Patriots have met with these intriguing WRs entering NFL Draft

Patriots have met with these intriguing WRs entering NFL Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Believe it or not, the New England Patriots need more than just a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Patriots also have a significant need at wide receiver and haven’t done much to improve the position in free agency outside of signing slot receiver K.J. Osborn and retaining wideouts Kendrick Bourne and Jalen Reagor.

So, unless New England trades for a WR1 like Tee Higgins or Brandon Aiyuk, the team will need to bolster its receiver room via the draft, where there a host of high-end prospects at the position.

The good news is that de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and the front office have been aggressive in scouting receiver talent ahead of this year’s draft.

Here’s a roundup of wide receivers the Patriots have met with in some form or fashion during the pre-draft process, starting with Texas speedster Xavier Worthy, who reportedly met with New England staffers this week:

Worthy turned heads at the NFL Scouting Combine by running the fastest 40-yard dash in the event’s history (4.21 seconds). He’s an extremely slight 6-foot-1, 160 pounds, but he’s a legitimate game-changer who racked up 1,014 yards on 75 catches for Texas in 2023.

Projected round: Late first/early second

You know the deal here. Harrison is the consensus No. 1 receiver in this year’s draft and a potential generational talent who likely will be the first non-QB off the board. If the Patriots take a QB at No. 3, they’re not getting Harrison.

Projected round: First (Top five)

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Odunze was a monster for Washington last season, averaging 109.3 yards per game (1,640 total) with 15 touchdowns. Odunze, Harrison and LSU’s Malik Nabers all have the potential to be WR1s at the NFL level and should be off the board within the first 10 or 15 picks.

Projected round: First (Top 10)

Thomas played second fiddle to Nabers at LSU but still is incredibly dynamic in his own right: the 6-foot-5, 198-pound wideout scored a touchdown on 17 of his 68 receptions last season to go along with 1,177 yards.

Projected round: First

Legette boasts an enticing combination of speed and size (6-foot-1, 217 pounds) that had ESPN’s Jordan Reid comparing him to A.J. Brown in a recent interview with our Patriots Insider Phil Perry. Perry had New England taking Legette in the second round (No. 34 overall) in a recent mock draft.

Projected round: Second

McConkey is a bit undersized at 5-foot-11, 187 pounds but is an excellent route runner with above-average quickness. He could give the Patriots another dynamic slot option alongside DeMario Douglas.

Projected round: Second

Why not pair Drake Maye with his favorite receiver? Walker tallied 41 catches for 699 yards and seven touchdowns for the Tar Heels in 2023 and is a dynamic athlete who could fill the Patriots’ need for a boundary wideout. Our Phil Perry had New England selecting Walker in the third round of his latest seven-round Patriots mock draft.

Projected round: Third

The younger brother of 49ers star Christian McCaffrey, Luke began his college career as a quarterback at Nebraska before transferring to Rice and switching positions. He’d likely be a Day 3 pick, but McCaffrey excelled in the three-cone drill (6.7 seconds) at the NFL Combine and has strong quickness and change-of-direction skills.

Projected round: Fourth

Coker accounted for 46 percent of Holy Cross’ entire passing offense last season, finishing with 1,035 yards and 15 touchdowns. The NFL is a big step up from the Patriot League, but perhaps Coker’s insane production and local ties will warrant a late-round flyer from New England.

Projected round: Fifth or sixth

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