In the lead-up to 2022 Training Camp, we're inspecting the Patriots roster position by position. Today, an examination of the wide receivers.
Analysis: Along with the return of their top three targets from 2021, the Patriots added some intrigue to the important receiver position group for 2022. The second seasons of Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, along with the follow-up to a breakout 83-catch season for Jakobi Meyers, headline the group. Bourne and Meyers were Mac Jones' favorite two receivers last season, while Agholor looked heavily involved in workouts this summer, showcasing his speed at minicamp. At the very least, continuity with this top trio should mean even better things in 2022.
But reinforcements and competition have also arrived, first in the form of DeVante Parker, a big outside receiver who excels in contested catches. He provides another experienced threat for Jones and should immediately play a role as an outside receiver, a move that should benefit Agholor. Second-rounder Tyquan Thornton's speed will be on display at the practice fields in August, as the rookie looks to carve out an early role behind the veteran depth.
The team also signed Lil'Jordan Humphrey, a lightly-used receiver from the Saints who fits the mold of a tall slot receiver. The chemistry between Jones and the two new veteran wideouts and the rookie Thornton will be something to watch for at camp.
Finally, a trio of last year's practice squad receivers will try to find a way through the competitive gauntlet at the position. Tre Nixon had an outstanding minicamp, with an array of dazzling catches and could push for a roster spot if he keeps it up in August.
Kristian Wilkerson has two years of experience under his belt, while Malcolm Perry was only briefly in New England before re-signing at the end of the season. Both are athletic but face an uphill battle to get beyond the practice squad.