- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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With Deion Branch and the Patriots agreeing to a one-year deal, here is one view of the Patriots' projected depth chart at the position (a draft pick could fit in the 3-5 range). Each receiver's age is in parenthesis:
1. Wes Welker (30): Not the prototypical No. 1, but he is in this offense.
2. Brandon Lloyd (30): Outside threat with good hands and the ability to pick up big chunks of yardage quickly.
3. Deion Branch (32): Savvy veteran has a special rapport with Tom Brady.
4. Donte' Stallworth (31): Not a roster lock, but he knows the system and can get down the field.
5. Chad Ochocinco (34): A $3 million base salary is a lot for a No. 5, or even No. 4 option, which makes his return anything but a certainty.
6. Julian Edelman (25): First man up in the slot if Welker's contract status remains an issue and Welker isn't on the field.
7. Matthew Slater (26): He will be on the club for his special teams prowess; not expected to contribute much at wideout.
8. Anthony Gonzalez (27): If he can stay healthy -- a big "if" after the last three years -- he could help in the slot or on the outside.
9. Tiquan Underwood (25): Likable target who made headlines when he was cut the night before the Super Bowl faces an uphill climb.
10. Britt Davis (25): Former practice squad receiver is on the developmental track and is a bigger target.