There is still SO much time between now and the start of the Patriots season (we haven’t even hit training camp yet) but Patriots nation is already scrambling trying to figure out who will be the next man up at wide receiver (nothing new, we do the same thing every year at the running back position). However, this offseason, in particular, hasn’t been great for the WR position; the Pats lost Dola to Miami, Cooks to the Rams, and Edelman has been suspended 4 games for ‘PEDs’ (F*ck Goodell). So the big question on everyone’s mind is, who will be the man to step up? The Spike Kings pick? Kenny Britt.
I’ll admit, this isn’t just me pulling something out of thin air, this thought came to me at the end of May when I attended the ‘Tedy’s Team’ Football game. Brian Hoyer was the QB for both teams and threw a nice dime down the sidelines, to which someone said to him,
“Wow, that was a great catch, just like Chris Hogan!”
Hoyer’s reply go me thinking as he looked back at the guy and said,
“Yeah that was nice, but I’m a big fan of Britt from Cleveland. He’s fast. Reminded me more of him.”
This had me intrigued as Hoyer has been working with Britt last season during practice. I had to rush home and gather some stats to see how he compares to the rest of the crew.
I think we can all pretty much agree that Chris Hogan becomes the major player to step up with Jules out the first 4 games. Last year he had 34 Rec, 439 yards and 5 touchdowns and has been pretty consistent in crucial moments. It’s a no-brainer that he will start, but will he become the ‘Edelman’ the team needs during the first four games? I’m not sold.
Kenny Britt is the tallest WR on the depth chart standing in at 6ft3 and weighs in around 223lbs making him two inches taller and 10lbs heavier than Hogan for a start. In addition, Britt has the same explosive speed as Hogan, (both logging 4.5 in the 45-yard dash) so on paper, Britt seems the better option.
However here is my take. Brandin Cooks last season had 1082 yards and 7 Touchdowns, which led the Patriots receiving core (Gronk is a TE for you sticklers). In comparison two seasons ago with the Rams, (with Goff/Keenum as QB) Britt had 1002 yards and 5 Touchdowns making him only 80 yards and 2 touchdowns short of Cooks production but without having the GOAT Brady to throw at him. His quiet year last year could easily be a ‘warming up’ period as he gets used to the new playbook.
Also, one thing not to forget out of all this, Britt is a Rutgers Alumn & a former first-round pick. Both traits that make Belichick salivate.
What about Malcolm Mitchell? Isn’t he meant to be our WR prodigy?
Everybody fell in love with Malcolm two years ago due to his shown potential in such a short amount of time (Mitchell started 6 games, with 401 yards at 4 touchdowns). However, the big question is, can he stay healthy? He seems to be battling a hamstring problem already this year. I believe that the longer he has a nagging injury, the likely it is that Britt takes over the starting role. Hogan is already locked in due to the Edelman suspension so Patriots fans can expect a battle between Britt and Mitchell for the other starting position.
With one year left on his contract before becoming UFA, Britt has to shine in order to earn an extra payday. I believe that the talent is there and Britt can execute however it is still too early to tell what will happenn. My advice though, keep a close eye on Britt. #TrustHoyer