2019 was a tough year for New England’s wide receiver core. Only one player (Julian Edelman) racked up over 1,000 yards, as others struggled with injuries. Heading into the 2020 season, the Patriots are optimistic about their receiving corps. Here are my projected stats for every Patriots receiver for the upcoming season:
Projected 2020 Stats – 80 catches / 920 yards / 5 touchdowns
Edelman had the best season of his career in 2019, racking up over 100 catches for the second time and posting a career-high in yards. As Tom Brady’s go-to receiver, he saw 153 targets. That likely won’t be the case this year. Whether it’s Cam Newton or Jarrett Stidham under center, neither have an established rapport with Edelman. He’ll more than likely retain his role as the #1 receiver in New England’s depth chart, but don’t be surprised to see a drop in production.
Projected 2020 Stats – 55 catches / 575 yards / 3 touchdowns
Sanu has been working extremely hard this offseason and appears to be in even better shape than he was before the ankle injury. I’m expecting a solid bounce-back campaign for Sanu, but he probably won’t match the numbers he put up in Atlanta. Assuming Cam Newton wins the starting job, he won’t throw as much as Matt Ryan. Sanu will serve as a solid #2 wide receiver for the Patriots and may slide down to #3 on the depth chart if N’Keal Harry breaks out like some are expecting.
Projected 2020 Stats – 65 catches / 715 yards / 6 touchdowns
Harry struggled with injuries throughout his rookie year, only playing in 7 games and racking up just over 100 yards. He appears to be ready to make a year-two leap, having slimmed down and worked tirelessly on his footwork this offseason. Harry is a huge target (6-4, 225lb) who has the potential to be a touchdown machine. He’s dominant in 1v1 situations in the air. Add improved footwork and agility to his game? Watch out.
Projected 2020 Stats – 40 catches / 450 yards / 2 touchdowns
Byrd is no stranger to Cam Newton. The two played together in Carolina for three years before Byrd departed for Arizona in 2019. He posted career-best numbers with the Cardinals last year despite struggling with injuries. Byrd racked up 32 catches for 359 yards in 11 games and repeatedly showed off his ability to burn secondaries with his speed. Byrd could be a useful addition to New England’s wide receiver core, replacing Phillip Dorsett’s role as a deep threat.
Projected 2020 Stats – 35 catches / 460 yards / 2 touchdowns
Meyers showed flashes of potential in 2019 but failed to receive a lot of targets because of Tom Brady’s notorious disdain for rookie receivers. His ceiling would be a lot higher with Jarrett Stidham under center, as the two have an established rapport. Unfortunately for him, it seems like Cam Newton is the early favorite to win the starting job. If this is the case, Meyers will still be able to carve out a significant role in New England’s aerial attack. Don’t expect a spectacular sophomore season, though.
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