New England Patriots: Dual-role suggested for rookie, Demario Douglas

Pats' rookie Demario Douglas can fill two key roles on offense
Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Demario Douglas (60) runs
Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Demario Douglas (60) runs / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots rookie wide receiver, Demario Douglas from Liberty is all the rage after impressing in the first days of summer camp. And why not? NFL fans love to see rookies impress early on and hope springs eternal that they'll continue the upward climb in the pre-season games, as well. It's part of the rites of summer camp, after all.

In Douglas's case, a couple of other factors are working to present fans with a golden opportunity to hype this rookie sixth-round pick to the hilt. Douglas has impressed thus far, as predicted, and he may just be on his way to securing a spot on the final roster. First, let's quickly look at two other reasons why Douglas is a natural favorite.

First, Douglas as a sixth-round pick is an underdog and people always like to root for the underdog. Douglas is also shorter in height, listed at 5'6 1/4" tall, but he's not small weighing in at 179 pounds on his smaller frame. He's also fast and athletic, having run a 4.44-second forty-yard dash while measuring a super-impressive 39.5" vertical leap.

So how can this rather diminutive offensive sparkplug be of great service to the New England Patriots? there are actually two major opportunities plus for Douglas to assist. Let's take a look at how the rookie may be able to make a positive impact on the Patriots in 2023 and beyond.

New England Patriots Demario Douglas can really catch the ball

Douglas' first and most obvious ability will be to haul in passes from quarterback Mac Jones or whoever else throws the rock for the New England Patriots. As a fourth-year Junior at Liberty, he hauled in 79 passes for 979 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 105 yards with another TD. That's a solid year for the young player.

Certainly, the Patriots with their checkered past drafting wide receivers would like to emerge from the 2023 draft with at least one wideout who can make the roster and contribute. They also drafted Kayshon Boutte from LSU in the sixth round but after an initial burst by Boutte, the hype train has clearly centered on the sure-handed Douglas. had this to say about Douglas' early contributions at receiver,

"" ... when he’s out on the field and gets in motion, it’s easy to see why the 2023 sixth-round pick is separating himself from the rest of the pack at training camp ... During competitive drills, Douglas led all pass-catchers with four receptions off of five targets. Alternating between the first and second-team units, Douglas has consistently been able to separate himself from defenders thanks to an explosive first step and elite stop-and-start acceleration...""

Yet, there are other ways in addition to receiver, that Douglas with his speed and great hands can be a true asset to the New England Patriots. Let's take a quick look and see how it makes sense to utilize this young athlete as a jack-of-all-trades offensive weapon in the Patriots' offense.

New England Patriots Demario Douglas can be a nice third-down back, plus

Douglas has all the attributes necessary to be a third-down back with some pop (also his nickname!) as another dimension of his skills. He can be an elusive, small-target adjunct to Rhamondre Stevenson, and/or maybe Leonard Fournette if signed (wishful thinking), by catching the ball out of the backfield.

Not much smaller than the last in a long list of great Patriots' third-down backs, the sensational James White, Douglas fits the profile of a player for that role. He can run wheel routes and cause lots of problems for opposing defenses to game-plan,. not only as a wide receiver but also as a back in motion.

It's a dimension of versatility that adds value to Rhamondre Stevenson, the team's other current backs, and any other back the Pats may sign to back him up. In addition, there may be other roles he can fill as additional value-added dimensions lending even more credence to his effort to make the squad.

Douglas added roles of part-time punt and kick returner in 2022 for Liberty. An elusive, exciting returner is always valued, and those roles add chips to Douglas' side of the table toward making the final roster as a multi-faceted offensive dynamo.

Those are a couple of reasons why Demario Douglas may far exceed his draft status as a potentially valuable addition to the New England Patriots 53-man and gameday rosters. Do you think Demario Douglas can double as a third-down back potentially, and maybe as a returner? We'd like to hear.