Friday, February 8, 2013
The Pats' big WR need
By Tim Kavanagh
While the New England Patriots' decision on internal free agents Wes Welker and Julian Edelman will be made within the next few weeks, their quest to find a big, outside WR will go through free agency and perhaps the draft. In truth, since Randy Moss' magical campaigns of 2007 through 2009, the Pats haven't really had a player that could dominate from the outside WR position.
Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com examined some of the club's options in this regard. Currently slated to hit free agency are players like Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace, while another option could potentially become available in Anquan Boldin: ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter noted that Boldin could be a cap casualty for Baltimore this offseason.
The other means of acquiring such a player is the draft, and though the Pats only have four picks currently, one of them could be used to acquire a WR of this mold: Scouts, Inc.'s Steve Muench believes that Cal's Keenan Allen, Tennessee Tech's Da'Rick Rogers and Elon's Aaron Mellette could develop down this pathway. Here are his thoughts on Allen:
Steve MuenchIs Allen the next Boldin?
"Allen has the frame (6-3, 206) and body control to make plays downfield against one-on-one coverage, and he's shifty after the catch for a player his size. However, he's similar to Boldin in that Allen isn't a burner who can ran past NFL corners or away from NFL pursuit after the catch. Allen still projects as a fringe first round pick, though, because he is a polished route-runner who masks average burst by setting up breaks and can pluck the ball out of the air without breaking stride. He also does not hesitate to go over the middle, where he excels at attacking the second level of coverage and can hold on to the ball after absorbing a big hit. His competitiveness is impressive, too. In addition to fighting for yards after contact, Allen continues to adjust his route and look for voids in the coverage when his quarterback holds onto the ball."