Who Will Emerge as the Patriots 3rd Wide Receiver?

NFL Draft 365Official AccountMay 31, 2012

Imagine being Tom Brady for a second. No, not the Gisele Bundchen part. But the weapons he has at his disposal when he comes to work each day. 

For starters, it’s never too shabby to have Wes Welker as your No. 1 wide receiver. The diminutive Welker raked in over 1,500 yards last year including nine touchdowns. Add a little Gronk to the mix with his 17 TDs in 2011 and newcomer Brandon Lloyd along with Aaron Hernandez…you get the picture. Brady has endless targets.

Come training camp, there will be a battle for the third wide receiver. It’s not the most envious position in the NFL. How many throws targeted to that position are very questionable? What’s not in question are the familiar names fighting for that No. 3 spot. It’s a who’s who of journeymen NFL wide receivers.

It seems like Jabar Gaffney should have the inside track on the job. He returns to New England after having a solid season in D.C. last year with 947 receiving yards and five TDs.

Donte Stallworth, like Gaffney, also returns to NE after playing for the Skins last year. Stallworth is a long shot, but then again, so is the newly named Chad Johnson, formerly Ochocinco. Yes, in case you missed it, Chad legally changed his name back to Johnson a few months ago. Speaking of veterans, Deion Branch will be 33 in July but is not showing too many signs of slowing down. He still has great chemistry with Tom Brady and consistently gets over 700 yards a year in receiving.