The Patriots need to take advantage of the time they have with Mac Jones on his rookie contract, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to surround him with even more weapons.
Thanks to the successful free-agent signings of Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry, and continued improvement from Jakobi Meyers, the Pats took a step forward in terms of pass-catching talent in 2021. But they could still stand to get even better, particularly at wide receiver, especially considering the depth charts of their competition in the AFC.
A popular comparison has been to that of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase in Cincinnati. Chase immediately became one of the best wideouts in the NFL as a rookie, so it’s not entirely realistic to expect the Patriots to land a talent like that immediately, unless they pay up in free agency. But it’s certainly realistic for Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ front office to identify a true slot receiver to complement Bourne and Meyers, both of whom are more hybrid inside-outside players.
As fans have seen for years in the Patriots’ offensive system, they are at their best when they have a traditional inside receiver who can get open early in routes, make plays in the short-to-intermediate areas, move the chains, and occasionally turn a short catch into a big gain with his speed and quickness.