New England Patriots Analysis: T.J. Moe, Kenbrell Thompkins are great signings


The New England Patriots nabbed two potential impact wide receivers during the 2013 NFL Draft in Marshall’s Aaron Dobson and TCU’s Josh Boyce, but the Patriots weren’t done just yet. Following the draft, they scooped up two intriguing undrafted free agents in former Missouri Tigers star T.J. Moe and a JUCO-star-turned-successful-Cincinnati-Bearcats receiver in Kenbrell Thompkins.

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First, let’s start with Thompkins. He is 6’0″, 193 pounds with 4.5 speed and had a huge season with Cincinnati last season. Thompkins caught 78 passes for over 1,000 yards and has a good mix of size and speed. His productivity in college cannot be overlooked, and I think Thompkins was a very good free agent addition to the Patriots wide receivers corps. The Pats, as we all know, are really looking to add wide receivers versatile enough to play both inside and outside, and Kenbrell Thompkins fits that bill. The inside-outside WR is the next step in the Patriots evolution of the offense, and it’s kind of like what they did in emphasizing the tight end position; I think this is going to catch on around the league.

T.J. Moe was an absolutely incredible undrafted free agent signing for the Patriots, and I have Moe cracking the 53-man roster. If he doesn’t do that, then he’s going to be a lock for the practice squad. I’m surprised Moe didn’t get drafted, and I’m also surprised that the St. Louis Rams didn’t manage to keep the local product in- but that has more to do with the fact that they drafted Tavon Austin, I think.

You see, Moe is in that Austin mold. He was a steal for the Pats in UDFA, and he was a terrific slot receiver for Missouri. I mean, he was one of the best slot guys in college football during his career with the current SEC squad. Moe had the fastest short shuttle time at the 2013 NFL Combine, and that’s a testament to his short-area quickness and ability to be a weapon in the slot.

The problem is that Moe’s forty time was putrid in the 4.7s, and that’s why Moe didn’t get drafted. I don’t particularly care about his lack of long speed, because T.J. Moe’s place in the NFL is at the slot receiver position and not outside the numbers where long speed is necessary. I mean, Moe had a better short shuttle time than Tavon Austin did, so that tells you something. The Patriots are a great fit for Moe, and thus Moe is a good fit for the Patriots.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.