It’s not breaking news to state that the New England Patriots fielded a subpar receiving corps this season.
Aaron Dobson showed flashes during his rookie year, but disappeared quite often. The same can be said for fellow first-year wide out Kembrell Thomkins. Danny Amendola was added to replace dynamic slot weapon Wes Welker, but this did not happen, as Amendola dealt with injuries.
All of this failed to discourage quarterback Tom Brady; he registered 25 touchdowns and 11 touchdowns in 2013. These numbers are solid, but it broke a three-year streak of 30 or more touchdowns. Detractors will say that age has caught up to this future Hall of Famer, but that is simply not true. Losing Rob Gronkowski, his trusted tight end and best receiver, hurt badly. Severe roster turnovers from last year also caught up, as five of their top pass catchers left.
However, they still reached the AFC Championship Game. I get it, running and defense helped win three Super Bowls. Such approach almost worked again, but they are not the Denver Broncos. Brady’s prime is on its downside though, and he needs more surrounding talent. New England currently holds the 29th overall selection, and a position they must target is wide receiver; Odell Beckham Jr. and Jordan Mathews could fill this talent void.
Chances are, head coach Bill Belichick and company will figure out how to keep the team competitive.