New England Patriots to Unleash Rookie Pass Catchers Sunday

By Shaun P Kernahan
Zach Sudfeld
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Before training camp opened, the narrative coming out of New England was one of concern over the New England Patriots‘ passing game. Sure, they have Tom Brady at quarterback, but going into the start of the season, Rob Gronkowski still isn’t fully healthy, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd are gone, and Aaron Hernandez is in jail.

Those pass catchers have been replaced with the often injured Danny Amendola and four rookies, two of which were undrafted in April’s NFL Draft. Initially, that was a concern, but suddenly, those two undrafted guys have risen to the point of potential starters and difference makers in week 1.

Zach Sudfeld is a big body tight end that will likely be the main tight end target against the Buffalo Bills come Sunday. Sudfeld had such a great camp; he was no longer even being called a sleeper in fantasy drafts.

The other undrafted guy is Kenbrell Thompkins. Thompkins quickly passed the two drafted receivers in camp, and will be a real deep threat for the Patriots this season.

Those two drafted guys are second round pick Aaron Dobson and fourth round pick Josh Boyce.

Boyce is actually listed highest on the depth chart released by the Patriots, but they are not exactly an organization that is completely forth coming when it comes to team strategies. Boyce is one of the four receivers on the Patriots’ roster that is 6-foot or shorter, so he likely fits in more as a slot guy.

The big receiver for the Patriots is Dobson. His highlight reel is full of great catches, but his hands were inconsistent this preseason. He starts the season at the bottom of the depth chart, but has the potential to become a true number one guy by the end of the season.

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