The Patriots have needed help at wide receiver for as long as most kindergarteners have been on this planet.

It’s about time they change that.

New England hasn’t been shy about acknowledging its deficiencies this offseason, and there are plans in place to make some changes. The Patriots have that “three-step plan” at quarterback everyone is talking about, a boatload of cash to burn spend and a new regime in place to enact change the franchise desperately needs.

It’s a near certainty that help is coming at wide receiver, but with less information on New England’s plan at that position than others, we’re left doing mental gymnastics trying to figure this thing out. Mike Evans wants to compete for a Super Bowl. Michael Pittman Jr. is getting the franchise tag. Marvin Harrison Jr. would be fun, but it looking less likely by the minute that the Patriots would use the No. 3 pick on him.

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That’s why we decided to give up on looking for No. 1 guys and shifted our focus on players that could build depth at the position.

Bub Means looks like one of them.

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Means put on one hell of a performance at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, and the more you look into who he is as a player, the more boxes he checks for New England.

The Patriots made it known early in the offseason they were looking to explosive playmakers. New England also needs to add long speed, while eventually finding a replacement for DeVante Parker outside the numbers. It’s also incredibly important they find someone who fits in the new offense, as a potential rookie quarterback will need reliability.

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Means posted a 39.5-inch vertical, good for sixth-best among all wideouts at the combine. He also ran a 4.43 in the forty-yard dash and showcased tremendous body control in the gauntlet drill. The 23-year-old also has positional versatility and comes from Pittsburgh, where new assistant wide receivers coach Tiquan Underwood was his passing-game coordinator.

Check. Check. Check. Check.

Let’s be clear. Means is by no means (pun intended) the Patriots’ savior. He’s a mid-round option, and he might not even be the best one for New England. He represents something that should be coveted in this draft, however, and that’s depth selections at the wide receiver position.

The Patriots missed out on one last season, and can’t afford to do it again.

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Featured image via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images