New England Patriots: Moss Out Rice In?

Atheil BarkerContributor IMarch 30, 2010

"A rolling stone gathers no moss ." The Patriots being the proverbial rock are rolling into their final year with wide receiver Randy Moss' and his $27 million deal and as it looks, he won't be rolling with us after that. But who will replace his 250 receptions, 3765 yards receiving, or his 47 touchdowns receptions he has accumulated in his three seasons as a Patriot?

Well lets take a look at a few Possible Patriots that will be available to step in and take a crack at it.

Sidney Rice

Rice is an interesting prospect who will hit free agency at the end of the 2010 season.

With the right talent lobbing him the ball, he has shown he has the explosive abilities needed to be a number one wide receiver in the NFL. In one season with the Gun slinger Favre, he compiled 83 receptions for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns while nabbing 141 yards and three touchdowns in the divisional playoff round against the Dallas Cowboys.

If he can do that with a gun slinger like Favre imagine what he'd do with the surgical precision of Brady's arm. At 6'4" and 202 lbs, he fits the "Moss mold" we will need after Moss moves on.

Demaryius Thomas

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket could be the best option at wide receiver for the Patriots in this year's draft. He was projected as a first rounder, but has since slipped in many mock drafts to the second round after he broke his foot just before the NFL combine.

He posses high character and raw talent that the Patriots love in players.

Earlier in his college career he was trapped in a run-first system and still managed to grab 39 receptions for 627 yards for three scores.

Despite considering transferring to a different school he stayed because he was one of the few experienced players on the team at the time, saying "Sometimes I think about [not getting many passes], but most of the time I just want to win."

It was clear that he has a team first attitude.

Staying was the right choice; in 2009 he averaged 25 yards per catch leading his team with 46 grabs for 1,154 yards receiving. On top of that this 6'3" 229 lb receiver caught passes in 29 straight games with his monstrous 10 1/2 inch hands.

With four picks in the first two rounds, he could be ours for the taking.

Dez Bryant

Recently I have a seen trends of Dez Bryant slipping to the Jets in the first round (I don't think he will even make it to our pick but just in case) but I can't see that kind of talent being passed up by our team.

Dez Bryant has all the playmaking ability you could ask for and the physical attributes you look for in a future number one. At 6'2" and 225 lbs , he finished his 2008 season for the Cowboys with 87 receptions, 1,480 yards, and 19 touchdowns before being suspended for the 2009 season by the NCAA.

Personally I think he will be gone and the Patriots will trade down a couple spots in the first round to acquire more picks and grab Florida C/G Maurkice Pouncey to bolster our offensive line.

But you never know right?

Arrelious Benn

This wide-out posseses versatility valued by NFL coaches.

Standing at 6'1" and 219 lbs , he is the shortest player out of the bunch but has great potential.

The three seasons he spent at Illinois, he racked up 159 receptions, 2221 yards, and seven touchdowns.  He also rushed for 267 yards with three scores on 62 attempts.  That included ten returning  kicks for 280 yards, and a 90 yard return for touchdown . I don't see him replacing Moss but he would be a very nice pickup if he slips far enough.

Brandon Marshall

Marshall is the most unlikely possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

Brandon Marshall on the field is just plain productive; if he secures the Ball he will move down the field with even the smallest opportunity every time.

At 6'4" tall and 230 lbs, he has amassed 327 receptions for 4,019 yards and 25 scores in four seasons with the Broncos.

He also holds the record for most receptions in a single game (21) and most catches in NFL history over a five game span (55), but he comes with off the field problems and a first rounder price tag. This could be too rich for our tastes but who ever guessed we would have traded for the trouble maker Moss?

Did you?

Other possible additions to our roster  

C/G Maurkice Pouncey, DE/OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, DT Jared Odrick, LB Sean Weatherspoon, RB Ryan Matthews, RB Jahvid Best, RB Dexter McCluster, LB/DE Brandon Graham, LB/DE Sergio Kindle, S Myron Rolle trade maybe Deion Branch and Free Agency Josh Reed.

Hope you enjoyed my first article and feel free to post you comments or arguments! Thanks for reading!