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1) Wes Welker: 2011—122 catches, 1,569 yards, 9 TDs.
2) Brandon Lloyd: 2011—70 catches, 966 yards, 5 TDs.
3) Jabar Gaffney: 2011—68 catches, 947 yards, 5 TDs.
4) Deion Branch: 2011—51 catches, 702 yards, 5 TDs.
5) Julian Edelman: 2011—4 catches, 34 yards, 0 TDs.
6) Matthew Slater: 2011—1 catch, 46 yards, 0 TDs.
Arguably the position with the most competition, the battle for wide receiver spots will go down to the wire.
Leading the way will be Wes Welker, who brings along his guaranteed 100-plus catches. Welker was the best receiver in football last year not named Calvin Johnson and figures to be Brady's go-to guy again next season.
Perhaps the Patriots' biggest signing since stealing Randy Moss from Oakland in '07, Brandon Lloyd brings exactly what the Patriots offense missed last season—a play-making receiver down the field.
A Josh McDaniels favorite, Lloyd already knows the offense, and his penchant for the spectacular catch should make him a fan favorite. Double-digit touchdowns is not out of the question for Lloyd.
Special teams captain Matthew Slater will most likely make the team as a wide receiver, but his real contributions will come on special teams.
With his special-teams prowess, Edelman figures to take one spot. As the most logical backup to Welker, Edelman is also the Patriots' primary punt returner. After failing to show up much in the Patriots' passing attack last season, Edelman has impressed throughout the preseason, often the only Patriots receiver who has been able to gain separation.
Filling out the other two spots will be Brady favorites Branch and Gaffney. Despite an average year by his standards, Branch was as dependable as ever, and his chemistry with Brady should ensure a spot on the roster.
Gaffney, who followed McDaniels to Denver in '08, returns after being cut by the Redskins. However, the 10-year vet is coming off arguably his best year, recording career highs in yards, catches and touchdowns.
A leg injury suffered a week earlier may hurt his chances at making the roster, but should he receive a clean bill of health, Gaffney will make the roster.