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NFL Draft: Receivers Lose, Patriots Win

Rumors have been swirling and facts have come out that have hurt the perception of some of the top receivers in this draft. A big winner? The receiver-needy Patriots.

Stephen Dunn

Fact: The Patriots need additional help at the wide receiver position. Danny Amendola will definitely see the majority of the snaps, while Julian Edelman and Donald Jones fight for snaps. There's still no definite #2 receiver on the team.

Fact: The Patriots have been doing their due diligence and have been looking into plenty of top 50 talent at wide receiver. The team is absolutely interested.

Probable: The Patriots will draft a receiver in the first two rounds. They can't afford not to. Of course, Bill Belichick is impossible to predict, but it's highly likely that one of the Patriots first draft picks will be on one of the top receivers in this draft.

Which leads me to all of this news coming out regarding the top receiving talent in the draft:

1. Cordarelle Patterson - Regarded as a top 20 pick and considered the best receiver in the draft, Patterson was projected to be off the board by the middle of the round. Now? League sources are saying that he might not be selected in the first round. He was "unimpressive" in combine interviews and is considered extraordinarily raw as a talent (although his talent isn't in question). And, for what it's worth, he struggled on the Wonderlic (11), which could hurt his chances of being drafted by teams with very complex offenses. Sure, the Wonderlic is overvalued (A.J. Green got a 10 on his test), but it's just another piece of the puzzle to consider- and it's a piece that Patterson doesn't have.

2. Tavon Austin - If Patterson's struggle on the Wonderlic worries you, Austin's score of 7 should have you running away. Austin is undeniably the most versatile of the receivers and should still be taken in the top 20, but perhaps a team no longer deems him a top 20 talent, but instead a top 25- maybe that has a domino effect and delays the run of receivers that's inevitably going to occur.

3. Keenan Allen - Allen ran slowly in his 40 yard attempts as he still recovers from injury (flag 1). Rumors have come out about a questioned drug test at the combine (although it has been refuted by Allen's camp); whether or not this is true, teams will have to further evaluate him (flag 2, whether it's fair or not). Allen had to report back to Indy to get his ankle checked, which means that he's still a question mark of health (flag 3). All that comes together to possibly push Allen, a former top 10 talent, into the second round.

4. DeAndre Hopkins - There was a room that was absolutely trashed at the combine, to the point where it had to be reported to management. Turns out Hopkins (and Rutgers' Mark Harrison) were the ones in the room. Of course, Hopkins says he left hours before the incident, but like Allen's true/false drug test, teams will have to reevaluate their value and if they can trust Hopkins to not be a distraction (spoiler: he probably won't be).


On the flip side?

1. Justin Hunter - There are now some rumors that Hunter might be the first one off the board as he provides the greatest size/speed measureables in the draft. There will always be questions about his hands, but he could be a slow riser in the draft.

2. Robert Woods - Woods impressed with a 23 on his Wonderlic and has had a great post-season leading up to the draft. While his performance on the field was overshadowed by teammate Marquise Lee, Woods is considered a fairly level and trustworthy prospect.


Where does this leave us? Absolutely no where. It just means that the wide receiver position is even more of a muddled mess than it was earlier in the month. There are handfuls of receivers worthy of first and second round consideration, there's no questioning that.

The only questions that have surfaced are about the top receivers- and a team that looks to be in great position to take advantage of the answers is the New England Patriots.