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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Patriots executive drops big hint about team’s draft plans?

Bill Belichick on the sideline

Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have notoriously struggled to draft and develop wide receivers, but that does not mean they are going to shy away from the position this year.

Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh spoke with the media on Thursday about the upcoming NFL Draft. He was asked about the influx of impact wide receivers the NFL has seen in recent years. Groh said it is important to be prepared to aggressively target one of those players rather than hoping they fall to you.

On the flip side, Groh also spoke about how crucial it is to draft and develop defenders who can stop those talented skill players.

Anyone who has followed the Patriots during the Bill Belichick era knows that you can never take a comment about roster construction at face value. It is always wise to expect the unexpected with Belichick, especially in the draft. If Groh is hinting publicly that the Patriots could try to draft a wide receiver early, the might mean they plan to do the total opposite.

The Patriots signed Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne during their free agency spending spree last year. Agholor caught just 37 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns. Bourne was a bit more productive with 55 catches for 800 yards and five touchdowns. New England then made a big upside move earlier this month when they acquired a receiver from a division rival.

It will be interesting to see if the Patriots’ inability to draft and develop receivers had to do with how demanding their offense was when Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels were in charge. The quarterback and offensive coordinator are both gone now, so perhaps things will be different going forward.

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