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2011 Offseason Outlook - Wide Receiver

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With the Pats season over and free agency (hopefully) and the draft still a ways away, I figured this would be a good time to look back - and look forward - with some discussion at each position on the team.

    Wide Receiver
    Deion Branch
    Brandon Tate
    Wes Welker
    Julian Edelman
    Taylor Price
    Matthew Slater
    Darnell Jenkins (practice squad)
    Buddy Farnham (practice squad)
     
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Future Focus: Wide receivers - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

    2010 number of times targeted with a pass:
    123 - Welker
    74 -- Branch
    46 -- Tate
    14 -- Edelman
     
  3. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ideally, Price knocks Welker back down to the slot role. In reality, we're probably looking at Price spending another season inactive.
     
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Deion Branch, Wes Welker Solidify 2011 Receiving Corps, But Patriots Have Plenty of Offseason Options - New England Patriots - NESN.com - Jeff Howe

     
  5. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    At this point, I would not consider Slater a WR, even though he may technically be listed as one (or is he listed as a S? Not sure). He's a special teams player and nothing else.

    I don't expect any draft picks to be used on WR, but a mid level vet brought in (ala Torry Holt, Joey Galloway, Jabar Gaffney, etc, even though two of those didn't work out), to give Tate/Price competition. The hope would be that Price shows something and Tate improves, negating the need for the vet insurance.
     
  6. jarnhestur

    jarnhestur On the Roster

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    Welker stays because he's, well, Welker. Edelman is a keeper and I would assume Price is as well. I would say that we don't know how either Edelman and Price would do in a full-time role, although personally I'm high on Edelman.

    I think you can argue that Branch and Tate are both easily replaceable, particularly Tate. I expect Branch to stay because Brady seems to like him, but I'm not sure he's anything other then a slightly above average WR. Maybe a full off season will do him well, but I wasn't enamored with him. He had some good games and some bad games.

    I think we still need to look to improve the WR position. It's far from set.
     
  7. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

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    Why is that "probably" the case?
     
  8. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Not sure of the original poster's thought process, but I wouldn't be surprised if Price is inactive a lot too, especially early on. Nothing to do with his progress or potential, but seeing as we don't often carry five dedicated WRs on the active roster, and Welker, Branch, Tate, and Edelman are still ahead of him until proven otherwise, injury is the only way he's getting on the field. Especially since Tate and Edelman are valuable as returners.

    As the season goes on though, if Tate doesn't show improvement, Price will get his shot for sure.
     
  9. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tate and Edelman offer special teams value, meaning Price would have to clearly be better than Tate to be active at all. If Price is only as good as Tate, then Tate gets the nod due to his KR value, and Edelman makes it since he is the PR.

    Price definitely does have the talent to be a better outside receiver than Welker. Everything depends on whether he's ready mentally, and we see that jump usually in the 3rd year, not the 2nd.
     
  10. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

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    That makes sense, but I doubt they keep that stable of receivers as constituted unless Tate takes a sizeable step forward in his progress. Welker, Branch, and Edelman all give you essentially the same thing, and as we saw in the Jets game they really need more of a vertical presence and guys who can pose threats outside the numbers on a consistent basis.

    Plus, those guys aren't the most durable wideouts in the game, to say the least.
     
  11. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    The way I see it is that Price and Tate will be battling for the active 4th WR spot. Edleman's role should increase if he is to take over the slot in '12, Welker could be expendable. Truth is Welker is best used in combination with a deep threat and he is an expensive luxury if we arent using him like that.
    We were fairly healthy at this position this year, it hardly ever happens that way. Redundancy is good in covering this, but I think the short comings fall more on Tate than anyone else. I'm sure we will have some vet in camp pushing someone or getting hurt. I dont expect to see Branch in the preseason at all..if there is one.
     
  12. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just an observation:


    Matthew Slater could end up paying the cost of Brandon Tate's disappointing season, unless rosters are expanded with the new CBA. If the Patriots decide that there's a need to bring in another WR to compete for the deep/speed receiver position because Tate didn't get it done and Price is still developing, they'll need to make a cut somewhere to fit the roster. A pure ST guy might be where the team would look to make the cut.
     
  13. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Our offense works vey well and a straight line deep receiver distorts it IMO. No reason we can't pick up a guy that's fast and quic, able to run all the routes plus beat single coverage and/or go deep to keep teams from playing us like the Jets did. I think a guy like Patten had that versatility and that's without breaking the bank. as long as people overvalue (IMO) the 6'4" burners we can have quick and fast receivers, giving up a little size. We still have mismatches in Gronk and Hernandez.

    Doesn't mean we don't have trouble with tall receivers on other teams occasionally, but that has noting to do with how our offense runs best.
     
  14. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ray, the problem is that the team doesn't even have a Givens, nevermind a Moss, if you know what I mean. Also, the team repeatedly tried to bring in a deep/speed guy. It's just that Bethel failed before Moss succeeded.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  15. PatriotsInGA

    PatriotsInGA In the Starting Line-Up

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    #11 Jersey

    Dump Tate. Draft Julio Jones/Sign Holmes
     
  16. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    I'll agree that Bethel fit the mold, but he wasn't a football player and had no production on a run oriented team in college.

    The perfect guy would be a Deion Branch, but the Deion Branch of a few years ago pre knee injuries,/wear and tear. Those long striders just seem to cause us to play one offense for the big guy and one for the 3-4 smutfs and TEs. I'd keep the current Deion (as a 2,3)too, but a more elusive fast/quick receiver is needed too, IMO.
     
  17. part-timer

    part-timer On the Game Day Roster

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    I feel fairly comfortable going into training comp with the current compition but, I may add one more piece to guarentee the fact that at least one and maby two get cut increasing the level of competion to the survival level. I would be wary that they may have a comfort level if they all could find a spot again on the roster or PS. This pick I see comeing in round 5, possibly Cecil Shorts III.
     
  18. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Slater is probably the best of the pure special-teams guys. Somebody like Murrell, Sergio Brown, or Thomas Clayton should be gone before Slater.
     
  19. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think Price looked really good in the last game of the season. If he continues to develop, that would be a big boost to the WR group. Combined with a healthy Welker all season, one could argue we don't need to do much at WR in the draft.
     
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Every year, posters want us to keep ZERO special team specialists except kicker, punter and deep snapper. And every year, the posters are wrong.

    MY POSTION
    There is always room for 3 special-teams only players on a Belichick team. This year, we had Slater, White and Brown. They earned their keep a lot more than others at the bottom of the roster. If we can upgrade and fine special teamers, then great. I think it best to consider that these players are starters on special teams.

     
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