The New England Patriots can look to upgrade their wide receiver position in this year’s NFL Draft by taking Isaiah Coulter from Rhode Island.
One way to do that at this point will be through the NFL Draft. The Patriots currently hold 16 total picks in the draft, including the 23rd overall selection in the draft at the bottom end of the first round. They have zero picks in the second round though, making their first pick very important to the direction of their team for this season and into the future.
With the exception of Julian Edelman, there is not another receiver on the team who has more than one year’s experience playing in the Patriots’ system.
Mohamed Sanu, assuming there are no setbacks following his offseason ankle surgery, will be entering his second year with the team. He has shown to be a great complementary receiver throughout his career, but Sanu has not done that just yet in New England.
Another receiver that should hold more of a workload this upcoming season is N’Keal Harry, who is entering his second year with the team after being drafted in the first round last year.
Although he spent most of his time last year on the injured reserve list, Harry showed promising signs of being the type of weapon the Patriots have so desperately needed over the last few years. The former Sun Devil is a strong, dependable, and intelligent receiver.
Although the New England Patriots don’t have the best track record at drafting wide receivers, they should still be looking to pick up a receiver with the handful of sixth or seventh-round draft picks they have this year.
A quality and durable receiver that will be available near the middle to the end of the draft for the Patriots to select is Isaiah Coulter coming out of the University of Rhode Island. Coulter has the size and makings of being an NFL-caliber wide receiver.
Coulter is 6’2” tall and 198 lbs, and he has improved as a player throughout his three years at URI. He finished his career with 132 receptions while averaging 14.1 yards per game for 1,855 yards and 12 touchdowns in only 34 games.
Coulter’s size, length, and speed is what is going to make him a legitimate weapon in the NFL.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Coulter managed to showcase his impressive skills at the NFL combine, which completely increased his overall draft stock. Coulter ran the 40 yard dash in 4.45 seconds, had a vertical jump of 36 inches, had a broad jump of 121 inches, ran the three-cone drill in 7.28 seconds, and finished the 20-yard shuttle in 4.62 seconds.
In a recent interview with Yianni Kourakis of WPRI12, Coulter expressed that this process has been challenging in regards to not being allowed to go to the team’s facilities right now, but he has been in contact with several teams including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Minnesota Vikings, to name a few.
Coulter is reminiscent of a more durable and much stronger Brandin Cooks, current wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams (and former Patriot, albeit briefly).
It’s worth mentioning that the URI-style offense that Coulter is coming from has prepared him to fit well in the system of any of these potential NFL landing spots for him. He can be plugged into any formation and can work great as the “X” or “Z” receiver for a pass-happy team.
After his combine, Coulter is projected to be selected anywhere between the fourth and seventh rounds of the draft, making him quite available for the New England Patriots to snag late for their wide receiver position. It’s safe to say that wherever Coulter lands, he can make an immediate impact on his new team.