The New England Patriots spent the offseason overhauling their offensive personnel, more specifically their offensive line and pass-catching arsenal.
While fans are thrilled quarterback Cam Newton will actually be throwing to a competent collection of pass catchers, there’s a debate to be had about whether the Patriots should’ve pursued more established commodities at the wide receiver position.
Of course, New England signed Nelson Agholor (two years, $22 million) and Kendrick Bourne (three years for $15 million).
While those players will serve as significant upgrades compared to what the Pats have been rolling out at WR in recent years, they still leave a lot to be desired.
You might be wondering why we’re bringing this up out of nowhere, but there’s actually a good reason for it, as NFL Twitter personality Marcus Mosher recently uploaded a spreadsheet of the unofficial wideout depth charts for all 32 teams.
In a reply tweet to his own post, Mosher seemingly without hesitating, proclaimed that the Patriots and Lions have the undisputed worst receiving units in the league.
For the sake of argument, let’s see if his claims hold some merit.
Do the Patriots really have the worst wide receiving unit in the NFL?
Though we understand where Mosher is coming from, we simply can’t agree with the notion that the Patriots have the worst WR unit in the NFL. Even if you believe that to be the case, implying it’s not even a debate is extremely off base.
For starters, you have to consider the context of the situation. The Patriots didn’t target an established superstar at the position because they signed tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, who figure to be heavily involved in the passing game, in free agency.
It’s not like Newton will only be throwing to Agholor, Bourne, 2020 breakout star Jakobi Meyers and first-round disappointment N’Keal Harry. The former MVP will also have two incredibly reliable security blankets wreaking havoc in the middle of the field.
If you consider the Patriots’ new dynamic tight end duo as a moot point, there are plenty of other teams who should be in consideration for the “worst WR corps in the league” mantle. Objectively speaking, we’d take New England’s over that of the Eagles and Raiders.
You could even make the argument that Houston (Brandin Cooks isn’t a true No. 1), Baltimore (Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins…really?) and the Jets (we need to see more from Corey Davis) have similarly or lesser-talented receiving units compared to the Patriots.
Beyond those teams, the likes of the Saints, Titans and Packers are incredibly thin at the position behind stars Michael Thomas, AJ Brown and Davante Adams. We might be reaching here, but you could argue the Patriots have more depth at WR than those teams.
Bottom line? While there’s no doubting the Patriots’ wideout depth chart is one of the least inspiring in the league, to say it’s “by far” tied for the worst unit in the NFL is a stretch. Not only that, but their acquisitions at tight end should hold more weight in this debate.