New England Patriots: Wide Receiver- Who makes the team?

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker ...

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker on the field prior to an away game against the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots won 49-26. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wes Welker This is a given that he will make the team, it is just about when he arrives. His contract dispute will no doubt hold things up and draw some attention that the Patriots do not want.

Brandon Lloyd Although I am not a fan of this signing just because everyone is treating it like this guy is Randy Moss V.2 but he’s not people, and neither was Chad “Ocho” Johnson and we shouldn’t expect those kind of results. Lloyd has talent, and he knows McDaniels’ offense so for those reasons I see him landing a spot.

Deion Branch He will make it but his role will be heavily reduced but he will be competing for time playing the second WR. Even if he does not make the team, I do not see Branch going to another team but might pull a Tedy Bruschi and retire.

Jabar Gaffney Still has some in the tank and will beat out Stallworth for a spot on the team. Gaffney seems to have Stallworth’s number because he beat him out back in 2007 here with the Patriots and again with the Redskins last season.

Chad Ochocinco This might be an unpopular decision to say that Chad will make the team over Donte. Why? Well, because if Chad actually gets the playbook and plays well then he has more talent left than Donte ever had to begin with. I think that we put too much into knowing the playbook and sometimes forget talent. Chad may have diminished skills compared to two years ago but that is still more than Donte ever had.

On the outside looking in

Donte Stallworth Donte was beat out for time by Gaffney so we know that will most likely happen again so it will come down to Chad versus Donte and like I mentioned Chad I believe will win. Donte, while he does know the playbook, never had as much talent or was a top talent like Chad was. Now, of course, Chad has to get the playbook down but I am going on a limb to say that he will. Maybe I am basing too much of my decision on the past but that is okay with me.

Anthony Gonzalez While Gonzalez was a decent signing because of the talent he does actually have, he has some injury issues and I believe he will somehow end up being injured and either be cut just like Torry Holt a few years ago. Most likely he’ll get hurt stepping out of his car or mowing the lawn. (joking on the last part) If he does make it and doesn’t get injured then he could help this team, I’m just not holding my breath.

Julian Edelman I don’t think he will make the team as a Wide Receiver but will definitely make it in some other form. Whether that be on special teams or defense or trick plays, he will find his place. That’s not to say that he does not have some sort of future as a Wide Receiver but as of right now the depth chart changes his position.

Jeremy Ebert– He will most likely be a practice squad guy for the first year or so and will have to prove himself in order to stay on this team. He has a good chance to make the team in the future as an Edelman or Slater kind of player but with the failures of Taylor Price, Chad Jackson, Brandon Tate and the millions (and millions) of the other players I am being cautious.

Overall Chad will have to prove himself to make this team but that is obvious. You can call it a “mark” move of me to choose him over Donte but I just have a feeling that Chad will have it together and if he does not then we’ll be just fine. We are loaded at Wide Receiver and if Chad does not have it again then he will not make it and someone else will step up. This is a win-win situation for Bill and the Patriots.

So what is my quick analysis of the running back and fullback positions? Well I believe that Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead and Tony Fiammetta will make the team. Spencer Larsen and Eric Kettani I think will make the team in some other position whether it be special teams or practice squad member. As for Joseph Addai I am not sure what kind of role he will play on this team. I just hope that it doesn’t hinder the development of Ridley and Vereen because honestly they can’t progress and get better if they aren’t playing on the field during games that matter. With that being said I thought the signing was decent because they need someone who can come in and help Ridley, Vereen and even Woodhead develop but hopefully not hurt them. I think that Ridley and Vereen are talented and have the potential to be great running backs but not as practice squad guys.

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One thought on “New England Patriots: Wide Receiver- Who makes the team?

  1. Great piece as usual. Here is my .02.
    Deion Branch- Getting long in the tooth. He can be productive in small bursts like last year and he and Brady have an instinctive chemistry, They always have. If the Pats can keep him for a song, then I expect to see the same role as last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tommy chimed in to keep him around.
    OchoCinco- Lots of raw talent and he HAS behaved like a good boy last season. No antics, no tweeting idiocy, always next to Brady confirming with him, trying to learn. The Hoody sees something in this guy. He was a bust last year, but he came from an undisciplined system to a highly complex system. HIs change in attitude has impressed me most. He wants a ring, and this is the best place for him to get one.
    Wel-Kah- Mr Kraft..Pay the guy will ya? Everyone wants this. Team, Coach, Fans, Wes… Lets not go through the silly motions.
    Edleman- Yep. I say special teams, limited use. This guy is versatility personified.
    Brandon Lloyd- I don’t know nearly enough about the man to even comment. I will leave this up to Hoody and McDaniels who might just know a little more about football than you and I. Just a little mind you.

    We have WRs and RBs to spare this year and some talented ones. 5”9 slot machine Wel-Kah is probably the only given. One of our RBs has to break the 1000 yrd mark this year. Come on guys we are an elite team with a great O Line. No offense to the Law Firm who never dropped..but 600 plus yards? Good luck with the Bengals Benny. I always liked ya.

    My concern now is replacing Light. What happened to “SeaBass” Vollmer last year? The big German had back spasms most of the season. A tricky/elusive injury to be sure. Nate Solder really stepped up and I am thrilled to have the 6”8 Corn Fed Monster there. Thing is Brady felt safe with Light. That’s an important thing to not have our QB second guessing his protection, even for a second.

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