One of the biggest issues on the Patriots’ roster to some is their lack of high-end receiver talent, but do they actually need this on their roster?
A thought has come to me as I think about the New England Patriots and their offensive situation as it currently stands.
Does the team actually need a star receiver? Sure, we saw the impact that one could make on a team; Ja’Marr Chase is perhaps the best receiver in the NFL already and made the Bengals into an offensive powerhouse.
Davante Adams helped Aaron Rodgers win back to back MVP awards, and Tyreek Hill is perhaps the best weapon in the NFL.
But, every team’s situation is different, as we know, and in looking further at the Patriots’ roster, I’m left with a burning question.
Does the team really need their own Ja’Marr Chase? Do the New England Patriots really need an unquestioned, Pro Bowl/All Pro caliber receiver?
The obvious answer to some might be a very loud yes, but I also think there’s an argument to be had that they don’t need one.
The Patriots were ninth in the NFL last season in terms of team rushing attempts. In 2018, they were third. In 2016, they were fourth, and it 2014, they were 13th.
Even during the Tom Brady era in the 2010s, outside of Randy Moss for a few seasons, did the Patriots have themselves an unquestioned WR1 like some of the studs in today’s NFL?
Julian Edelman was a great player, but he never made the Pro Bowl, never had more than 1,117 yards in a season, and is clearly, talent wise, several tiers below some of the best players at the position in the NFL.
This isn’t to pile on Edelman, who is a Patriots’ legend, but I think it reinforces the idea that the team, as history would show, doesn’t need to rely on a top-end talent.
Perhaps DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor is enough. If nothing else, and if you disagree, you cannot deny the insane depth they have at the WR position.
If Bourne, for example, needs to miss extended time, Parker, Meyers, and Agholor are still there. Plug whatever other receiver you want into that scenario. The Patriots have accumulated excellent depth here, and it might work for them.
Of the four receivers on the top of the depth chart for the team right now, they each have had a season with at least 800 receiving yards.
Sure, having someone like Deebo Samuel on the team would make them better, but given the overall weak free agent wide receiver market in 2023, and given the success the Patriots have had without that WR1, I think fans who are clamoring for one might be waiting a while.