Of all the receivers that the Patriots have brought in, Michael Jenkins and Aaron Dobson are the main challengers for the X-receiver spot, while Josh Boyce could also be a factor with his elite speed.
The Patriots' struggles to develop an outside vertical threat since the departure of Randy Moss are well-chronicled, and now the Pats have three potential options, including two rookies, who have the size and speed to potentially step in.
The book is out on how to stop the Patriots offense of 2010-2012. Defenses could crowd the box without fear of a receiver taking the top off their defense. If the Patriots want to challenge that conventional thinking, they're going to need one of these receivers to strike fear into the back end of opposing defenses.
Despite the fact that the Patriots return 19 of 22 starters, the two they're missing on offense combined for 192 catches, 2,265 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Replacing Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd's production won't be easy, and the Pats have added three rookie wide receivers and three proven veteran free-agent receivers—along with bringing back Julian Edelman.
Factor in undrafted rookies Mark Harrison and Kenbrell Thompkins, and the Patriots have an interesting pool of new receivers, especially the rookies.
At least two receivers must emerge from this group, and while Aaron Dobson and Danny Amendola are the early projected starters, it will be an open competition. What makes it slightly scary is that you can count on one hand how many receivers Tom Brady has had sustained success with: Troy Brown, Deion Branch, David Givens, Wes Welker and Randy Moss.
Now comes the greatest test of Brady's career. Brady could never develop the trust needed with Joey Galloway, Chad Johnson or anyone else the Pats brought in over the years because he always had a safety blanket in Welker or someone else. Now he'll no longer have that safety blanket and will be forced to develop chemistry with someone new.
Who of the receiver group will "get it?" It will be one of the most interesting developments of Brady's career.