much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

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    much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

    In an effort to completely revamp their wide receiver personnel, the New England Patriots signed four significant veteran wide receivers this offseason: Danny Amendola, Lavelle Hawkins, Michael Jenkins, and Donald Jones. To complement those additions, New England drafted wide receiver Aaron Dobson (Marshall) in the second round of the draft, and Josh Boyce (Texas Christian) in the fourth round. Following the draft, the Patriots added three undrafted free agents at the position: T.J. Moe (Missouri), Kenbrell Thompkins (Clemson), and, most recently, Mark Harrison (Rutgers.) The nine aforementioned players will join returning Patriots Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater, and Kamar Aiken in what should be a fierce roster battle. This article will detail the most likely candidates for roster spots.

     

    1. Danny Amendola

    Of the players mentioned, Danny Amendola will likely be New England’s most prominently-featured wide receiver in 2013. Amendola received $10 million guaranteed as a free agent, suggesting a significant role with the team. Head coach Bill Belichick has indicated that Amendola will contribute both inside and outside, which should result in myriad opportunities. Only another injury would prevent Amendola from significantly outproducing his 2012 campaign with the St. Louis Rams, in which he caught 63 passes for 666 yards and three touchdowns; it may be unrealistic to expect Amendola to eclipse Wes Welker’s 2012 campaign, but it’s possible that he could approach 100 catches on the season.

    2. Aaron Dobson

    Although New England’s offensive scheme is difficult for wide receivers to adapt to, it’s still likely that Aaron Dobson will make an important contribution to the passing game in 2013, as he offers an outstanding combination of size, speed, and body control to complement his soft hands. In Dobson, the Patriots hope to gain a wide receiver whose physical tools are well-suited to an outside role; they have lacked an outside option with his physical tools since trading Randy Moss. Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Danny Amendola will be the most prominently-featured weapons in the passing game, which should allow Dobson time to develop.

    3. Julian Edelman

    Edelman will likely function as a reserve slot receiver in 2013, but should nonetheless be featured more prominently in New England’s offense than he was in 2012 (a season in which he caught 21 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns), especially in the event of an injury to Danny Amendola. Even if Amendola stays healthy throughout the entire season, the Patriots should be able to work Edelman onto the field by allowing Amendola to work on the outside. In addition to his receiving skills, Edelman is a dynamic punt returner and has previously worked as a defensive back in emergency situations, supplementing his value as a receiver. Of the wide receivers on roster, Edelman is also the most familiar with quarterback Tom Brady.

    4. Josh Boyce

    Because they drafted Boyce in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, it would come as a surprise if New England opted to release him before the start of the season. Boyce may have a slightly steeper learning curve than Dobson because he left school after his junior season, but he has some experience with option routes and may nonetheless make some contributions as a rookie. A strong receiver who ran a blistering 4.38-second 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine, he also posted tantalizing times in the short shuttle (4.10 seconds) and the three-cone drill (6.68 seconds.) If his hands look reliable prior to the start of the regular season, he could be integrated into the offense more thoroughly than anticipated.

    5. Mark Harrison

    The third rookie projected to make New England’s final roster, Harrison was not incredibly productive at Rutgers, catching 44-583-6 last season, but his physical tools may prevent him from making it to the practice squad; Harrison measured in at 6’3” and 231 pounds at the NFL Combine, then posted a 4.46-second 40-yard dash, 38.5” vertical, and 6.99-second three-cone drill. His upside gives him the edge over veterans Lavelle Hawkins, Michael Jenkins, and Donald Jones in this projection, who may offer more immediate production but lack Harrison’s long-term upside. The three aforementioned players should nonetheless increase the level of competition in training camp and throughout the preseason; it would not come as a surprise if one of the players were to make the final roster.

    6. Matthew Slater

    Slater may not receive much playing time at wide receiver, but his contributions on special teams should earn him a roster spot, making him the final wide receiver on roster in this projection. He has made the Pro Bowl in a special teams capacity in each of the past two seasons, and given Bill Belichick’s emphasis on strong special teams play, it would come as a surprise if he were left off the final roster in 2013. His primary competition for a spot may not necessarily come at the wide receiver position, but could be in the form of other effective special teams contributions at different positions, such as defensive back.

    PS. T.J. Moe

    Although Moe appears unlikely to make New England’s final roster in 2013, he makes sense as a logical practice-squad priority given his savvy route-running. While he lacks ideal top-end speed, recording a 4.74-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, he was able to compensate with outstanding times in the three-cone drill (6.53 seconds), vertical leap (36″), and short shuttle (3.96 seconds.) Both Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman have some durability concerns, so keeping Moe on the practice squad as an emergency option would be wise. Additionally, rookies Josh Boyce and Mark Harrison have dealt with foot injuries in 2013.

