New England Patriots Draft Rumors: Deep WR draft class benefits Pats

Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Treylon Burks (16) Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Treylon Burks (16) Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2022 NFL Draft has a deep wide receiver class that can definitely benefit the New England Patriots who have a need for a No. 1 receiver and will have options at pick No. 21.

The New England Patriots signed free agent Nelson Agholor last offseason ostensibly as a No. 1 receiver. With only 37 catches in 2021, he wasn’t what the Pats expected him to be. The team should cut its losses by releasing or trading Agholor, which would save at least $5M on the cap.

Whether or not the Patriots sign a top receiver in free agency (which is unlikely at this point), they still should draft a top receiver. Fortunately, they will likely have plenty of options available with pick #21 in the first round, or on days two and three of the draft if they feel so inclined as well.

New England Patriots have great draft options at wide receiver in the draft

The plethora of top receivers in the 2022 draft class gives the Patriots options. One of those options is to trade down in the first round to secure more picks. Uncharacteristically, New England is bereft of the pile of picks they usually enter a draft with. They have a paltry six instead of the usual 10 or so.

Good drafts have depth, and this one certainly has it. Since not all teams have similar needs to New England, trading down can not only get a top player at a position of need, in this case wide receiver, but also secure additional picks.

This may be the strategy New England should employ in this draft. At pick No. 21, there will very likely be several top players, including wide receivers, available later on in the draft

New England Patriots top wide receiver options in the 2022 draft

Pro Football Focus’ top ten wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft are the following,

"Drake London, USC; Garett Wilson, Ohio State; Jameson Williams, Alabama; Chris Olave, Ohio State; Treylon Burks, Arkansas; Skyy Moore, Western Michigan; Jahan Dotson, Penn State; Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama; George Pickens, Georgia; and, Justyn Ross, Clemson."

This impressive list doesn’t even include another tremendously talented Alabama receiver, John Metchie III, who just happened to play with Mac Jones at Alabama. The previously mentioned Alabama receiver, Jameson Williams, did not play with Jones. Absent injury, he may have been the receiver selected. This may be opportunity knocking.

Treylon Burks is an absolute menace at 6’3, 225 pounds with speed, separation, etc. He’s everything hoped for and not received when the Patriots drafted N’Keal Harry in the first round of the 2018 draft.

Since there are lots of other top players who will be available, this means that one or possibly several of these receivers will be available when New England picks at 21 or even later e.g. at 28 or 29 should they trade down. It’s a good position to be in.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, the New England Patriots need a No. 1 receiver desperately. This needs to be someone who has top speed, can run good routes, create separation, and take a ball to the house once they catch it. That guy is not on their team now.

The two Alabama receivers are absolute studs. Yet, they both have the same issue; they both suffered ACL tears late in the 2021 season, and will not likely be available to start the season. It’s all conjecture at present.

When healthy, however, both are tremendous and tick all the boxes for what the Patriots need. Williams reminds one of Jalen Waddle, a top ten pick last year from Alabama, and Metchie might be compared to DeVonta Smith, another Alabama top-ten pick from the 2021 draft.

Are they worth an investment of the 21st pick or maybe the 28th or 29th after a trade-down, even with the injury status? That’s what Matt Groh, the newly minted Director of Player Personnel, and Bill Belichick have to figure out. It says here absolutely if they check out medically.

But any of the top seven in PFF’s top ten or Metchie would certainly be a welcome addition to the Patriots’ wide receiver corps. They would all likely be an immediate No. 1 target for the red, white, blue, and silver from day 1.

Next. 3 wide receiver free agent targets Pats could pursue. dark

That’s a quick look at some of the top options for New England either in the first or second round of the NFL draft. It’s a good spot to be in at No. 21 either to keep the pick and select a wide receiver or an offensive tackle or trade down for more picks and get them both shortly thereafter.

Those are the top two priorities for the team and they are both on offense. Then they can go defense all the way. If the team wants to maximize Jones and the offense’s potential, the unit will need both. Which receiver do you think the Patriots should draft?