The New England Patriots’ wide receiver depth chart looks different – better? – than expected.
Granted, the team still lacks a bona fide No. 1 pass-catching threat, the kind that dictates coverages and draws the level of attention that opens up the field for the guys below him. In theory, on paper, opposing defenses can still look at this receiving group and cover them man-to-man across the board, no extra attention necessary.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad group of pass-catchers. The Patriots have more than “nothing” or “nobody” in terms of weapons. They have a deep group of solid players. That’s what necessitated naming six guys to the initial 53-man roster in the first place. Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte, and Demario Douglas are all worthy of rostering in the NFL.
Combine that group with a good stable of tight ends and running backs, and you have enough weapons – for a great quarterback. If Mac Jones is great, the offense will be great. There’s enough here that we will be able to find out what Jones is and could be as a quarterback for the Patriots.
Frankly, that development is more important for the team than having enough wide receivers to compete with the class of the AFC. But this story is about the pass-catchers for the 2023 season. How, exactly, will they line up?
Keep reading below for our projected depth charts at each receiver spot on the field – “X” and “Z” on the outside, “Y” in the slot – as well as a quick look at the tight ends and running backs…