David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Amendola (No. 80)
The great white hope of the Patriots' new receiving corps is Danny Amendola, an explosive and talented player who could excel playing with Brady if he can stay healthy. Amendola is undoubtedly the primary starting place for the turnover at receiver, and while expectations for him to replace Wes Welker are high, he has more physical talent than Welker. Amendola and Brady were showing signs of improvement in minicamp and must continue to build on it.
Michael Jenkins (No. 10)
Jenkins isn't a name to wow anyone, but his size and experience could give him an advantage in the wide receiver competition. He saw starting snaps in minicamp and demonstrated strong hands and a consistent ability to catch the ball away from his body. Most think he's a placeholder until Aaron Dobson gets up to speed, but Jenkins will have every chance to win a job.
Julian Edelman (No. 11)
Edelman is now without a walking boot and looks to be fully recovered from the broken foot that ended his 2012 season. He's the only true receiver on the roster who has caught a pass from Tom Brady in a game, and that gives him an advantage. However, he's similar to Amendola, which could limit his playing time. He'll have to stay healthy, but he has a lot to prove being on a one-year deal.
Aaron Dobson (No. 17)
The Patriots had no choice but to take receivers early and often in the draft, and Aaron Dobson was the one they took highest. Dobson's size and intelligence project him to fit on the outside, but he's missed time already in OTAs and minicamp with an undisclosed injury. Dobson must get back on the field, start earning Brady's trust and digest the playbook. Once he does that, he could be headed for a starting spot and a significant role in the offense.
Josh Boyce (No. 82)
Boyce should be recovered from a broken toe, and the Patriots have a big need for a player with his kind of speed. Boyce seems to project to multiple receiver spots, and that versatility could be a big advantage; however, like Dobson, he just needs to get on the field and start stacking success.
Matthew Slater (No. 18)
Slater has seen time at receiver occasionally in the past, catching one pass for 46 yards in 2012. He makes his living on special teams but has great speed and will be occasionally used to stretch the defense. With all the young and fast receivers in the mix, Slater might have seen his last receiver snaps.
Donald Jones (No. 19)
Donald Jones showed good year-to-year improvement while playing in Buffalo with Ryan Fitzpatrick. He didn't do much in minicamp to catch eyes, but his veteran experience gives him an edge on the rookie receivers. He could be a late riser in training camp, especially if the rookies can't get or stay healthy.
Kenbrell Thompkins (No. 85)
Thompkins was an unheralded and undrafted rookie yet saw time with the top offense in minicamp due to all the injuries. He looked like he belonged, but that was in shorts and T-shirts. Can he get off an NFL jam when the pads come on? He'll have a lot to prove.
Kamar Aiken (No. 16)
Aiken spent some time with the Patriots in 2012, dressing for the game in Jacksonville but not recording a catch. His experience in the system could help him, but there are a lot more talented rookies and veterans around now. Staying healthy and running the right routes will be key for him.
Mark Harrison (No. 13)
Harrison is an incredible athlete who went undrafted. He was signed by the Chicago Bears but then released, and the Patriots pounced on him. If there's a dark horse in the receiver competition, it's Harrison. His measurables are elite, and if he can grasp the Patriots system, he could find himself becoming a major contributor to the 2013 Pats.
Lavelle Hawkins (No. 83)
Hawkins caught 47 passes in 2011 with the Titans but was phased out in 2012. He saw some action in minicamp due to injuries and made the most of them. He's another veteran who will have to stand out early and often in camp to carve out a role for himself.