Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate, but you drive the conversation.
I saw that Julian Edelman moved into second place all-time on the postseason receptions list Sunday, behind only the best receiver ever to play, Jerry Rice. That amazed me. I know there’s a difference between slot receivers like him and receivers that go down field more often, but is it possible he’s the best receiver in Patriots history? If not, who would you put first? – Don R.
Easy. Stanley Morgan, and it’s not close. Morgan, who played for the Patriots from 1977 to ’89, is the Patriots’ all-time leader in receiving yards (10,352). He’s third in receptions (534) behind Wes Welker (672) and Troy Brown (557) in catches … but that’s where the different receiver designations come in, as you mentioned.
Welker, Brown, and Edelman were all primarily slot receivers. Morgan definitely was not – he averaged 19.4 yards per catch in his Patriots career, including single seasons in which he averaged 24.1, 23.4, 22.8, and 22 yards per catch. He was one of the great deep threats in NFL history, yet also caught passes in volume. He is almost 2,500 yards ahead of tight end Rob Gronkowski (7,861), the No. 2 pass-catcher in terms of yardage in Patriots history, and has almost 5,000 receiving yards more than Edelman (5,390).
Morgan isn’t just the best receiver in Patriots history, he’s one of the most underrated NFL players of any era.
But what does everyone else think? Who is the best wide receiver in Patriots history? I’ll hear you in the comments.