Bill Belichick has put the league on notice over this last week. A New England Patriots organization that has been the opposite of aggressive for the past several offseasons showed the NFL that missing the playoffs isn’t acceptable and that this franchise is nowhere near a rebuild.
The Patriots made a slew of signings and trades so far to address both the offensive and defensive.
Offensively, the incoming tight end Bash Brothers of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith will be huge for whomever is under center come Week 1.
Agholor enjoyed a breakout season with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020, hitting a new career high in yards with 896 and tying his career high in touchdowns with eight.
Those are solid numbers, but if you’ve watched the NFL for the past five years, you know he has struggled with consistency and drops for quite some time.
Bourne is another nice depth signing and a guy who can take the top off the defense, which is something this Patriots team has been lacking the past several years. He also had a career high in yards last season with 667.
There’s no mistaking that these two wideouts will make an immediate impact in the passing and will greatly help Jakobi Meyers (and possibly N’Keal Harry) get more opportunities. However, the team is still lacking a true No. 1 wideout and it’s obvious.
How can they fix that?
The NFL Draft
Much like the 2020 NFL Draft, this class is loaded with wide receiver talent. There are a few stud options that could be available when the Patriots pick at No. 15.
The two-headed monster for the Alabama Crimson Tide at wideout this season featured Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and speedster Jaylen Waddle, and there’s some belief one of them could drop out of the top-10. That’d be wishful thinking, though. Perhaps a second-tier wideout like Rashod Bateman could be a smart get — he’s someone who’ll likely be there for the taking.
With the Patriots loading up on defensive pieces and tight ends in free agency, it seems more and more likely that Belichick will concentrate his drafting strategy on either a quarterback of the future or with a colossal upgrade in the passing game.
Then again, that could all change if linebacker Micah Parsons drops to the middle of the first round.
With the amount of players and depth this roster has gained in recent weeks, the Patriots could be more willing to move a player and/or picks in order to get that stud WR.
There are a few big names that could be available, Belichick could use this avenue to get a proven player. After all, the Patriots aren’t going to need 10 picks in the draft if they’ve added this many free agents already. Why not use those assets for another pressing need?
Not only that, but N’Keal Harry is still reportedly garnering interest in trade talks around the NFL. Dealing Harry for a pick could clear a roster spot and give the Patriots more draft assets to unload for a wideout of their liking.
Wait a second, do the Patriots definitely need a No. 1 wideout?
Uhh, we think so.
The Patriots offense and overall roster are in a completely different stratosphere than they were this time last week.
Agholor and Bourne are great additions, and the return of Julian Edelman will be huge. However, Agholor and Bourne are better set as No. 2 and No. 3 options and we really don’t know what to expect from Edelman (or if he’ll even play!) in 2021 as injuries continue to hold him back.
While this Patriots offense can certainly get by with what they have now, adding a No. 1 wideout completely changes the game and answers a plethora of questions that fans are currently asking about the direction of the offense.