PFF Ranking Wrongly Overlooks Patriots Pass-Catching Group

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The New England Patriots surely don’t have a star-studded pass-catching group as it will never be confused with the weapons the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins can trot out on offense.

Kendrick Bourne, who is recovery from ACL surgery, headlines the group of receivers, which includes DeMario Douglas, Tyquan Thornton, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kayshon Boutte and new addition K.J. Osborn. The Patriots also addressed the position in the draft by using a second-round pick on Ja’Lynn Polk and a fourth-round selection on Javon Baker.

The group also technically features pass-catching tight ends in Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper, but even including those two wasn’t enough to impress Pro Football Focus. PFF ranked the Patriots receiving corps dead-last in the NFL.

During the latest episode of NESN’s “Foxboro Rush” podcast, host George Balekji understood why the Patriots receivers are in the bottom tier, but objected at PFF’s rankings and believed there are two units in the AFC worse than what New England can offer.

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“This Patriots receiving group is a bunch of wide receiver twos and threes, but at least they’re that,” Balekji said. “There is reliability with them. I can’t count on this Chargers group, I can’t count on this Broncos group, for sure. So, at least (with the Patriots), these are guys, you got to scheme them open, but they get open, they can catch it. They do the little things right for receivers. That’s why I disagree with this ranking them 32nd in the NFL from PFF.”

The Patriots receivers certainly have much to prove, but they aren’t being lifted up by an elite quarterback, either. That’s been the case ever since Tom Brady departed following the 2019 season and New England’s pass-catchers will have to rely on either journeyman Jacoby Brissett or rookie Drake Maye to get them the ball this season.

You can catch all episodes of the “Foxboro Rush” podcast here.

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