Alabama football’s Mac Jones needs a weapon
When you look at the three former Alabama football quarterbacks starting in the NFL, Mac Jones is easily in the best situation. He has the best offensive line, and he’s paired with a former teammate in Damien Harris. The Patriots will always have a solid defense, so the pressure is off of Mac’s shoulders to be the savior.
However, things in New England aren’t perfect. The Patriots lack a true WR1. Despite the team combining for over 4000 passing yards last year, no player had 100 receptions or 1000 receiving yards.
Jakobi Meyers had 83 receptions and 866 yards, but he isn’t seen as a true WR1. He stepped up to the plate out of need, but he could be much more efficient with another receiver in the room. Meyers is a restricted free agent, but it’s hard to see the Patriots letting him walk.
Beyond Meyers, the Patriots at least have depth. Kendrick Bourne was second on the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns despite only officially starting in five games. Hunter Henry was a solid red-zone target at tight end, and the Patriots have running backs who are capable of catching the ball.
Adding a true WR1 would make that player a catalyst for the offense. It would open up the deep ball, and it would make things easier for the other receivers. Adding a receiver who wins against the best corners in the NFL would boost New England’s chances of being a true AFC West contender.
So, who could the Patriots add? They could draft a receiver, but most of the players who will be available aren’t seen as top-target players in the NFL. Instead, look for the Patriots to add another experienced vet.
Davante Adams is easily the best receiver in free agency (if not the entire NFL), but you can’t expect the Packers to simply let him walk. Chris Godwin would be interesting if he can return from his ACL tear in time, but it also seems unlikely that he leaves Tampa Bay unless the Bucs decide to rebuild.
After that, look for someone like Mike Williams or Allen Robinson. These players have what it takes to be deep threats, and they are more likely to find new homes this offseason. Someone like Christian Kirk or A.J. Green could make the group better, but they wouldn’t have the same status as the other options in free agency.
Besides that, the Patriots could look to trade for a wide receiver. The Cowboys may be looking to move Amari Cooper to save money on the cap, and he would be great in New England. The Falcons have debated trading Calvin Ridley, and this would pair him with a former Alabama football teammate at quarterback.
Of all the options, Ridley or Williams makes the most sense. If the Patriots can add someone that skilled, the offense will take another step forward in Mac’s sophomore year.