New England Patriots training camp player profile: Wide receiver Demario Douglas

LendingTree Bowl - Liberty v Eastern Michigan
LendingTree Bowl - Liberty v Eastern Michigan / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Unfortunately, because of the strong desire from most fans to see the Patriots draft a high-ranked receiver in the year's draft, Demario Douglas fell victim to a barrage of questions regarding his talent and future in the NFL, much like Kayshon Boutte.

However, there is much to like about Douglas' game and the potential he has demonstrated throughout his college career.

It may be challenging to get excited about a sixth-round draft pick, especially when that player is a receiver. But Douglas has many aspects that the Patriots are known for liking and utilizing, making the chances of him thriving in New England far higher than likely anywhere else.

As a triple-threat player with hefty experience as a receiver, running back, and returner for special teams, there will be several opportunities for Douglas to shine during upcoming training camp.


College stats:

  • 2021: 52 receptions for 701 yards and 6 touchdowns - 13.5 average yards per reception in 12 games
  • 2022: 79 receptions for 993 yards and 6 touchdowns - 12.6 average yards per reception | 5 carries for 105 yards and 1 touchdown - 21 average yards per rush in 13 games

He may not be the popular name that fans were hoping for, but Douglas has the potential to be a sneaky good draft pick of this year's Patriots' draft class.

Spending four years at Liberty, he impressed with his continued growth and improvement as every new season began. On top of that, his almost unlimited versatility was on full display as he was seen succeeding as both a receiver and running back and as a returner on special teams.

His speed and twitchy style make him a phenomenal double mover to throw off defensive backs matched up with him. He was so good at making defenders miss on the ground that he forced 20 missed tackles last season.

His size may be concerning to some, especially coming into the NFL, where the competition is much stiffer than in college, but he's shown the balance and pass-catching reliability to become a weapon Mac Jones could use when needed.

One of the more exciting aspects of Douglas, though, is how he compares to fan favorite and top-ranked receiver of the 2023 draft Zay Flowers.

Based on Flowers's reported extravagant visit with the Patriots before the draft, nearly everyone assumed he was a shoo-in for the Patriots to take in the first round, if not early in the second. Clearly, that's not what happened. However, Douglas appears to be reasonably comparable to the type of player Flowers is.

If that becomes even half true, the Patriots may have gotten a cheaper version of the receiver they seemed to really like in Douglas, a major win for both the team and the player.


The most evident and significant problem Douglas must deal with is his size.

Because of his thin frame, defenses will likely have an easy time blocking or taking him down. At just 5'8" and 179 pounds, it will be a tough matchup against some of the league's best cornerbacks and safeties, who seem to get bigger each and every year.

It could also raise concerns about his durability and play strength in the NFL, potentially forcing Belichick to use him sparingly on offense and limit him to just snaps on special teams.

The silver lining there is how well Marcus Jones has done since being drafted last year. As a similar-bodied player, Jones was utilized in all aspects of the team and performed beyond expectations, which could very easily be Douglas in 2023, especially since Jones wants to spend more time on defense if possible.



Heading into training camp, the general feeling regarding Douglas is that he has the best chance to make the roster for the upcoming season of all the receivers vying for a spot on the team.

Through OTAs and minicamp, he reportedly outperformed Boutte, who many thought would look the most impressive as a formerly projected first-round talent. Besides outshining his direct competition, one of the most significant factors working in Douglas' favor is his versatility to be used in multiple roles.

Offense, defense, and special teams; he can do it all. That's a trait that the Patriots have loved over the years and certainly increases the chances of Douglas making the team as long as he can continue to perform well this summer.

He will, of course, run into the issue of more competition, particularly as a slot receiver. He will need to stand out above the rest, probably more than others because of his size, in order to make the team as a true receiver.

But if that doesn't work, he has a great shot at making the team as a member of the special teams unit, which Belichick is hoping to improve this season.