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    I saw this too.  Overall, I pretty much agree.  I would love to see Hawkins stick, but if Harrison is looking decent in camp then I think you have to go with the heighter upside in the rookie.  Also, I have some doubts as to whether Moe would clear waivers to make the PS, but I guess he could.  After all, teams already passed on a chance to draft him.  If Edelman's foot injury continues to be a problem then he could start on the PUP list with either Moe or Hawkins taking his spot.  This will be a great battle to watch in camp and preseason.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    In response to WazzuWheatfarmer's comment:

    I saw this too.  Overall, I pretty much agree.  I would love to see Hawkins stick, but if Harrison is looking decent in camp then I think you have to go with the heighter upside in the rookie.  Also, I have some doubts as to whether Moe would clear waivers to make the PS, but I guess he could.  After all, teams already passed on a chance to draft him.  If Edelman's foot injury continues to be a problem then he could start on the PUP list with either Moe or Hawkins taking his spot.  This will be a great battle to watch in camp and preseason.




    Assuming health, I was surprised that Jones is not on this list. I also really like Slater for a number of reasons, but at some point does his lack of positional versatility hurt his chances? Can Cole, Ras, TWilson, Ryan, Harman, Ebner do what Slater does on ST? Certainly not as well, but they can also do other things.

     

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    I agree that it is kind of hard to pencil Slater in and cut a guy who could produce as a WR (like Jones, as you mentioned).  I also agree that Cole, TWilshon, Ebner, etc could help fill Slater's ST role if he were gone.  Slater is one of the best at what he does, though, and clearly on of BB's favorite guys on this team.  I would be shocked if he didn't make the cut.  I do wish that he could contribute a little more as a WR, but I think he needs to be on this team due to his ST skills/leadership.  Like I said, the WR position will be very competitive this offseaon, which is a great thing.  I think that Amendola, Edleman, Dobson, Boyce, Slater, Jones, Hawkins, Moe, Harrison, and yes even Jenkins all have a realistic to make the final 53.  Should be fun.

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    I can pretty much seeing it happening this way with either Moe or Harrison attempted to be stashed on the PS. Whoever shows the most of the 2 most likely will get the spot.

    Jones was no guarantee with his feeler contract and unless he flashes something great his injury history gives concern over the younger players. 

    Jenkins was nice because of size but with Dobson and Harrison that size doesn't give him the same advantage. Because of Jenkins limited upside it will be hard for him to carve out a spot if Harrison and Dobson show flashes

    Hawkins I never really thought he'd make the team. The kid just hasn't really shown anything special in the last 5 years and I don't see him having a very high ceiling.

    Truthfully to me, if the above happens, this is kind of scary. The only 2 vets on the team have missed more games then played over the last 2 years combined (not including Slater because to me he's ST first and WR second, kind of like how Edelman is a WR first and a DB second). Then you have 3 rooks. The leaves some pretty major unknowns and if's imo

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    In response to BassFishingII's comment:

    May I ask why this is "an interesting" take?  




    3 rookie WR's making the team? free agent signings you were "giddy" about, Jones, Jenkins and Hawkins not making the team?

    no one is saying that this guy Jones take on the situation is 100% accurate, but if Gronk ends up on PUP for 8 games and Hern gets hurt like he usually does, Ridley better gear up for 1800 yards 

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    Not sure I catch the point of the post, but I think the Pats have brought in a bunch of vets, draft picks and UDFAs with the intention of hitting on a few players that will be contributors.  The Pats are throwing as much stuff at the wall as possible to see what sticks.  Who can say what the roster will look like, none of these guys have even put on pads yet.  I don't care who makes it, as long as they can diversify the position at slot and outside.   

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    Obviously the village b00b's spin that Welker was a security blanket for Brady so BB got rid of him is simply his usual goofy and skewed take on things that lacks any substance whatsoever.

     

    They got a younger more versatile guy for about the same money that has not dropped crucial balls at crucial times in the post-season. It has nothing to do with Brady over relying on Welker as the imbecile claims.

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    I really see 7 wr's making the roster. of which 7 i have no clue who, but just to take a guess at it i would say 1. amendola, 2. dobson, 3.boyce, 4. harrison, 5. jones, 6.moe, 7. slater i dont think we need 5 rb's on the roster and please dont tell me that washington isnt a running back because he's ran against the patriots for alot of yards before with the jets. also i think if gronk isnt fully healthy the 4 wr set may be used a little bit more than normal making it a need for 2 more wr's. excluding slater.

