The New England Patriots and future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady are looking for someone to step up at the wide receiver position. Barring a trade for someone like Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, New England didn’t necessarily add much talent to this position of question in the offseason.
The thought process behind this was Brady’s ability to get the most out of his receivers. He has done this numerous times in the past with the likes of Wes Welker and Deion Branch, among others. In addition to that, the Patriots have a young core to build with, a core that possesses a tremendous amount of upside.
Among those younsters is Kenbrell Thomkins, who came out of nowhere last summer to earn a roster spot as an undrafted rookie. Despite some struggles with drops, Thompkins racked up 32 receptions for 466 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. The second-year receiver from Cincinnati seemed to open some eyes during Patriots minicamp this past week (via The Boston Globe).
There was a lot of talk about guys “playing faster” now that they’re in their second year with the Patriots — Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, and Jamie Collins. Amendola and Thompkins, especially, were impressive. Amendola looks to be developing a good rapport with Tom Brady, and Thompkins was sometimes dominant in drills, getting the better of new cornerback Brandon Browner several times.
The word “dominant” shouldn’t be thrown around too often. But if you know about The Glove’s Ben Volin, he doesn’t necessarily throw around praise like that on a consistent basis. If he notices something, even if it was during minicamp, we should take note.
New England currently has veterans Danny Amendola and Julian Edelamn atop its depth chart at wide receiver, which is an indication that another youngster could step into a starting role with an impressive training camp and preseason performance.
In addition to Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce are two other second-year receivers battling for both roster spots and playing time. They join veteran acquisition Brandon LaFell as well as rookie Jeremy Gallon as the primary competition behind Amendola and Edelman.
Photo: USA Today