New England Patriots Positional Preview: Tight Ends
Baker was released by the New York Jets, and shortly thereafter signed by the Pats. He promptly signed a five year contract.
Baker has been a productive tight end over the past few years amassing 145 receptions for 1,505 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Baker is 29, and I expect him to be the second or third string wide receiver on the team, and I also expect him to be productive. Since the Pats roster is deep with tight ends (probably the best it has been since Bethel Johnson), I expect 30-plus catches and a few touchdowns from Baker.
Devree was signed by the Pats as an undrafted free agent in 2008, then released, and then resigned.
He is coming into his second season, and will be more familiar with the Patriots system.
I am considering it a slim chance he will make the final roster because he is statistically the weakest receiver on the team.
Smith was signed to the Pats after he was traded to them for a fifth round draft pick.
This was a fairly cheap price for a player who has accumulated 129 receptions, 1,252 yards, and 11 touchdowns. His stats are very similar to Chris Baker, and I expect him to have a similar impact.
I am positive he will make the roster.
Thomas was drafted by the Pats in 2006 and is now familiar with the Patriots system.
I expect him to make the roster, although I do not expect a lot of mind blowing stats out of him, considering over the past few years he has only 21 receptions and one touchdown.
Watson was drafted by the Patriots in the first round in 2004, and people are beginning to question the decision to have drafted this tight end-receiver hybrid.
Since coming to the Patriots, Watson has been productive (although injury plagued), and has amassed 138 receptions and 15 touchdowns. He has made a few clutch plays in his career, and has shown exceptional athleticism, such as when he chased down Champ Bailey and tackled him at the one. You can view that play here.
I expect Watson to again be the number one tight end, and have 40-plus receptions with a few touchdowns, especially with Brady back.
Overall, the Patriots have a deep tight end corp, and like the wide receiver corp, Brady will have a lot of options to throw to.
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