New England Patriots

A 5-foot-9 slot receiver with punt-returning capabilities?

Yeah, sixth-round draft pick Braxton Berrios may have found the softest possible landing spot with the Patriots.

After all, this is the franchise that’s helped turn slot receivers such as Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola into household names, and with a quarterback that’s given smaller-framed players the kind of passes and routes designed and needed to allow them to contribute at an elite level.

“They’ve done an incredible job in getting handed their role and working it to a master level,” Berrios said when asked about some of the similar receivers the Patriots have had on their roster. “I’ve seen them, I watch them, I study them, along with a lot of other guys in the league. They’ve done an incredible job and I’m really excited to learn some things.

“Well, there’s no doubt that I can’t wait to go in there the first thing and learn from everybody – everybody from Edelman to [Phillip] Dorsett and everybody else. That’s the main thing that I’m going to be focused on coming in is just trying to soak up everything I can. I am – I’m very excited to get going.”

But Welker is long retired, Amendola has left New England for Miami, and Edelman is coming off a torn ACL, meaning that Berrios is undoubtedly going to get his chance to carve out a role for himself with the Patriots.

He’s earned as much after a senior year that saw him catch 55 catches for 679 yards with nine touchdowns, and also contributed on special teams, with 488 yards and one touchdown on 47 punt returns for the Miami Hurricanes.

And beyond the numbers, the Patriots certainly seem to see something in Berrios’ game that’s worth investigating.

“So, [he’s] an impressive kid,” Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said of Berrios. “This guy’s really, really smart. He graduated in, I want to say three to three-and-a-half years, whatever it was. Played inside the formation at the University of Miami, really productive, really tough, good traits, smart, good quickness, was productive, had more opportunities here this season in Miami and he made the most of them.”