Patriots rookie wide receivers have had a tough time adjusting to the NFL in their first professional season. Based on the numbers, the three best Patriots rookie wideouts in the Tom Brady era have been Deion Branch, Julian Edelman (2009) and Bethel Johnson (2003). They combined for five touchdowns when they were rookies.
New England has its share of rookie wide receivers this year, most notably Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce and Aaron Dobson.
Gary Tanguay, Michael Felger and Paul Perillo discuss what the Patriots can get out of their rookie wide receivers on "UNO Sports Tonight."
Branch caught 43 passes for 489 yards and two touchdowns when he was a rookie in 2002. A year later, Johnson caught 16 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. In 2009, Edelman caught 37 passes for 359 yards and one touchdown as a rookie. Because of the Patriots' limited options at wide receiver, they can rely on their young options more.
"I think they're gonna have at least one, maybe two rookie receivers that better those numbers," said Perillo, acknowledging that Branch and Johnson played under two different offensive styles, while Edelman was low on the team's depth chart at receiver as a rookie.