With every single transaction it became fairly clearly yesterday that one position on the New England Patriots’ initial 53-man roster would be noticeably thinner than the others: wide receiver. When it was all said and done, the Patriots had only three wideouts on the team alongside special teamer and he of one career reception in 10 NFL seasons Matthew Slater: Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson.
It is therefore safe to say that the position will likely see at least one addition today. Let’s take a look at five potential targets, that are currently on the open market:
After a standout career as a dual-threat quarterback at Ohio State, Braxton Miller was converted to wide receiver in the pros. Despite receiving plenty of opportunities, however, he was never quite able to make the transition appear fully natural. As a result, the Houston Texans released their former third-round draft pick yesterday. Given his outstanding athleticism, it would not be a surprise to see Miller get claimed – but if he does not, New England might take a look at him as a potential depth piece.
Like Miller, Leonte Carroo was selected in the third round of the 2016 draft. And just like the former quarterback, he failed to live up to expectations at the next level. The Rutgers product saw only marginal playing time in his first two years with the Miami Dolphins and registered a mere 10 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Bringing solid size to the table, the 24-year old could benefit from a change of scenery and playing in a different system.
One of the mild surprises of yesterday’s roster cutdowns, the Kansas City Chiefs elected to move on from Jehu Chesson after only one season with the team – and after trading up to get him in the third round of the 2017 draft. However, the Michigan product had a relatively quiet preseason and was therefore unable to win one of the depth spots on the Chiefs’ roster. While Chesson would not be the flashiest of pickups, he would add positional versatility given his experience as a punt and kickoff returner.
Primarily a slot receiver in the mold of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, Daniel Braverman is another wide receiver that failed to make Kansas City’s initial 53-man squad. The former Chicago Bears seventh-round draft pick was quiet during his first training camp and preseason with the team and failed to establish himself as a regular presence on offense or special teams. However, he might be an interesting depth addition to the Patriots’ roster – especially with Julian Edelman missing the first four games of the year.
One of the most productive players to get released this weekend, Kendall Wright brings plenty of experience to the table: he has appeared in 82 games over the course of his career and caught 339 passes for 3,858 yards and 19 touchdowns. However, Wright never lived up to his status as a former first-round draft pick and was cut by his third team in the last three years yesterday. Maybe playing on a team with a stable quarterback situation could help him finally live up to his potential.
Ultimately, the Patriots will only go for the waiver wire or free market to add a wide receiver if they feel confident that the player targeted could contribute immediately. Otherwise, it would not be a surprise to see the team try to swing a trade to bring in more experienced and proven options than the five above.