The Patriots addressed a variety of their roster holes over the course of the 2021 NFL Draft, but one need largely was swept under the rug.
New England spent its first-round selection on the franchise’s hopeful quarterback of the future in Mac Jones. The Patriots proceeded to bolster the defensive line with both of their Day 2 picks and added help at running back, linebacker, safety and offensive line in the later rounds.
It wasn’t until their very last pick of the draft when the Patriots targeted arguably their most glaring pre-draft weakness outside of quarterback: wide receiver. Understandably, ESPN can’t help but wonder if New England has done enough at the position.
“They could use some more speed at the position, with their only move in the draft coming with their final pick, No. 242 overall: Central Florida’s Tre Nixon,” Mike Reiss wrote. “This was considered one of the deepest receiver classes, and for now, the team’s depth chart is topped by Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry.”
There’s no doubt New England’s current receiving corps leaves much to be desired. That said, the Patriots’ offense still might be able to succeed in 2021 despite a lack of high-end wideouts. New England boasts arguably the best tight end corps in the league, and its collection of backs is above average. Offensive line also is shaping up to be a major strength for the Patriots in the upcoming campaign.
New England’s offense might not be a vaunted unit in 2021, but at the very minimum, it has to be better than last season … right?