The Patriots receiving corps was handed some excellent news when Wes Welker was seen at OTA's running routes and catching passes. Most people, including me, expected Welker to start the season on the PUP list and miss the first six weeks of the season. However after this recent development that is far from a given anymore. I think Welker will make the week one roster, though it I'm unsure if he will be able to start, as he has battled through adversity for most of his career.So with Welker back he will keep his slot receiver role, though Edelman may have to start for the first few weeks.
The other man in the photo should also keep his job as New England's #1 WR. Don't expect 2007 numbers from Moss but don't expect a downturn from him either as others are predicting. Both Moss and Brady played games injured last season and with another year together after Brady's injury will only help.
But who will stretch the field across from Moss. It is between veteran Torry Holt, second year player Brandon Tate and the longshot rookie Taylor Price. I think Holt will win the starting job for the opener against the Bengals as he will have some veteran knowledge which will give him the edge. Tate however has already received praise from Brady himself this offseason and I see him pushing Holt all the way and possibly winning the job from him sometime during the season. Price is more of a project but could provide a couple of important catches throughout the season.
Edelman may get to start the season for the first few games but once Welker is back he will have to take a backseat. Edelman is very talented though and obviously has a bright future ahead.
This leaves Aiken, Patten and Slater out of a roster spot and not allowed on the practice squad. This means Darnell Jenkins, Bryan Anderson and Buddy Farnham will fight it out for a practice squad place. I think Farnham will win this battle as in the rookie minicamp it was reported he impressed all the coaches and was the biggest surprise there.
Projected Depth Chart:
1. Randy Moss
2. Wes Welker (may miss first few games)
3. Torry Holt
4. Julian Edelman
5. Brandon Tate
6. Taylor Price
7. Buddy Farnham (Practice Squad)