Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Each week we ask questions of the most plugged-in Patriots fans and fans across the country.
The New England Patriots made some considerable investments in their offensive skill position group the last couple of offseasons. Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith were signed in free agency; DeVante Parker was acquired via trade; Tyquan Thornton was drafted 50th overall; Jakobi Meyers received the second-round restricted free agency tender.
The goal of those moves is clear: make life as easy as possible for the team’s starting quarterback, former first-round draft choice Mac Jones. Naturally, the expectation is that most of those players will play a key role for the team in 2022 as well — at least if the latest results of SB Nation’s Reacts survey are to be believed.
Patriots fans were asked who they see as the team’s leaders in three offensive categories: receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Some familiar names were among the top vote-getters.
Jakobi Meyers, who is entering a contract season, is the fans’ favorite to lead the team in receptions yet again: he picked up 41 percent of the vote, leading Kendrick Bourne (36%) and trade acquisition DeVante Parker (12%).
Meyers topped New England in that category in both 2020 and 2021. Given that he will play a starter-level role within the Patriots’ offense once again after displaying some good chemistry with Mac Jones last year, he is a realistic candidate to make it three in a row.
As far as receiving yards are concerned, fans expect some changes compared to last year: Meyers led the team in that category in 2021, but 46 percent of fans are projecting Bourne to grab that title. Meyers ranks only third with a share of 9 percent; Parker again took a healthy portion of the vote (32%).
The final category went to the incumbent receiving touchdown champion in New England, tight end Hunter Henry. Henry caught nine of them last year, and 72 percent of fans believe he will again top the Patriots offense in 2022. Parker ranked second once more, with a 14-percent share.
For as much optimism as there is among Patriots fans around the likes of Henry, Bourne, Parker and Meyers — and partially even Jonnu Smith — they are more skeptical when it comes to others. Running back James White is a candidate to lead the team in receptions but fans are not positive he will coming off season-ending hip injury; rookie Tyquan Thornton, meanwhile, is not expected to play a major role.
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