Over the last couple of seasons the Patriots arguably have had the best offense in the NFL. They can create so many mismatches for defenses, and with a quarterback at the helm that is the best at exploiting them, it is pretty hard to stop the Pats. However, one thing that seems to be missing from their offensive machine is speed. If you look at all of their weapons, they are all very good players, but none of them are real fast guys. The Pats offense gets slowed down because defenses basically load up the middle of the field with defenders and force Brady to throw the ball outside. When he does this, the Pats have no one that can beat guys deep with their speed and it causes a lot of problems.
Marquise Goodwin is a guy that I think could help address this need for the Patriots in the upcoming NFL Draft. I am a huge Texas Longhorn fan and because of this I have watched a lot of Goodwin at Texas over the last couple of years. If there is one word that describes Goodwin on the football field, I would have to say it is: Wow! Whenever he touches the ball he can go 80 yards for a touchdown. He is maybe the most electric college football player I have ever seen. Goodwin has incredible speed (4.27 sec 40 yard dash time at the combine) athleticism, and he improved greatly as a receiver while at Texas. Goodwin’s stats at Texas are not all that impressive, but I think the main reason for that is because he had quite a few injuries and he dedicated quite a bit of his time to competing in last year’s Olympics. The fact that Goodwin is an Olympian alone should make the Patriots want to draft him. Anybody with enough athletic ability to compete in the Olympics should be able to do some damage on the football field.
Another reason why I think the Pats should try and select Goodwin is because he can be utilized in so many different ways on the field. He is not just a guy that lines up on the outside and runs a go route. Goodwin can line up in the slot and run underneath routes and make some plays after the catch. He also can take reverses and always have the ability to take it to the house. I think it is possible that Goodwin can have a big effect on the Patriots offense if he continues to develop and perform at a high level. With all of the talent the Pats have on the inside, and with Brandon Lloyd making some plays outside of the numbers, I think that Goodwin could really exploit some match-ups with his speed. Goodwin is also not projected to be a very high pick because of his size (5’10) and his inexperience at playing the receiver position. This however could be good for the Patriots because they can take Goodwin in a later round which will allow them to use a higher pick on more pressing needs on defense (cornerback, defensive line).
The last reason I think Goodwin would be a good fit for the Patriots is because of his kick-returning ability. The Patriots have really struggled in this area in the last few years, and I don’t think that Devin McCourty is a good fit there. At Texas however, Goodwin showed that he has very good return skills. Combine this with his blazing speed, and I think you could possibly have a top five NFL return man in just a few seasons.