DeVante Parker clears up a lot of things for the New England Patriots. They have an experienced pass-catcher on offense with some big-play potential. He’s somebody that quarterback Mac Jones can rely upon consistently in his second year. Sure, he doesn’t have the upside of Odell Beckham Jr, Allen Robinson, or DJ Chark, but the Patriots don’t absolutely need that to be successful. After doing some in-division business with the new-look Miami Dolphins, the Patriots acquired Parker and a 2022 fifth-round selection for a 2023 third-round selection.

As much as I absolutely love this acquisition, this doesn’t fix all of New England’s issues at receiver. They have a real lack of deep threats outside of the inconsistent Nelson Agholor. Parker doesn’t bring that kind of speed to the table as a physical receiver. Neither do Kendrick Bourne nor Jakobi Meyers who are possession/slot receivers.

What does Parker do for the Patriots?

Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne on Mac Jones' toughness: 'He never folds'

The Patriots’ offense is notoriously easy to defend as said by a handful of opponents in the last year. They don’t have anything really complex to offer without the great Tom Brady under center to make something out of nothing. There’s no Rob Gronkowski to feed and watch get an easy seven yards after contact as he bulls through four innocent defenders like a truck. Mac Jones needs a little more help to deliver those big-time moments. There’s nothing wrong with that either. As we all know and have heard countless times, there’s nobody like Tom Brady. We were lucky to have had him for so many years.

What Parker does do is open up the flexibility for the Patriots at this year’s NFL Draft. They might need a receiver still, sure. But they don’t need to force the issue if there isn’t somebody they like at pick 21. Parker makes the need at receiver less prominent. They can take somebody in round two or three and wait for him to develop while Parker adds to a core that can get the job done, just not at an elite level.

Potential draft options

What makes this Alabama WR combo unique - al.com

So, who are the names to look out for in the draft when the Patriots want to address reciever? Well, in round one the options will be limited picking at 21. Chris Olave, Treylon Burks, and maybe even the injured, but spectacular, Jameson Williams would all be sufficient options for New England. Though, if they’re all gone, I wouldn’t reccomend forcing the issue.

But this doesn’t dismiss the basic fact that the Patriots desperately need a young reciever to develop. Somebody to work and grow with Jones as they both get acclimated to the NFL. It’s not like it’s all scrubs after the top recievers mentioned before. John Metchie III is a personal favorite of mine out of Alabama, Jones’s alma mater. Skyy Moore is a similar caliber player out of Western Michigan, or maybe even Jahan Dotson from Penn State.

As far as other options in the first round goes, I love the defensive backs in this class. Especially the ones who are expected to be available come the time Belichick and company are on the clock. Kaiir Elam, Trent McDuffie, Andrew Booth Jr, or even Roger McCreary Sr would be excellent picks for the Patriots. Who have maybe even a larder need at the defensive back position than they do recievers. Linebacker would also be a place to look if wide reciever isn’t the move at 21. Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd should both be hanging around at the back end of the first round. If none of those fit for Belichick, you can also always trade down, as he’s famously done over the years.

Closing Thoughts

Here's what Bill Belichick said about the Patriots' perplexing offseason

The core of DeVante Parker (29-years-old), Kendrick Bourne (soon to be 27-years-old), and Jakobi Meyers (soon to be 26-years-old) is an efficient, but incomplete set of pass-catchers. As much as the Patriots can rely upon Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith (hopefully) at tight end, you need outside threats. The Patriots have some room to improve at that spot. There’s without a doubt plenty of room to get younger. It’ll be an interesting weekend in Las Vegas in a little over three weeks from now, and I fully expect Bill Belichick to continue to add to a roster begging for youth.

If you enjoyed this content, or hate it and want to argue with me, follow me on Twitter @KalebEmcee! Feel free to check out the work I do on Foxboro Beat! Also, read up on the rest of the NFL content Belly Up Sports has to offer here!
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Kaleb McChesney

Boston Sports Fanatic Located out of New Hampshire, USA Patriots Beat Writer on BellyUpSports.com Founder of Foxboro Beat

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