The New England Patriots ignored all the chatter to draft a receiver early or sign/trade for whoever veteran receiver that allegedly was available. Instead, they waited until the sixth round to select Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas. That didn’t impress anybody.
But since the start of camp, there may not be a rookie with more mentions than Douglas. The compact receiver known as Pop has been living up to his nickname. It seems daily; he is responsible for a highlight or two. He’s even getting some reps with the first-team offense.
Boutte, the more heralded receiver of the duo, came to New England as a highly talented prospect with a disappointing college career. Boutte started slowly but is coming on strong of late.
How good they could be is the big question. The Patriots let slot receiver Jakobi Meyers leave as a free agent. On paper, JuJu Smith-Schuster is an upgrade, but he may not be a long-term solution. And after an off-season of Patriots Nation wanting a big-name receiver, Boutte and Douglas lack star power.
Recently someone in the media described the Patriots receivers as “stink, stank, stunk.” If Boutte lives up to his potential, he’s a future number-one receiver. And Douglas would be way more explosive than Meyers. Add New England’s history of slot receivers during the dynasty eras, and the bar is set very high for Douglas.
At the very least, Boutte and Douglas can add some much-needed explosiveness to the offense. If they can do that, they will make a strong case for making the roster while taking another receiver’s job.