What do the Patriots look for when they draft a wide receiver?

Discussion in 'New England Patriots' started by MrPoon, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. MrPoon

    MrPoon Mentor

    Nov 11, 2013
    Old article, but interesting insight into what the Patriots value in receivers. 3 cone drill speed is their favorite. Interesting how Jeff Maehl had the best cone drill time in the combine at the time.


    Good speed. Nice hands. Dependability and toughness. All traits the Patriots look for when it comes to drafting a wide receiver. But New England also loves its’ coneheads ‘€” that is, prospects who starred in the 3-cone drill.

    The drill ‘€”a standard at the combine and collegiate pro days ‘€” starts with a player in a three-point stance before three cones that are set up in a triangle or L-shape before them five yards apart. The player starts at the first cone and sprints up to the second cone and then back again. Then, they head back to the second cone where they run around it and cut right to the third cone. The players then run a circle around the third cone from the inside to the outside and run around the second cone before returning to the first cone. (Check out a complete breakdown of the drill here at NFL.com.)

    The drill is designed to test agility and footwork, and when it comes to measuring the abilities of wide receivers and defensive backs, it’s a drill the Patriots seem to put a lot of stock in. At wide receiver, Deion Branch, Wes Welker and Julian Edelman all had extraordinary 3-cone times at either the combine or at their pro day. (In addition, both Chad Jackson and Matthew Slater, both of whom were drafted as wide receivers but struggled at the position in New England, also had great times in the 3-cone drill as collegians.)

    While the Patriots are likely going to try and find a burner, what sort of wide receivers might become the next generation of coneheads in New England? Here are three possibilities:
  2. Thrashen

    Thrashen Hall of Famer

    Jun 4, 2007
    The team supposedly values the "3-cone drill" (a combine drill in which white WR's routinely excel), yet the only white WR's ever drafted by New England in the Brady/Belichick era were Julian Edelman (2009) and Jeremy Ebert (2012), both in the 7th round. Every other white WR that Brady has every completed a regular season pass to (Tim Dwight, Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Austin Collie, and Chris Hogan) were all added via free agency.

    They've drafted some colossal black busts at WR in the top 3 rounds. Guys like Aaron Dobson, Taylor Price, Brandon Tate, Chad Jackson, and Bethel Johnson. The only black WR ever drafted during the Brady/Belichick era that ever had success was Deion Branch.

    One could argue that during that same 15+ year span, the only quality black WR's they added during free agency were Randy Moss (for three seasons), Dante Stallworth (for one season), Brandon Lloyd (for one season), and Brandon LaFell (for a season and a half). Their list of black free agent WR's is laughably long and includes the likes of Joey Galloway, Torry Holt, Michael Jenkins, Chad Ochocinco, etc.
  3. wile

    wile Master

    Sep 29, 2011
    You could say Bill plays the caste game against itself, draft a black bust, let him bust and in the meantime play the white player arbitrage of an undervalued player. Then the caste thought monitors try are thrown off the scent.
  4. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

    Sep 30, 2004
    Yeah, seems like they keep drafting blacks hoping every now and then one will pan out, knowing they'll have their choice of White receivers from the NFL scrap heap since not a single other organization will "copy" what makes New England far and away the most successful team in the league. Chris Hogan is the most recent example -- Buffalo could have retained him for reasonable money, and any other team could have made him an offer, but only the Patriots were interested.
  5. sprintstar

    sprintstar Mentor

    Jun 3, 2016
    I am amazed that any afflete can achieve good times in the 3 cone drill, I mean can they even figure it out?
  6. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

    Jul 24, 2007
    Exactly! Pats take other teams(garbage) and make it ino their treasure. Hands down the best team when it comes to FA acquisitions. Draft wise they're not much better than any other team, but their FA philosophy works for them and sets them apart.

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