In a Friday segment on NFL Network's "Total Access", former Patriots Willie McGinest and Heath Evans opined on New England's stacked competition at receiver. The question was asked, "How many of the 12 receivers on the roster can actually make the club?"
McGinest led things off by declaring Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd locks, while adding that Matthew Slater -- because of his special teams value -- isn't going anywhere.
So that's three right there.
"There are some other guys that have a lot of talent -- Jabar Gaffney had a great year in Washington -- but the thing that sticks out to me is Josh McDaniels. Six of the 12 guys that are here have played under, or for him, in his system. They understand him. It's all about Josh McDaniels and the direction that this offense is going," McGinest said.
Evans then pointed out that the Patriots, unlike other clubs, would feel comfortable keeping fewer running backs than other clubs so they could load up on receivers.
"A normal team would be struggling, how do we cut 12 guys down to six? Well, the Patriots have the option cut them down to eight," Evans said. "You'll still have an odd man out and it's probably Chad Ochocinco, because if you start putting in the special teams battle, because every wide receiver that's not your true core starter needs to have some type of impact on that special teams unit every given Sunday. Obviously, that's not Chad's forte."
To watch the segment, CLICK HERE.
ESPNBoston.com projected depth chart:
1. Wes Welker
2. Brandon Lloyd
3. Deion Branch
4. Jabar Gaffney
5. Julian Edelman (punt returner)
6. Matthew Slater (special teams captain)
--- cut line ---
7. Donte' Stallworth
8. Chad Ochocinco
9. Anthony Gonzalez
10. Britt Davis
11. Jeremy Ebert
12. Matt Roark