Which wide receivers stand out from Patriots perspective at 2019 NFL combine

Ryan Hannable
March 01, 2019 - 7:42 pm
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INDIANAPOLIS — Friday was a big day at the NFL combine when almost all the skill position players spoke to the media. 

All wide receivers were among them, and many said they have had meetings with the Patriots. That isn’t all that surprising considering the only wide out on the 53-man roster at the end of last season who is currently under contract for 2019 is Julian Edelman.

It is worth noting in the Bill Belichick era the Patriots have never drafted a wide out higher than No. 36 overall, and since 2012 only have drafted one in the top 100. This shows they see value deeper in the draft.

With that in mind, here are five receivers to keep an eye on from a Patriots perspective.

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina — Samuel is one of the more versatile receivers, which obviously is something the Patriots like. He also returns kicks, which adds to his value and his potential intrigue to New England. The South Carolina product is expected to go in Rounds 2 or 3, so would potentially go against the trend under Belichick.

Samuel said he met with the Patriots his first day in Indy.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford — Arcega-Whiteside is another option if the Patriots were to break the trend and select a receiver high, as he’s also projected to go in Rounds 2 or 3.  He’s an all-around athlete who played basketball through high school, which isn’t a surprise considering both his parents played professionally in Europe, but football is his favorite sport. 

The Stanford product had a great season in 2018, hauling in 63 passes and finishing with 14 touchdowns. He’s also met with the Patriots at the combine. 

Hunter Renfrow, Clemson — It’s not a surprise he has been connected to the Patriots recently, as it’s been mentioned the past several seasons during almost every Clemson game. He seems to have all the traits of a Patriot slot receiver — gritty, tough and ability to make clutch catches. He finished his college career with 186 receptions for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns.

It’s worth noting one of his mentors is free agent wide out Adam Humphries, and the two share the same agent. Renfrow is expected to go in the middle-to-late rounds, which is right in the Patriots’ wheelhouse.

Andy Isabella, UMass — Given the local connection, and his ability to play in the slot, Isabella is a player who will be projected to the Patriots a lot in the coming weeks. Right now he’s a mid-round selection, but if he puts up great numbers this weekend and at his pro day, he could really climb up the draft boards.

As a senior this fall, he finished with 102 catches, an astonishing 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns, which isn’t bad considering he had only two catches as a freshman. He's also been working with Randy Moss as he prepares for the draft.

Jakobi Meyers, NC State — Meyers switched from quarterback to wide receiver before the 2016 season and the move paid off in a big way. He finished this past season with a school-record 92 catches along with 1,047 yards and four touchdowns. He spoke on his ability to play both inside and outside, which obviously will make him more attractive.

Given he’s only had a few years at the position, he certainly has room to grow, which could be a good thing given how productive he was this year. As a mid-to-late rounder, maybe he could be worth a shot from the Patriots.

Related: Potential Patriot T.J. Hockenson gets emotional when talking about Ferentz coaches, who are close with Bill Belichick

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