State of the Patriots in key positions post-trade deadline

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 31: Jakobi Meyers # 16 of the New England Patriots scores a two-point fourth-quarter conversion against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

A clear group of four have emerged on the Patriots receiver depth chart, and it’s not too surprisingly. Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne were the main three receiver set.

Meanwhile, N’Keal Harry has gradually seen his role increase since returning from the injured reserve. He was often used as a blocker in the running game with his 6-foot-4 frame, and he caught two passes for 30 yards against the Chargers.

One area where it looked like the Patriots could use another body was in the slot. Jakobi Meyers was the main inside receiver, but Bourne also saw time in the slot. Bill Belichick described Meyers as more of a “hybrid” indoor-outdoor receiver than a typical slot machine type, nor would Bourne be described as a “traditional” slot machine receiver.

Gunner Olszewski, meanwhile, continues to excel as a punt returner, but hasn’t developed enough as a wide receiver to see regular time on offense. In light of this, it might have been incumbent on the Patriots to target a traditional slot receiver to open up early in the roads in the short and mid-range areas of the field. It wouldn’t hurt Mac Jones to have that kind of security cover, and maybe open things up more for Meyers and Bourne on the pitch.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 31: Gunner Olszewski # 80 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball while being tackled by Nick Niemann # 31 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 31: Gunner Olszewski # 80 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball while being tackled by Nick Niemann # 31 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

They chose to stick with the group they have, and that’s not an unfair assessment.

Receivers haven’t really been a problem, overall. Plus, even if they did bring in a receiver, it would be unlikely that outside of an All-Pro caliber talent he would have an immediate impact. Any kind of receiver movement probably would have been for depth.

On the practice squad, the Patriots still have Kristian Wilkerson and developing rookie Tre Nixon.


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