FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots have had long-standing issues in the wide receiver room, but things don’t quite look as disastrous as they have in recent seasons.

New England’s new group looks… competent.

“We got a lot of playmakers,” K.J. Osborne said Tuesday. “It’s a deep receiver group that’s excited to learn. It’s a lot of young guys that might not have a lot of experience — besides JuJu (Smith-Schuster) and (Kendrick Bourne) — but a lot of guys that can make plays.”

Osborne certainly isn’t lying when he says it’s a deep room.

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Smith-Schuster, Bourne and Osborne are the veterans, but there’s a fairly large group of young wideouts who have an opportunity to reshape the way the group is viewed around New England — rookies Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker, second-year contributors DeMario “Pop” Douglas and Kayshon Boutte, and third-year speedster Tyquan Thornton all have a shot to make a difference.

Douglas is perhaps the most sure thing in that group, coming off a rookie season where he caught 49 passes for 561 yards. It was the best rookie wideout performance in New England since Terry Glenn in 1996, and he’s already started to make an impression in his second offseason.

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“Pop’s a great player,” Patriots rookie quarterback Drake Maye said. “He made a lot of great plays down (in the red zone)… You can’t guard him in a phone booth, he’s twitchy, he’s got speed… I’m looking forward to seeing what he does.”

Douglas, along with Osborne and Bourne, are the veteran roster locks. Polk and Baker will join them so long as health doesn’t become an issue, and have already done enough to leave a positive impression during OTAs.

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“I think for any young player, the first thing you want them to do is establish a process — the detail of the day — and be disciplined enough to stick to it,” Patriots wide receivers coach Tyler Hughes said. “… I’ve been happy with their diligence in that way, and as far as their play on the field, they’re good, competitive players. I think they’re easy to coach because of that, and they’ve had a good spring.”

Polk and Baker have developed a process, spending the majority of each day together — from the time they step foot on the shuttle that takes them from the hotel to Gillette Stadium, to the time they step off. It’s rare that media will show up to One Patriot Place and see one without the other.

“I wouldn’t say it was by design. It’s just kind of worked out that way,” Hughes said. “… It kind of happened because they’ve been playing opposite positions on the field.”

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Smith-Schuster, who claims to finally be past his nagging knee issues, is no sure thing to make the roster. Thornton, who was a second-round pick just two seasons ago, is no sure thing to make the roster. Jalen Reagor will have to prove he has game-changing value in the return game to make the team.

The Patriots have built a room that will cultivate plenty of competition, and compared to recent seasons, what more can you ask for in June?

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images