Patriots working closely with receiver prospects at pro days

The Patriots could have some very good wide receiver options available to them in the second round if they pass on a receiver at No. 21.

Jahan Dotson NFL Combine
Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson runs a drill during the NFL Combine. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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So far, the Patriots’ free agency period proceeds without any adjustments at wide receiver, whether via signings or the trade market. (Rumors continue to pop up about the team researching options to trade for a receiver, though.)

But if their pro-day visits tell us anything, New England could be heavily invested in finding a dynamic wide receiver in the first few rounds of the draft.

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Alex Barth noted Patriots’ assistant Ross Douglas has been spotted at recent workouts for Penn State pass-catcher Jahan Dotson on Thursday and Georgia receiver George Pickens last week, both of whom will likely come off the board in the second round. NFL Network’s Mike Giardi reported Douglas was even “helping to run wide receiver drills” at Dotson’s pro day and hovering behind Pickens as he ran routes at Georgia’s workout.


Though this might not mean anything on its own, the Patriots’ particular involvement in these drills does merit watching. For instance, the 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan took a heavy role in Trey Lance’s pro-day workout last year before taking the North Dakota State quarterback No. 3 overall in the 2021 draft.

It also signals the Patriots’ commitment to evaluating the receiver position, especially options that won’t come off the board on Day 1 of the draft.

Interestingly, Dotson told reporters on Day 1 of the NFL Combine earlier this month he hadn’t yet met with the Patriots, while there was no record of Pickens being asked if he met with New England. By now, though, one can assume both players have chatted with the team’s brass at some point.

As exciting as a Round 1 receiver might seem to Patriots fans, it’s highly unlikely Bill Belichick would take such a swing with the No. 21 overall pick with such a deep receiver class in the draft. But once things get into Rounds 2 and 3, the likelihood of the Patriots adding some speed and playmaking to their receiver room could increase dramatically.


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