Any reputable New England Patriots fan can spout off eight legitimate reasons that Bill Belichick won’t be dipping into the wide receiver market at this weekend’s NFL Draft.
In no specific order, how about these previous picks:
Chad Jackson (2nd round), Bethel Johnson (2nd), Taylor Price (3rd), P.K. Sam (5th), Jeremy Ebert (7th), Julian Edelman (7th), Matt Slater (5th) and Brandon Tate (3rd).
The man and his personnel people have trouble assessing receiver talent coming out of college. That list above represents each of New England’s receiver selections (and the round they were picked) since 2002 when the club grabbed Deion Branch in the second round out of Louisville and Notre Dame’s David Givens in Round 7.
But during the draft, which is Thursday-Saturday this year, be ready for a change. Look for some flash early, not just fat linemen from Fresno (no offense, Logan). Belichick has to roll the dice at receiver.
Here are five reasons why.
WINTER OF DISCONTENT
I spent a few minutes looking at Wes Welker-Tom Brady highlights on YouTube, and honestly, I can’t believe he’s gone.
The Patriots broke up a modern-day “Montana-to-Rice” combination and got nothing in the process. In addition, the Pats sent Brandon Lloyd packing. For the record, those are 182 catches and 10 TDs that must be replaced.
Maybe Donald Jones and Danny Amendola can basically double their career-best numbers from last year and fill the void.
If you believe that, you are the typical “In Bill we Trust” Pats fan. I just can’t buy it.
Belichick understands the need for a No. 1 receiver, preferably a guy who can play the “X” position all by himself on the outside. That’s why the Pats made the heavy push for Emmanuel Sanders from Pittsburgh in free agency. But that move failed and the hole remains gaping.