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    I see at least one of Boyce, Harrison or Jones being redshirted with some sort of mystery injury, Moe to the PS. If one of the above is cut it would be Harrison, whose best attribute seems to be that he's tall. That's about as overrated an attribute as a receiver can have if you ask me. I can't see Jones being cut to keep him, unless he's hurt.

    So, my guess is: Amendola, Dobson, Jenkins, Edelman, Boyce and Slater. Jones on IR, Harrison cut and Moe to the PS (or grabbed by someone else).

    Maybe Jones makes it over Jenkins.

     

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    Obviously the village b00b's spin that Welker was a security blanket for Brady so BB got rid of him is simply his usual goofy and skewed take on things that lacks any substance whatsoever.

     

    They got a younger more versatile guy for about the same money that has not dropped crucial balls at crucial times in the post-season. It has nothing to do with Brady over relying on Welker as the imbecile claims.




    Well I agree with half of your post!  But then you go on and ruin it by making even a more goofy statement!

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    Really the only thing that is even remotely original about this take is the argument for the Rutgers WR to make the roster.  Frankly I don't think it's a great argument.  I'd be surprised if 3 out of our 5 WR (Slater is just a special teamer) are rookies and if a 3rd rook did make it I would bet on Moe before the Rutgers kid.  I don't think either makes the team this year unless Boyce is more injured than we think.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    In response to WazzuWheatfarmer's comment:

    I saw this too.  Overall, I pretty much agree.  I would love to see Hawkins stick, but if Harrison is looking decent in camp then I think you have to go with the heighter upside in the rookie.  Also, I have some doubts as to whether Moe would clear waivers to make the PS, but I guess he could.  After all, teams already passed on a chance to draft him.  If Edelman's foot injury continues to be a problem then he could start on the PUP list with either Moe or Hawkins taking his spot.  This will be a great battle to watch in camp and preseason.




    I expect at least one WR on the pup list. COuld be edleman. THis allows a player not only to get truly healthy, it allows the Pats to see if anyone gets hurt and ends up on IR and so without having to cut talent that they dont want to they can keep more.

     

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    In response to rkarp's comment:

    In response to BassFishingII's comment:

     

    May I ask why this is "an interesting" take?  

     




    3 rookie WR's making the team? free agent signings you were "giddy" about, Jones, Jenkins and Hawkins not making the team?

     

    no one is saying that this guy Jones take on the situation is 100% accurate, but if Gronk ends up on PUP for 8 games and Hern gets hurt like he usually does, Ridley better gear up for 1800 yards 



    Stop underestimating Vereen.

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    In response to portfolio1's comment:

    In response to WazzuWheatfarmer's comment:

     

    I saw this too.  Overall, I pretty much agree.  I would love to see Hawkins stick, but if Harrison is looking decent in camp then I think you have to go with the heighter upside in the rookie.  Also, I have some doubts as to whether Moe would clear waivers to make the PS, but I guess he could.  After all, teams already passed on a chance to draft him.  If Edelman's foot injury continues to be a problem then he could start on the PUP list with either Moe or Hawkins taking his spot.  This will be a great battle to watch in camp and preseason.

     




    I expect at least one WR on the pup list. COuld be edleman. THis allows a player not only to get truly healthy, it allows the Pats to see if anyone gets hurt and ends up on IR and so without having to cut talent that they dont want to they can keep more.

     

     




    ExCACTLY and I expect BIG things from Vareen as well. Its what made Woody expendable.

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    In response to Muzwell's comment:

     

    I see at least one of Boyce, Harrison or Jones being redshirted with some sort of mystery injury, Moe to the PS. If one of the above is cut it would be Harrison, whose best attribute seems to be that he's tall. That's about as overrated an attribute as a receiver can have if you ask me. I can't see Jones being cut to keep him, unless he's hurt.

    So, my guess is: Amendola, Dobson, Jenkins, Edelman, Boyce and Slater. Jones on IR, Harrison cut and Moe to the PS (or grabbed by someone else).

    Maybe Jones makes it over Jenkins.

     

     



    I dunno...tall with strong hands and 4.46 speed ain't half bad. Don't have the slightest clue whether he'll be able to get separation, that's remains to be seen. But he's got other physical tools.

     

     
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    Re: much to the chagrin of Rusty, another interesting take from NEPD

    So it's a unanimous "maybe" on a bunch of stuff....

    Waaaaaaay to early to be handing out pink-slips...

     

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