FOXBORO, Mass. — If you attended the opening day of Patriots training camp Wednesday and saw a bunch of skinny guys wearing numbers that make no sense, don’t be alarmed. New England doesn’t have a weird new philosophy on offensive linemen. Those are the rookie wide receivers.

The Patriots have a litany of young wideouts in camp this season, with rookies Kayshon Boutte (No. 58), Demario Douglas (No. 60), Malik Cunningham (No. 64) and Ed Lee (No. 67) all participating in their first summer session. New England has even more youngsters than that at the position, with Tyquan Thornton entering his second season, Tre Nixon entering his third and Jalen Hurd attempting to finally take a regular-season snap after being drafted four years ago.

That many relative newcomers could be something the veterans view as a detriment, but DeVante Parker sees it differently.

“It’s been great,” Parker said Wednesday. “We’re teaching them little tricks here and there. They look up to us, so we want to help those guys out whenever they need it.”

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“They look up to us, so we want to help those guys out whenever they need it.”

Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker on rookies

The Patriots missed out on adding DeAndre Hopkins, as the three-time All-Pro wide receiver chose to sign with the Tennessee Titans after taking a visit with New England. That has opened up a real opportunity for one of the rookies to make the roster, with Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Thornton serving as the only roster locks if healthy.

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Speaking of Smith-Schuster, the six-year veteran signed with New England this offseason to bring a new dynamic in the slot. In the short period of time he’s spent with the Patriots, he too has left a positive impression.

“He’s brought that veteran experience,” Parker said of Smith-Schuster. “He can teach the young guys what they need to know. He’s a great player, too.”

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It is expected that New England, under the leadership of new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, will take a step forward offensively in 2023. The Patriots finished in the middle of the pack in almost every passing category in 2022, so it might not be too difficult to make those improvements.

Having one of their many young wideouts step up would be a solid start.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images