(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2013.)
NAME: Kamar Aiken
POSITION: Wide receiver
2012 STATS: 1 game, no statistics
INJURY STATUS: No known injuries.
CHANCE OF MAKING 53-MAN ROSTER: 20%
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: At 6-foot-2, Aiken's size could be his best asset in his attempt to secure a roster spot this preseason. The Patriots have two veteran inside receivers in Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, but they have been in search of an outside threat since the departure of Randy Moss in 2010. Aiken doesn't have the skill set of rookie Aaron Dobson or even veteran Michael Jenkins, but he saw reps with the top offensive unit at one point this spring. If he proves to be durable and reliable, then there may be room for him.
WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: With so few sure bets at wide receiver, it's unlikely that the Patriots will have room to keep another special-teams-oriented player, like Aiken, outside of captain Matthew Slater. And while it's too early in his career to write off Aiken's value as an offensive player, the Patriots invested two high draft picks in April on receivers, and have another promising undrafted rookie in Kenbrell Thompkins. Ultimately, Aiken may prove to be too much of a niche player to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
CLOSEST COMPETITION: WR Kenbrell Thompkins, WR Lavelle Hawkins, WR Michael Jenkins