3 second-round wide receivers who are great fits for the Patriots

These projected 2nd round receivers could be key to transforming the offense

Feb 5, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A helmet with the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit logo  at the Super Bowl
Feb 5, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A helmet with the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit logo at the Super Bowl / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Anyone who followed the New England Patriots in 2023 saw how ineffective they were on offense. One of the groups that contributed to that underwhelming performance was their wide receivers.

Well, the good news is the 2024 NFL draft is deep with talented wide receivers. The Patriots will have multiple receivers available to choose from that would fit their offensive skill player needs. Below are three wide receivers who are forecasted to be available when the Patriots make their second-round pick.

Before we get into the new prospects for wide receivers, let's look at how underwhelming the performance of the last receiving group was.

The player with the most receptions on the 2023 New England Patriots was a running back, Ezekiel Elliott, and two of their best performers from the receiver group suffered injuries and did not finish the season. Kendrick Bourne got injured in October, Hunter Henry missed the final three games of the season, and both finished the season with production that was in the top two or three in most of the receiving categories.

The most receptions by a Patriots receiver in 2023 was 49 by rookie Demario Douglas.

When a running back has the most receptions, and two injured players are stats leaders, that is a sign that help is needed. Possibly, the biggest glaring weakness with the Patriots receivers was the inability to create separation from defenders and the lack of big plays.

3 second-round wide receivers who are great fits for the Patriots

The first receiver we will explore is Brian Thomas Jr. from LSU. He has solid technical skills with an explosive release off the line of scrimmage. His speed and the ability to accelerate make him a vertical threat to make big plays downfield. Standing 6'4 and weighing 205 pounds, he plays physically, is effective at run blocking, and is sneaky quick with the ability to put on the afterburners to accelerate past coverage.

His size, strength, and agility make him difficult to bring down after the catch. He also gets a lot of yards after catch due to his ability to create separation. He only started one year in college, but he has all of the physical traits to make an impact on this rebuilding patriots team.

The second player who could improve the Patriots' offense is wide receiver Troy Franklin from the University of Oregon. Frankling is 6'3 and a little under 190 lbs. Franklin is slender, with the frame to add some weight if needed.

This past season as a junior, Franklin broke multiple receiving records at Oregon. He broke the single-season record for receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns and also became the school's career leader in touchdown receptions. He has elite downfield speed, gets off the line of scrimmage fast, and has smooth footwork.

Possibly the most impressive part of Franklin's game is his ability to create separation. That makes the quarterback's job easier by having clean throwing windows. Creating clean throwing windows would be an asset for the Patriots' new QB in 2024. Franklin is also a solid route runner, a good run blocker, and a threat to make big plays downfield.

Lastly, we will consider Xavier Legette from the University of South Carolina. Legette is an excellent downfield runner and big at 6'3 and over 225 lbs. His size and strength are also an asset when blocking.

That will be important in Alex Van Pelt's offensive scheme. He is also athletic and explosive and tracks the ball well. Legette can make catches on contested plays and is skilled at getting yards after the catch. In college, he ran a lot of quick routes.

There may be some work needed on his route running. However, his physical traits and what he does well are attractive for the rebuilding Patriots offense.

Whichever direction the Patriots decide to go. They will have plenty of skilled receivers to select from in this year's NFL draft. Having a deep-threat playmaker is something that the Patriots need. If they can land a playmaker who can also block on run plays, that would be an added benefit.

As I mentioned earlier, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt loves to run the ball to set up the passing game. It would be exciting to watch a speedy playmaker in a patriots uniform.

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