Despite the offseason drama, the New England Patriots will have their top offensive stars returning for the 2018 season, which may be an explosive one.
It could actually be their best ever.
How could a team that traded away their top receiver in Brandin Cooks and lost the ever-reliable Danny Amendola to free agency actually be better?
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Well, both of those players will be replaced by two of Brady’s favorite receivers returning from injury. Both Julian Edelman and third-year receiver Malcolm Mitchell will certainly add some trust in the Patriots passing attack.
Combine that with veterans like Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett all competing for roles on the depth chart and the Patriots shouldn’t lose a beat on the offensive side of the ball. Those are all reasons why Bleacher Report has ranked the Patriots receiving corps No. 1 heading into the 2018 season.
While the combination of Brady, Gronkowski and Edelman is enough to at least equal the team’s No. 2 passing attack in the NFL in the 2017 NFL season, the combination of Chris Hogan and Mitchell will well than make up for the loss of Brandin Cooks.
Both receivers are more reliable within the system and player Brady has gained chemistry with over the last few seasons. And if a player like Britt translates his talent onto the field and finds a niche in New England, the New England Patriots may just have the most complete receiving corp that they have ever had.
Who replaces Danny Amendola?
While Julian Edelman’s return should stabilize the slot position, the New England Patriots have a trio of players they can work into that role as a backup to Edelman.
One of those players is Jordan Matthews, who had a high level of production from the slot position during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. Coming off injury and the least productive season of his young NFL career, Matthews is looking to re-insert himself as a reliable option in an NFL offense.
Then there is sixth-round pick Braxton Berrios. The Miami Hurricanes’ alum has the tools that will remind fans of Danny Amendola, Edelman and Wes Welker combined. Before you laugh, he is entering the NFL drafted higher than all three.
In the Patriots system, he should be able to excel. It may be only on special teams at first, but he should work his way into the offense eventually.
The team also has a player in Riley McCarron who could make a play at slot position. A practice squad player last season, McCarron has also drawn comparisons to Wes Welker. In all, the New England Patriots will certainly have options.
Gronk and crew
With Rob Gronkowski committed for another year, the Patriots will have the best tight end in the game back on the field. While health is always a concern when it comes to Gronkowski, that is pretty much the only thing that will stop him from having the type of season he had in 2017.
With that being said, the New England Patriots need to find depth behind the dominance of Gronkowski.
Dwayne Allen, Troy Niklas, Jacob Hollister, Will Tye and rookie Ryan Izzo will all look to fill that role in perhaps one of the more intriguing position battles entering training camp.
Don’t forget the running backs
No team utilizes their running backs in the passing game like the New England Patriots.
Both James White and Rex Burkhead have been reliable targets coming out of the backfield. Add to that the dynamic, duel threat in first-round pick Sony Michel and the Patriots may just find a way to redefine the short passing game into something even more explosive.
With all these toys to play with, both Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will have a field day… as long as everyone is happy and healthy that is.
Do you agree with the New England Patriots having the top passing attack entering the offseason.