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Patriots preseason history suggests WR Austin Carr should make the team

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But don’t consider it a lock.

New York Giants v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

After the first week of the preseason and after New England Patriots TE Jacob Hollister racked up 116 receiving yards, I went back through every preseason under head coach Bill Belichick to see if there were any trends with surprise receivers making the team.

I found out that between 2000 and 2016, the Patriots preseason leader in receiving yards made the team 16 out of those 17 years, with 27-year-old Darnell Jenkins in 2010 being the only exception- and he quickly signed to the practice squad.

The original post was made with Hollister in mind, but the coaching staff quickly put their young tight end inside a storage locker and refused to unleash him for the rest of the preseason. And while I had looked at just the preseason leader for the trend, there are four current Patriots receivers that I consider worthy of note.

WR Austin Carr - 153 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Carr is your Patriots preseason leader in receiving yards and should have the inside edge on making the roster. The injury to Julian Edelman opened a door and Carr walked through it in the first half of the final preseason game. Did he do enough to make the team? Or will he go down to the practice squad like Jenkins?

I’m leaning towards the latter, but who am I to argue with history?

RB D.J. Foster - 150 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Foster actually improved on his rookie season when he gained 143 receiving yards and 31 rushing yards (174 yards from scrimmage with no scores). He not only ranked second in receiving yards, he led the Patriots with 92 rushing yards and added another score, bringing his 2017 total to 242 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns.

I’d take Foster over Carr right now, but the Patriots can’t carry six running backs, right?

TE Jacob Hollister - 146 yards, 1 touchdown

After picking up 116 yards in the first week, Hollister collected just 30 over the next three as TE James O’Shaughnessy stole the snaps and the spotlight. Did Hollister do enough to win a roster spot? I don’t know if either tight end did, honestly, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the team simply shrugged, stashed Hollister and/or O’Shaughnessy on the practice squad, and used James Develin as the third tight end.

WR Devin Lucien - 136 yards, 1 touchdown

Lucien picked up 96 yards and a touchdown in the finale and that earned him notice with the 12th biggest single-game receiving performance under Belichick. Will it be enough to make the active roster? Probably not, especially with the three previous players all competing for what is probably just one roster spot, but he’ll either join the Patriots practice squad or will land on some other team’s active roster.