NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes the Patriots could benefit from drafting a wide receiver out of Arizona State for the second straight year.
New England, of course, made N’Keal Harry the franchise’s first wide receiver taken in the first round in the Bill Belichick era. Arguably Harry’s strongest attribute is his yards-after-the-catch ability, a strong facet in the game of his former college teammate, Brandon Aiyuk.
Jeremiah, for one, could see Aiyuk thriving in Foxboro.
“The New England Patriots, how about someone with inside-outside versatility in Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State? Assuming they get Tom Brady, run after catches are more important in that offense maybe than any other offense in the NFL,” Jeremiah recently said in a video posted on NFL.com. “That’s what Brandon Aiyuk does extremely well. You see that kick-return value he has with the ball in his hands, make people miss and flat-out run away from you. He’d be a weapon for Brady or whoever’s playing quarterback in New England.”
Aiyuk posted a strong senior season with the Sun Devils, racking up 65 catches for 1,192 yards with eight touchdowns. While he doesn’t boast imposing size like Harry, his 6-foot-1, 206-pound frame still could create mismatches against smaller cornerbacks in the slot. And as Jeremiah touched on, New England could take a liking to his return ability considering the franchise hasn’t featured a truly dynamic player at the position in some time.
It’s tough to imagine the Patriots going out of their way to land Aiyuk, but he could be a player the team considers if he starts to slip in the draft.
Thumbnail photo via Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports Images