Patriots

One underrated receiver prospect the Patriots are targeting ahead of the draft

The Patriots have been doing a significant amount of homework on Nevada receiver Romeo Doubs ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Romeo Doubs NFL Draft
Nevada wide receiver Romeo Doubs. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Typically when people think of the Patriots taking a receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, they imagine New England taking the likes of Jameson Williams, Chris Olave, or John Metchie in the first few rounds.

Of course, the DeVante Parker trade now seems to make such a thing less likely (though Williams would be hard to pass on if he falls). New England has no shortage of receivers, and Parker’s addition could help them get more out of the group they already have.

Still, the team does need young talent at receiver after this season. As such, the middle rounds of the draft might be a prime location for the Patriots to dig for a diamond in the rough at the position.

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Guys like Kyle Phillips, Khalil Shakir or Slade Bolden have stood out in several evaluators’ eyes as players that would fit in Foxborough for various reasons.

But there’s one other under-the-radar prospect Patriots fans should be getting to know before Saturday night: Romeo Doubs.

According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, New England recently completed a Top 30 with the Nevada receiver, who was the top target for Carson Strong (also in this draft). This would mark the third time the Patriots have met with Doubs, including the NFL Combine and the Senior Bowl.

The Wolf Pack wide receiver comes into the draft having posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with 20 touchdowns spread out over those two years.

Doubs is something Patriots fans have been coveting: a deep threat who specializes both in taking the top off of defenses and plucking the ball out of the air over defenders with strong, sure hands. A knee injury kept him from participating at the NFL Combine and at Nevada’s Pro Day, but his Senior Bowl performance against other draft-eligible upperclassmen stood out.

Doubs is far from a finished product at receiver, of course. Right now, he’s more of a vertical threat who might have to rely on a simpler route package early in his career as he works to iron out the stiffness in his route-running.

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From that standpoint, though, what better place to go to early in your career than the Patriots?

Though the trepidation over the unspectacular performance of New England’s receivers last year is somewhat understandable, the reality is that the Patriots don’t need a Day 1 contributor at receiver from this draft in its current configuration. Having Doubs learn behind the likes of Parker, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers while working with receivers coach Troy Brown would be a perfectly acceptable outcome for the rookie.

What’s more: Doubs is a reliable punt returner who averaged over 12.5 yards per return in his college career. That kind of value, plus being a gunner in the kick return game, could easily sway the Patriots to take him on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

Drafting Doubs might not be the splash Patriots fans are looking for, but it would certainly boost the speed and ability of New England’s offense to threaten opponents down the field.

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