim r says:

    All 3 give you and immediate upgrade at that position however for me that position would not be one of the top two priorities heading into the draft. If Sanders is signed that to me would mean DL and CB would be top two picks. If Pittsburg matches then I could see BB taking a wr in Rd 2-3

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