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According to Rapoport, there rumblings that the Pats will draft 2 WRs. I think it's highly unlikely, considering their recent inability to identify and develop receivers in the draft (Price, Tate, etc.), I'd rather them sign free agents to improve the receiving corp, regardless if Branch and Welker come back.
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Rumor: The combine hasn't even happened yet and the draft is 2.5 months away. This is just a media guy trying to look like a genius by making a prediction way in advance. If he's wrong, it will never be brought up. If he's right, it will be plastered all over his news outlet.
Whilst I have Sanu high on my wishlist and wouldn't be disappointed by Alshon Jeffrey, two WR's that are currently intriguing me are:
1. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Will not be an every down WR for us initially, although upside might make him so in the future. But at 6'5" and good speed, he's a legitimate downfield threat that teams would have to respect. We don't necessarily need him running complex routes initially, just have him head downfield to clear space for the TE's and Welker. Can make some unreal catches and had 30 yards per catch last season, 10 yards more than any other receiver in the FBS. Yes that's down to Georgia Techs triple option but our double TE's are fairly novel as an offensive scheme that defenses have to respect which might just open up the long ball threat of Hill. And his size and range of catches ( ahem ) just might alleviate some of Brady's short throwing on deep balls.
2. Marvin Jones, WR, Cal
If we're not signing a FA to replace Branch, then this might be the guy. Excellent smart receiver that is a willing blocker and makes some really good catches. Witness. Is a little slight in stature but that can be addressed as a pro.
Finally, just want to doff my cap in the direction of Wilfork #75 who's been a very early advocate for Juron Criner who has improved his stock arguably the most of any WR in the draft to date. And is not a bad option as an all-round Branch replacement.
I mean the guy hasn't ''heard rumblings'', hes just taken an educated guess on what might happen after noticing a small and possibly irrelevant pattern in our drafting tendencies. It could happen we lack WR's but I'd be happier if we took either 2 OLB's or 2 D-linemen. I'd rather get a vet in FA (Lloyd, Garcon, Meacham) and then select one WR at any point in the draft.
Depending on what it takes to re-sign Welker, that's not a given. Branch and Ocho obviously could be on the way out, we've got no significant return game and that often comes from a WR and Tiquan Underwood isn't a banker. That's a lot of potential gaps, particularly as BB doesn't make big FA signings.
This is a late round binkie of mine, I think he'd do very well taking over Branch's role.
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