Curran: Welker at No. 50 . . . that sound right?


Curran: Welker at No. 50 . . . that sound right?

By Tom E. Curran

Another 10 players were revealed Sunday in the NFL Network's list of the Top 100 players and checking in at 50 was your boy Wes Welker. Does that make sense to you? He's ranked ahead of fellow wideouts Marques Colston (53), Brandon Marshall (61), Santonio Holmes (74) and Greg Jennings (76), for instance. But he's under Dwayne Bowe (45). Now, among those players, none have ever caught more than 110 passes in a season. Welker did it three years running, an unmatched feat in league history. He has been, arguably, the most important cog not named Brady in the Patriots offensive machine since he got here in 2007. But while he plays wideout, like all the others I mentioned, his role is as different from theirs as a third-down back's is to an everydown running back. He's asked to run far different routes and the degree of difficulty on his receptions is far, far lower. His skills are outstanding. They are not unique. I would imagine opposing coaching staffs come into games a helluva lot more worried about Suh than they do Welker. Meanwhile, JerodMayo is at 62. And I'm not entirely sure an All-Pro inside linebacker is not better at this point than Colts center Jeff Saturday (59). There are five Patriots on the list so we can count on seeing Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork and Tom Brady as the process rolls on. Let's do a lockout every year!So what say you . . . is Welker where he oughta be?

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad


Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have added some receiver depth to their locker room by signing Da'Ron Brown to their practice squad. 

Brown, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015 and spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. At Northern Illinois, the 6-foot, 199-pounder caught 155 passes in four years, accumulating 2,295 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores in his career. As a senior in 2014, he caught 68 passes for 1,065 yards. 

With the signing, the Patriots have filled out their practice squad. The team has had an opening on its 10-man unit since the Colts signed away receiver Devin Street for their 53-man roster.

With just four receivers on the Patriots roster, not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, they've loaded up on receiver depth through their practice squad with Brown, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White.

Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday


Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had both of their qurterbacks on the field and suited up for Tuesday's shells-and-sweats practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. 

Both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) are dealing with injuries, but both were present for the session, as were the rest of their teammates on the 53-man roster. 

Brissett was spotted in the Patriots locker room before practice with no brace or wrap of any kind on his thumb, but he did have his right thumb taped when out on the field. 

Patriots tight end AJ Derby was the lone player in a black practice jersey, indicating that he has been named practice player of the week. Running low on quarterbacks, Derby may have served as the scout-team quarterback as the Patriots defense prepared for the Texans. He played the position at Iowa and Arkansas before changing positions.

The Patriots have four practices scheduled this week, and the team will release injury reports, as usual, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.