For quite some time, the Patriots have neglected to draft a number one receiver. Instead, they added Damiere Byrd, Marqise Lee, Josh Gordon, and others. Still, no legitimate number one receiver. In 2021 they signed Nelson Agholar Kendrick Bourne, Jacobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski, and N’Keal Harry Certainly not a group for opposing defensive coordinators to worry about. In this post, we will review three reasons why this will concern Patriots fans.
No Game_ Changing Receiver
Every contending team has a game_changing receiver. The only deep threat on the roster is Nelson Agholor and Jacobi Meyers. N’keal Harry is a deep threat but has trouble getting open.
Newly acquired Kendrick Bourne is OK but no Julian Edelman. Now that Edelman is retired, finding a suitable replacement will be difficult. With Cam Newton calling the signals fans can expect a lot of passes to the slot receiver.
Tight End Depth
The organization added Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry in the off_season. Paired with Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene Bill Belichick has some flexibility at tight end. Covid 19 opt_out Matt LaCosse will also be returning.
Since Rob Gronkowski retired the tight end position has been vacant. Signing two new tight ends will finally solidify the position. In 2020, the Patriot’s tight ends were targeted a grand total of 32 times.
Julio Jones Rumors
Recently there have been rumors of a possible trade for Julio Jones. A deal like this makes sense for both Atlanta and New England. The cash_ strapped Falcons would clear cap space by moving him. As for New England, trading for Julio Jones would put them over the top.
The current group is by far mediocre at best. A trade like this would make the Patriots a threat in the AFC East again.
With the 2021 schedule being released the Patriots are mostly at home during the first two months. Only two away games Houston and Los Angeles Chargers are scheduled. In order to regain supremacy in the AFC East, they need a hot start. Anything less will be unacceptable for Patriots fans.
After 37 games, there are 3 issues concerning Red Sox pitching. With a 22-15 record they are 2 games ahead of the Yankees. Most fans would be ecstatic. Compared to last season the team is far ahead of expectations. In this post, we will evaluate the Red Sox, pitching staff.
3 Issues Concerning Red Sox Pitching
Logjam Of Pitchers
Considering the team is the best hitting team in the league, they are carrying 13 pitchers. With managers carrying 27 players, the starters are getting pulled too early. With 5 starting pitchers 8 are sitting in the bullpen.
In, the last 10 games the starters have gone 5 innings putting pressure on the offense. Burning out the bullpen early is not a healthy scenario. With a 162 game schedule getting pulled after 5 innings won’t cut it in July and August. Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta are both undefeated but have struggled after the 5th inning.
Garrett Whitlock/Shining Star
Rule 5 acquisition Garrett Whitlock has been the team’s shining star. With an impressive 0.63 ERA and 19 strikeouts, Whitlock has been one of the best relievers in baseball. Averaging 2 innings per appearance he has paved the way for Matt Barnes.
If Whitlock can stay on his current pace he will be a lock for the AL All_Star team. He has been a shining star. Matt Barnes has been stellar has a closer.
Help In The Pipeline
It’s still far to early to predict where the Red Sox will finish. One fact for sure is the starters need to go deeper into games. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez seems to be healthy after a stint with Coved 19. Will his strong outings continue?
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Chris Sale who missed all of 2020 has started throwing off the mound. I do not expect Sale to be activated until September at the earliest. So where does that leave Alex Cora? Pitchers Tanner Houck and Eduardo Bazardo were up earlier but got sent back down. Either one is ready. The team claimed Brandon Workman off waivers from the Cubs.
My gut feeling is it will be Brandon Workman or Connor Seabold. Seabold was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies last July for Workman.
If the club expects to make the playoffs, it starts with the pitching. Manager Alex Cora has been pulling his starters too early. Garrett Richard’s last two outings have been superb. Relying on the bullpen too early and often may result in disappointment.
With Patriots mini_camp approaching, it’s time to predict 3 potential weeks one starter from the 2021 Patriot’s draft class. The off_ season was active, to say the least. With several new faces, 2021 will be exciting. A young new quarterback gives fans hope again In this post, we will evaluate three draft selections who could potentially be starters this season.
Christian Barmore/Productive DT/ Alabama
Head coach Bill Belichick traded two fourth_round draft picks for Barmore. The four_year starter at Alabama started 22 games as a two_year starter at Alabama. His physical structure is what defensive coordinators love.
As a starter,Barmore was credited with 34 solo tackles,10 sacks, and recovered 5 fumbles. The Patriot’s style of play is the perfect fit for Barmore. The only drawback is his maturity level. Playing under the rigid Belichick style only time will tell.
Tre Nixon/Vertical Receiver/ Central Florida
This pick can go either way. The Patriots selected Nixon with the 242nd pick in this year’s draft Central Florida. The speedy receiver is a burner who can stretch the field. I project Nixon as the surprise of training camp. Like N’keal Harry, he has trouble separating himself from cover players.
Nixon transferred after two_years at Ole Miss. His pass _catching skills are inconsistent. A seventh_round draft choice, Belichick may decide to red_shirt him. It will be interesting to see how he competes against the Patriot’s receiving department.
Rhamondre Stevenson/FB/ Oklahoma
This is the most interesting pick out of this year’s draft class. Stevenson is a 6′ 1″ 231lb_ pound fullback. Known for his superior blocking skills, he is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Being an excellent blocker will be a welcomed addition for quarterback Cam Newton.
With the Patriots stressing the run I feel Stevenson will be a significant contributor this season. In two_years at Oklahoma, he started 19 games for 298 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 7 yards per carry. He will be a weapon in the red zone.
The year 2020 was disappointing for Patriots fans. With a seventeen_game schedule, I look for the club to go 11-6. Quarterback Cam Newton has a year in the Patriot’s system under his belt. Number One Draft Pick Mac Jones is waiting in the wings. Look for the club to be better in 2021.