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No. 2 receiver options in focus for Patriots

Each week leading up to April’s NFL Draft, New England native Steve Muench of ESPN’s Scouts Inc. will identify a few prospects he feels could be a good fit for the Patriots.

Today, the focus is on the No. 2 receiver spot and the prospects are Dezmon Briscoe (Kansas) and Riley Cooper (Florida).

“I think they are both tailor-made for the No. 2 spot. Briscoe is a little more of an athlete than Cooper and that’s why he could be a late first-round, early second-round guy. So he’d be someone that if the Patriots were targeting, they would probably trade back and get with their first-round pick or they’d run the risk that he might not be there once they pick again in the second round. Cooper had a really good Senior Bowl and he’s probably more in the late second-round, early third-round range.

“One of the things I like when looking at these two is how they could complement what the Patriots already have. Neither of them will stretch the field like Randy Moss, and they also aren’t explosive slot receivers. But they are both strong, catch the ball well, and are good enough route runners and physical enough in one-on-one situations that they will make you pay if left in one-on-one situations consistently.

“So if defenses take away Moss and [Wes] Welker, they can post defenders up, using their frame to shield defenders, and could develop into good route runners. They could be the missing piece to the passing game.”