Patriots: These two internal moves can begin to fix the wide receiving corps

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

The Patriots can begin to fix their receiving corps with these two internal moves.

At this point, it’s abundantly clear that the New England Patriots have a lot of work to do this offseason if they have any hope of competing for the playoffs in 2021. Given how far off the roster is from a talent perspective compared to some of the league’s juggernauts, Bill Belichick needs to press all the right buttons in the coming months.

As far as top priorities are concerned, we simply must see upgrades at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive end, tight end, and potentially linebacker if the opportunity arises. For this particular conversation, however, let’s keep things focused on their bottom-barrel receiving corps.

Fortunately for the Patriots, there will be no shortage of No. 1 wideouts available on the open market once the new league year rolls around. Since we’re two months away from that, the front office should look to make these two internal moves to begin revamping the receiver position.

The first objective should be extending Jakobi Meyers, who enjoyed a breakout season after a slow-moving rookie campaign as an undrafted free agent in 2019. Despite logging a 10.6% snap share over the first three weeks, he still managed to rank first on the team in receptions (59), receiving yards (729), targets (81), and yards per target (9.0) for players with at least 15 catches.

On top of that, Meyers came in at No. 25 in Pro Football Focus’ wideout rankings, registering an elite 81.0 receiving grade while generating 2.24 yards per route run, which ranked 10th at the position altogether and second among all sophomore wideouts. If these numbers don’t prove that the 24-year-old stud can be a solid No. 2 option moving forward and is deserving of a new contract, then we’re not sure what will.

The second objective, and it pains us to say it, should be trading N’Keal Harry. The 2019 first-round pick drew the ire of fans and the media amid his second consecutive lackluster season, and it would simply be best for both parties if they went their separate ways. If you needed more evidence that proves a divorce is in their best interest, take a gander at this damning statistic.

This stat, which was clearly unearthed to shed light on the Patriots’ receiving woes, actually makes the Arizona State product look even worse than he already did. Despite appearing in eight more games than Julian Edelman, he compiled six fewer receiving yards (315) than him (309).

We were tough on Harry all season (rightfully so), so it would be meaningless to continue beating a dead horse. The bottom line is that he’s shown no signs of taking that next step and the Patriots should look to cash in on him, even if it’s for nothing more than a late-round pick, before they presumably let him walk as a free agent after the 2022 campaign.

The Patriots need fewer experiments and more concrete answers, and these two moves go about doing just that.