Terry Glenn – 1996 & 1999
The New England Patriots selected Terry Glenn seventh overall in the 1996 NFL Draft. Glenn was an immediate upgrade for the Patriots and came to the Bill Parcells-led team as the best wide receiver in all of college football.
Glenn got off to a quick start as a rookie, surpassing 1,000 receiving yards and helping the Patriots reach Super Bowl XXXI. He caught 90 passes for 1,132 receiving yards and scored six touchdowns, which set an NFL record and a Patriots franchise record for the most receptions by a rookie.
From 1997 through 2000, Glenn dealt with multiple recurring injuries and a series of off-field issues that Bill Belichick was not going to tolerate for long when he became the head coach of the Patriots in 2000. Ultimately, they led to Belichick eventually shutting Glenn down for the rest of the 2001 season — including the playoff run to the Super Bowl — after which he was traded to the Green Bay Packers.
Glenn was technically on the team when the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2001 but the Pats did not award him a Super Bowl ring.
Glenn surpassed 1,000 receiving yards twice with the Patriots (1996 & 1999) and might be best remembered for catching the first touchdown pass of Tom Brady’s career. He finished his six years in New England with 329 receptions for 4,669 yards and 22 touchdowns, and is also a member of the Patriots All-1990s team.
Ben Coates – 1994
The New England Patriots selected tight end Ben Coates in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL Draft. Coates’ career ignited in 1993 with the arrival of then-new head coach, Bill Parcells, followed by rookie quarterback Drew Bledsoe.
With the addition of Bledsoe, Coates led the Patriots with 53 receptions in 1993 and went on to make 460 receptions over the next seven years with Bledsoe, catching 96, 84, 62, 66, and 67 passes in five consecutive years.
Coates’ one and only 1,000-yard season came in 1994 when he made 96 receptions for 1,174 yards and scored seven touchdowns.
In the 1996 season, Coates led the team with nine touchdowns in an effort that helped the Patriots reach Super Bowl XXXI. He was released by the Patriots following the 1999 season.
Before Rob Gronkowski landed in New England in 2010, Coates was the best tight end in franchise history. He ranks seventh all-time in yards (5,471), tied for third all-time in touchdowns (50), and is sixth all-time in receptions (490). His 96 receptions in 1994 was the most ever by a tight end until 2004 when Tony Gonzalez caught 102 passes.
Coates is on the Patriots’ All-1990s team, the 50th anniversary team, and enshrined in the Patriots Hall of Fame, as well as being a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade team.