- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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The Patriots' greatest need right now could be at the wide receiver position. The team's interest in obtaining at least one more wide receiver was confirmed by the recent attempt to acquire Emmanuel Sanders.
With Sanders still in Pittsburgh, the draft is an alternative vehicle for finding another young wide receiver, although Bill Belichick has selected a wide receiver in the first round just once (1994) during his two tenures as an NFL head coach.
With the idea in mind that the "no first-round receiver" trend could continue (and also that the Patriots could be interested in trading out of the first round to acquire more picks), we asked NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock on a Wednesday conference to assess potential receivers of interest for the Patriots in round 2 and 3 of the draft (the Patriots currently do not have a fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round selection).
"You're talking about them at 59, I think at that point DeAndre Hopkins is probably -- the two guys that I would love are DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson and [Robert] Woods from USC," Mayock replied. "I'm not sure either of them is going to be there at that point, they could be, so I'd throw that out there as potential. I think they understand the game, I think they catch the ball, they're tough, they run routes as well. They're two of my favorite route-runners in this year's draft.
"After that, who might be there?" he continued. "A couple of bigger bodied guys like Terrance Williams from Baylor, Aaron Dobson from Marshall, who are both very interesting to me. Big-bodied guys who get some production out of them outside the numbers and in the red zone could complement Danny Amendola. A guy like Quinton Patton could be there, from Louisiana Tech. I'm not sure he's quite as much a fit because he might end up inside in the NFL. Some of those bigger bodied guys with speed and verticality I like for them."