Patriots’ Coach Sounds Off On Wide Receiver Competition For 2024

Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots
NFL Analysis Network

The New England Patriots have a whole lot of questions heading into 2024, particularly on the offensive side of the football.

The Patriots had some of the worst production at the skill positions in the NFL this past year, and they are obviously hoping to improve in that area with next season quickly approaching.

New England does not have a clear No. 1 wide receiver on its roster, but head coach Jerod Mayo is expecting that to change as offseason progresses.

Mayo says that the Pats will be having an open competition for at receiver for the remainder of the offseason and is looking forward to seeing how everything shakes out.

“It’s a wide-open competition,” Mayo said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “We have some young bulls, we have some older players. We have guys who are really unproven. So, this is an opportunity for them to really get a leg up going forward, especially when you don’t have a guy like [Kendrick] Bourne out here during the spring. Guys will have opportunities.”

Bourne is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season. The good news is that he is expected to be ready for training camp, but he may end up falling behind some other receivers up until that point.

“Honestly, it’s a week-by-week type of thing,” Mayo said of Bourne. “We hope to get him out here, but he won’t be out here during the spring, I can tell you that. So, we’ll see going forward.”

The Patriots signed K.J. Osborn in free agency and selected Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker in the NFL Draft last month. They also have a veteran in JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is recovering from knee issues himself. Plus, there is DeMariou Douglas, who put forth a decent showing during his rookie campaign last year.

Obviously, New England does not have a whole lot of proven talent at the position, and even the guys that have accomplished things in the past—like Bourne and Smith-Schuster—are not 100 percent.

Perhaps Polk will end up separating himself and become the Pats’ No. 1 receiver. They took him in the second round for a reason, after all.

But until that happens, the Patriots are going to have a heck of a time trying to sort out their receiving corps heading into 2024.

We’ll see if Mayo can find some answers this summer.

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