Time is running out before the start of the 2020 NFL season, meaning the New England Patriots might actually need to look outside of their roster to fill remaining needs.
Some of the Patriots’ biggest areas of weakness are on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver, tight end and offensive tackle. It’s usually difficult for a player coming from a different franchise to contribute in New England right away, but there are some exceptions to that rule.
While answering a question about former Texans running back Lamar Miller, who signed with the Patriots right before training camp began, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels explained the similarities between Houston’s offense and New England’s system. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is a former Patriots offensive coordinator.
“There?s definitely carryover,” McDaniels said. “There are not that many places in our league that use the same terminology as we do, but certainly Houston is one of them. There are definitely terms, parts of our system that (Miller is) definitely familiar with, and other parts that we may have changed or broadened through the course of time that are a little new to him.
“It certainly helps, if you have familiarity with terminology, the things that we?re going to be asking you to do, that always helps, regardless of what position you play, and there?s definitely carryover with Lamar.”
While browsing through The Athletic’s Texans 53-man roster projection, there are definitely players on Houston’s roster bubble who could potentially help the Patriots.
The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss had wide receiver Keke Coutee getting cut. Coutee, an undersized slot receiver out of Texas Tech, is injury prone but could add a jolt of speed into the Patriots’ offense that is sorely lacking in that category. At 5-foot-10, 181 pounds, Coutee ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash in 2018. He’s caught 50 passes for 541 yards with one touchdown in two NFL seasons.
Reiss also mentioned tight ends Jordan Thomas, a 2018 sixth-round pick, and Kahale Warring, a 2019 third-round pick, as trade candidates. The Patriots’ top tight ends are Ryan Izzo and rookies Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi. New England could use some more certainty out of that position, and if the Patriots traded for Warring or Thomas, it could push Izzo off of the roster.
The Texans also have more depth at offensive tackle than the Patriots, who lack a clear cut No. 3 option at the position behind left tackle Isaiah Wynn and projected right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor. Reiss had Texans tackles Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard, Charlie Heck, Roderick Johnson and Brent Qvale making the roster and left off Rick Leonard, Kyle Murphy and Elijah Nkansah.
Perhaps the Patriots could look to swing a trade for Johnson, Qvale, Leonard, Murphy or Nkansah to provide an upgrade over Korey Cunningham, Yodny Cajuste and Justin Herron.
New England typically likes to look outside of its organization to fill in spaces on its roster around this time each year. The Patriots swung trades for Eluemunor, Cunningham and center Russell Bodine last August. They typically also monitor the waiver wire and make a few claims in early September.
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