The New England Patriots have had quite the offseason thus far. After bringing in Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Brandon LaFell and resigning Julian Edelman, it is clear that the Patriots are loading up to try to win a Super Bowl title this year. As far as the wide receiver position is concerned, on paper LaFell, Edelman, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins would seem to be front-runners to contribute for the team this season. However, one dark horse name to keep in mind for 2014 is WR Mark Harrison.
For those who are not familiar with Harrison, he is a potential matchup nightmare for a defense. At 6-foot-3, 230-pounds running a 4.46 40 yard dash time, Harrison has the size and speed to both outrun and outleap bigger cornerbacks and safeties. A former Rutgers product (we all know Bill Belichick loves his Rutgers players), Harrison showed everyone who watched him in college how much of a deep threat he can be. In four seasons as a Scarlet Knight, Harrison caught 107 passes for 1,769 yards and 18 touchdowns.
With an impressive stat line like that, especially his 16.53 yards per catch average, one would assume that he has been given a chance to play in the NFL. Well, he would have if not for a foot injury that resulted in surgery before the 2013 season began. Essentially, 2013 was a redshirt year for Harrison. Now, however, it seems that Harrison should be healthy for the Pats in 2014 and could be a big part of the offense as long as he can stay healthy and master the team’s system.
In the league today, you need as many big, fast playmakers as you can find, and Harrison definitely fits that description. Assuming he can stay on the field, Harrison could challenge LaFell and Thompkins for significant playing time in 2014 and beyond.