With some down time before training camp we decided break down the roster position by position. Today we handle the wide receivers and we will analyze a different position each day.
Locks: Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell
Bubble: Keshawn Martin, Aaron Dobson, Nate Washington, Chris Harper
Long shots: DeAndre Carter, Devin Lucien
BREAKDOWN: The top four are set with the only question involving the health of Edelman (foot) and Amendola (knee/ankle). Both are coming off surgeries and didn't participate in the offseason program but each is expected to be ready at the start of the season. Mitchell, a fourth-round pick pout of Georgia, shows promise. The most likely scenario here involves three players – Martin, Dobson and Washington – likely fighting for either one or two spots. Martin's versatility to play inside and out, which adds a layer of depth to each spot, gives him the edge as the fifth receiver. He also provides an option in the return game. Dobson enjoyed a strong spring in what could be his last chance to establish himself in New England. However, we've seen glimpses from him before and consistency and durability haven't been his strong suits. Washington can still run and could provide a deep threat but he seemed to struggle getting on the same page as Tom Brady during OTAs and mini-camp. He'll need to impress during the summer to win a spot, especially considering the Patriots could very well stick with just five at the position. Harper has some experience and could stick around on the practice squad. Carter is tiny at 5-8, 188, but has quickness and showed good hands during the spring. The problem is he's facing a crowded group of slot receivers to compete against. Lucien, the last of the team's nine draft picks, looked overwhelmed during the spring and had trouble catching the ball. He would need to improve greatly to even get a shot at the practice squad.