Demario Douglas sets rookie receiver record under Bill Belichick
Despite the Patriots' overall forgettable offensive performance this season, rookie Demario Douglas has been the breakout star they've needed. He looked the part almost immediately upon joining the team after Belichick drafted him in the sixth round earlier this year, seemingly solidifying his roster spot before the preseason even started.
His performances through 12 games have provided a sigh of relief for most fans wanting to see some sort of progress with the offense, mainly due to his speed and reliability, which quickly escalated him to the top of the receiving chart for both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.
Although he is yet to reach the end zone, almost having a similar first season to Jakobi Meyers, Douglas made some history on Sunday against the Broncos, bringing his season total to 44 receptions on the season which put him ahead of Deion Branch's rookie season in 2002. He had been holding the record for most catches by a rookie receiver under Belichick, and in just 12 games, Douglas has blown past him.
Even more impressive is the road Douglas appears to be on over the year's final two games. Because he has recorded 517 receiving yards so far, he is just three yards away from tying Aaron Dobson's record from 2013, who has held the record for most receiving yards by a rookie under Belichick.
Considering how vital Douglas has become to the offense, especially when they're down guys like Hunter Henry and JuJu Smith-Schuster, he will surely set a new record in next week's game against the Bills, probably on his first reception.
It's a pretty cool record to break and shows how great of a pick Douglas was for this team, adding even more excitement to what he can do over (at least) the next three years in New England.