Poll: Most likely Pats WR to emerge

June, 8, 2011
6/08/11
11:59
AM ET
Earlier today, Wes Welker's standing among NFL receivers was highlighted. Welker returns for his fifth season with the Patriots in 2011, and he said last month that he feels as good physically as he has in two years.

Welker once again figures to be a major cog in the Patriots' offense; he lined up alongside Deion Branch during informal workouts last month.

While Welker and Branch top the Patriots' receiver depth chart, the personnel behind them also bears watching.

Brandon Tate served as the third receiver in 2010, finishing with 24 receptions. Julian Edelman was in the No. 4 hole, totaling seven receptions (after nabbing 37 as a rookie). Taylor Price rounded out the mix, playing one game and making three catches.

Then there is the Aaron Hernandez factor.

While Hernandez is officially listed as a tight end, and sometimes plays on the line, he is more of a receiver-type option. It was commonplace to see him flexed out wide during the 2010 season, and he finished with 45 receptions.

Of this group, who makes the biggest jump will be one of the notable storylines to follow in 2011.

To share your thoughts, vote in the accompanying poll and/or share comments in the comments section of this blog.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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