In reality, New England won’t be trading for Chicago’s Allen Robinson. Nor is Odell Beckham Jr. coming to town. Not to say the Patriots won’t add a veteran wide out, but it won’t be a superstar.
But why the urgency? N’Keal Harry just had his most productive game, showing off his ability to make tough catches. Julian Edelman just achieved career highs. Damiere Byrd is involved. Hell, even Jakobi Meyers contributed a reception on a difficult, low pass.
As the former first round pick (Harry) and the undrafted rookie free agent (Meyers) make their contributions, Kristian Wilkerson is on the practice squad, hoping to earn an opportunity with the Patriots.
The Southeast Missouri State product is an intriguing talent, not just for his measurables, but for his ridiculous productivity.
Wilkerson adds something different to the New England Patriots squad
Wilkerson isn’t another slot receiver. Since New England made the complimentary position the focal point of the offense going back to Troy Brown days, the Patriots can’t get enough of diminutive targets with the quickness to get open in a phone booth.
Just the offseason alone, the Patriots had Jeff Thomas, Isaiah Zuber, Devin Ross, Mason Kinsey, and Will Hastings either in camp or signed to the practice squad. All are under 200 pounds, and only Zuber is at least 6-0.
Wilkerson is 6-1 and a hefty 214 pounds, setting himself apart from his practice squad mates (Ross, Zuber and Kinsey). Wilkerson not only passes the eye test, he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash during the SEMO pro day.
So Wilkerson has pro speed. It was fair to wonder if that was the case watching his highlights. Wilkerson was a man among boys at SEMO. In his senior year Wilkerson obliterated the competition: 1,350 yards, 10 touchdowns, a 19 yards per reception average, and 103.8 yards per game. Those gawdy stats look as amazing as they sound.
The variety in how Wilkerson amassed his numbers was complete as well: Over the top, catch and run, jump balls and contested catches. Wilkerson did it all.
Wilkerson originally signed with the Tennessee Titans, but ultimately was cut. Tennessee’s trash could be New England’s treasure, if Wilkerson’s talents can be developed.
That could take time, though. If the Patriots seek receiving help now, they’ll find a veteran receiver they hope could make a difference in 2020. If Wilkerson comes along, by 2021 he should be knocking on the door, ready to claim a spot on the final roster.
Questions? Comments? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @NE_Arena on Twitter.Published 25 Sep 2020, 17:13 IST