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Patriots’ receiving leaders over last five preseasons

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Running down New England’s top preseason targets since 2014.

NFL Preseason: Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Receptions. Receiving yards. Receiving touchdowns.

Who’s led the New England Patriots in those categories over the last five preseasons?

Let’s revisit the names from recent summer’s past before New England’s 2019 exhibition schedule kicks off on Aug. 8 at Ford Field.

Additional names will follow. And their numbers will count in games against the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants that do not.

At least in theory.

RECEPTIONS

  • 2014: Brian Tyms – 11
  • 2015: Chris Harper – 15
  • 2016: D.J. Foster, Chris Hogan – 12
  • 2017: Jacob Hollister – 12
  • 2018: Cordarrelle Patterson – 11

New England’s top pass-catcher in each of the last five preseasons has gone on to make that September’s initial active roster – and the streak goes further if accounting for Kenbrell Thompkins, Julian Edelman and so on. But three of those to do so since 2014 were rookie free agents in California’s Harper, Arizona State’s Foster and Wyoming’s Hollister. The latter two remain in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, with Foster signed off the scout team in 2017 and Hollister traded this spring for a 2020 seventh-rounder.

RECEIVING YARDS

  • 2014: Brian Tyms – 188
  • 2015: Chris Harper – 150
  • 2016: D.J. Foster – 143
  • 2017: Jacob Hollister – 146
  • 2018: Cordarrelle Patterson – 126

Tyms, who signed with Cal Poly’s Cole Stanford just days into training camp back in 2014, has not seen his 188 receiving yards eclipsed in any Patriots preseason since then. The bulk of those yards came in the August opener against the Washington Redskins, when the former Florida A&M Rattler hit the century mark and leaped into the stands on a scoring strike from rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Tyms earned a Super Bowl XLIX ring while with New England, and was last under contract with the Alliance of American Football after stops in the Canadian Football League.

RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS

  • 2014: Brian Tyms, Shane Vereen – 2
  • 2015: Chris Harper, Scott Chandler, Dion Lewis – 1
  • 2016: Chris Hogan, DeAndre Carter – 1
  • 2017: Chris Hogan – 2
  • 2018: Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson, Ralph Webb, James White – 1

The TD catches are where the leaderboard spreads out. Since 2014, a total of 10 different players have shared New England’s preseason high. Of whom, only Carter and Webb did not make the Patriots’ 53-man roster come Labor Day. Carter, a slot target and returner now with the Houston Texans, logged previous experience on New England’s practice squad. Webb, a decorated Vanderbilt Commodores rusher who went undrafted last spring and garnered $70,000 guaranteed, cleared waivers and began his rookie year there. Webb scored 22 points in all last preseason.