The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI, so clearly they were a fantastic team. But they were also slow.
Wide receiver Chris Hogan was their fastest skill-position player in 2016, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats department, who clocked him at 20.78 mph on a 79-yard touchdown catch in Week 14. He recorded the 140th and 160th fastest overall plays in the NFL last season.
Hogan is no longer the Patriots’ fastest receiver. Brandin Cooks, who came over to New England in a trade with the New Orleans Saints this offseason, recorded the NFL’s fifth, 12th and 22nd fastest plays of 2016. He was clocked at 22.4 mph on a 45-yard Week 15 touchdown pass from Drew Brees.
Cooks ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2014 at 5-foot-10, 189 pounds. Hogan ran a 4.50-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in 2011 at 6-foot-1, 221 pounds. Hogan told NESN.com last season the fastest he’s ever been clocked in a 40-yard dash was in 4.39 seconds.
Here are the top 40-yard dash times of other Patriots running backs and wide receivers.
RB Rex Burkhead: 4.69 seconds
RB Dion Lewis: 4.47 seconds
RB James White: 4.57 seconds
RB D.J. Foster: 4.46 seconds
WR Julian Edelman: 4.52 seconds
WR Danny Amendola: 4.58 seconds
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 4.45 seconds
WR Devin Lucien: 4.49 seconds
WR Matthew Slater: 4.44 seconds
Among Patriots defensive players, cornerback Jonathan Jones — who ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the 2016 combine — could give Cooks a run for his money in the speed department.
Cooks and Hogan provide quarterback Tom Brady with two legitimate deep threats next season, so a jolt of speed could make the Patriots’ offense even more high powered in 2017.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images