There is no denying it: the New England Patriots need to find a way to upgrade their group of pass catchers, especially following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. While Julian Edelman is still one of the toughest matchups in the NFL and Phillip Dorsett an experienced depth option, the player surrounding the two are mostly unproven in the Patriots’ notoriously challenging offensive system.
The best way to add affordable talent at this point is via the draft, and it sure look as if the Patriots have their sights set on receivers. According to reports, the team will hold pre-draft visits with three wideouts so far: Notre Dame’s Miles Boykin will visit the team, as was reported on Wednesday, as will Mississippi’s A.J. Brown and Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry — the Patriots showing interest in the latter two was first mentioned today.
Both Brown and Harry will likely come off the board early, either at the tail end of round one or with the first few picks of the second. New England, of course, has plenty of ammunition in this part of the draft: all in all, the reigning world champions own six selections within the first 101 picks in the draft. This, in turn, gives them plenty of flexibility to move around the board and in a position to potentially target either Brown or Harry.
And why wouldn’t they, considering that there is plenty to like about the two despite their different next-level-outlooks? While Brown will likely serve as a bigger slot receiver in the NFL, Harry projects to be a classic X in the mold of currently suspended Patriots receiver Josh Gordon. Needless to say therefore that both would be solid additions in their own right as young, high-upside players to challenge the existing depth and possibly carve out prominent roles from day one onward.