Josh Boyce to Patriots: How Does the Wide Receiver Fit with New England?
There was little debate that the Patriots' biggest need entering the draft was at wide receiver. It seemed all but a lock that they Patriots would spend one pick, and probably more, on the position, despite a history of missing on receivers.
Josh Boyce is really a perfect fit for the Patriots offense. He has speed, quickness and the savvy route-running ability to make a difference at any of the receiver spots. Combined with Aaron Dobson and Danny Amendola, Boyce will help form the foundation for the future of the Patriots' outside passing game.
While Aaron Dobson is a pure outside receiver, Boyce has the speed and toughness to play both inside or outside. He might not be a traditional X-receiver, but he certainly has the speed to get downfield and challenge the defense vertically. In that sense, Boyce is really similar to Deion Branch. Whether he can instantly contribute like Branch will be determined in training camp, but all the signs point to Boyce being a player who can do a number of different things for the Pats.
With a 23 on the Wonderlic, Boyce tied for second-best among receivers. That's one small indication that he should have the processing power to succeed in the Pats system.
From a pure depth chart perspective, Boyce joins Julian Edelman and Donald Jones in competition behind Danny Amendola as the starting Z-receiver. The Patriots lacked talent at wide receiver coming into the draft, but now with two new promising rookies things are looking up. Edelman, Jones and Michael Jenkins should be pushed in training camp by the new duo.
Boyce is an all-around receiver, the kind that seems to be the perfect fit for the versatile Patriots offense that asks its wideouts to learn each different receiving position. Boyce certainly has the chance to overtake Julian Edelman as the third receiving option behind Dobson and Amendola.
The Patriots finally have the receiving weapons they lacked just a few days ago. It's hard to say for certain how it will all come together, but there are now enough options to feel optimistic about the next evolution of the Pats' passing attack.
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