Perhaps the biggest question mark on the Patriots’ roster is their wide receivers. Could they wait until 2023 to fix the position?
The New England Patriots tried to boost their wide receiver room this offseason. They traded for DeVante Parker, formerly of the Miami Dolphins. Parker fell out of favor once the team traded for Tyreek Hill to pair with Jaylen Waddle.
Parker is a good, but not great player. He’s been moderately consistent but does not come with a WR1 pedigree.
Obviously, the lack of a premier wide receiver is something that the Patriots will eventually have to fix, right?
The team has an uninspiring history of drafting receivers, evidenced by their recent failed experiment of N’Keal Harry.
Now, going into 2022, the team appears set to ride into the season with DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor.
If nothing else, the Patriots have the deepest wide receiver room in the NFL, by a mile.
However, their lack of top end talent is going to be noticeable in the AFC, especially with the conference oozing receiver talent.
While I don’t expect the Patriots to have many issues putting points on the board, I do expect them to throw some money at a potential 2023 wide receiver free agent.
Perhaps this won’t be a true, unquestioned WR1, but maybe someone who gives the team a stronger upside than what they currently have.
Their hyperactivity in the 2021 free agency period tells me that they won’t shy away from this next year once they get a ton of cap space.
There are a few teams in the NFL who are mainly built through free agency, and there is no rule saying the team needs to draft and develop a potential WR1.
So, if we look way ahead into next offseason, who are some names, right now, that could make sense for the team?
For starters, I I think Kendrick Bourne, 26, and Jakobi Meyers, 25, are going to end up being with the team for the foreseeable future.
They can both contribute to a continual deep receiver room, and I do think both players have high-end WR2 ceilings.
Pairing Bourne and Meyers with a receiver who has a higher ceiling might be an enticing scenario for New England, especially with Hunter Henry and their stable of running backs still in the mix.
Rhamondre Stevenson, Damien Harris, and Hunter Henry are three studs/eventual studs, and adding a wide receiver like JuJu Smith-Schuster to the mix, who will, as of now, be a 2023 free agent, makes for a well-rounded skill position group.
What does kind of stink about the 2023 receiver free agent pool is the lack of high end talent. The biggest names are Deebo Samuel and DK Metcalf, but I have a feeling that both will be given long-term extensions by their current teams.
If that is the case, the Patriots may have to try their hand in drafting another receiver prospect.
But addressing the group in 2023 with the current free agent pool is also a likely option.