The New England Patriots have some questions to answer about the makeup of this roster and coaching staff, but one of the things that they can feel extremely comfortable with is the fact that Mac Jones and Kendrick Bourne both exceeded expectations during their first year in Foxborough.
Jones was clearly the best of the five first-round rookie quarterbacks, and Bourne put together one of his finest seasons to date. The Patriots went from one of the most basic and boring offenses in the league last year to a team that was able to sneak into the postseason.
While the offense took some very encouraging steps forward, this group still has several mountains to climb before they can be considered one of the best duos in the game, but Bourne is very optimistic about what he can keep accomplishing with Jones.
Bourne claimed he’s trying to become one-half of the next elite quarterback-receiver duo. Bourne wants to team with Jones to form a connection that rivals what Green Bay Packers stars Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have. That’s a lofty goal to aspire to, but Bourne is ready to undertake that challenge.
Kendrick Bourne wants to grow with Mac Jones on the Patriots.
If the Patriots don’t end up retaining JC Jackson this offseason, they could use their first-round pick on a defensive back instead of a wide receiver. Doing so would likely mean that Bourne, who totaled 800 yards and five touchdowns last year, will end up as the de facto No. 1 wide receiver once again.
Despite the fact that Jakobi Meyers was familiar with the system and Nelson Agholor had a ton of money thrown at him in free agency, Bourne was Jones’ favorite target thanks to his separation skills and sure hands. Josh McDaniels might be gone, but Bourne should still be able to produce regardless of who’s calling the shots.
The former Eastern Washington star might not be the fastest wide receiver in the world, but being able to catch the ball at a high rate and explode at the line is more valuable in today’s game than it has been at any point prior. Even with Hunter Henry as the top red zone target, the passing game will be expected to lean on Bourne.
With Jones losing McDaniels and many of the coaches who helped him have such a successful rookie season, Bourne’s steady presence will be invaluable. They might need a few MVPs and All-Pros between them before they’re on the level of Rodgers and Adams, but Bourne thinks those will eventually follow.