6 Wide Receivers Patriots Must Target if They Miss on Calvin Ridley

Six wide receivers the New England Patriots should pivot to after missing out on Calvin Ridley.

Sep 24, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA;  Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) celebrates
Sep 24, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) celebrates / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Tyler Boyd

New England's simple need of a pass-catcher who can make a legit impact cannot be overstated. It's this lackluster receiving corps that prevented the team from being competitive on the offensive end throughout the 2023 campaign.

That's why going after a steady talent like Tyler Boyd makes a ton of sense.

While he hasn't gotten league-wide attention with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins as the two pillars of the Cincinnati Bengals' offense, Boyd isn't one to sleep on. He posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons from 2018-19, then went on to average 67.8 receptions, 774.5 yards and 4.0 touchdowns over the next four years, all while competing with Chase and Higgins for looks.

Boyd maybe lacks that next-level gear, which is why Chase and Higgins passed him, but his production is undeniable. And now he's available on the open market, just waiting for a chance to take on a bigger role somewhere else.

The Patriots can certainly offer that, which makes this an already-great fit. Throw in the fact the team needs a veteran who can help soak up targets from a rookie quarterback, and this pairing seems like a no-brainer.

3. Curtis Samuel

The lack of offensive weapons cost the Patriots wins (and likely Bill Belichick his job) this past season. There simply weren't many guys who could get themselves open and also draw attention away from their teammates at the same time.

One free agent who could bring a dynamic element to this attack in 2024 is Curtis Samuel.

The speed threat is coming off of two solid years in Washington where he posted at least 60 receptions, 600 yards and 4 touchdowns each season. Impressively, Samuel did that while being used primarily in short-throw scenarios.

Samuel posted a moderate 6.7 average depth of target during these past two years, which pales in comparison to the marks of 11.9 and 14.7 he put up earlier in his career in Carolina. Yet, Samuel also averaged an impressive 4.4 yards per reception to close his run in Washington, showing how much of a threat he was with the ball in his hands.

The Ohio State product also offers some interesting "wide-back" potential a la Deebo Samuel, with three seasons of 130 rushing yards or more.

Putting someone on the field with Curtis Samuel's skill set opens up plenty of options and ways to keep the defense on their toes.