One vote for WR being a top need

April, 8, 2014
Apr 8
4:00
PM ET
When a "needs" list was put together for the Patriots within the last week, wide receiver ranked No. 9.

Not everyone sees it the same way, however, and Brian Baldinger of NFL Network is one analyst who falls into that category.

As part of a focus on the Patriots during Monday's "Path to the Draft" program, Baldinger put receiver right up at the top of the list.

"I know Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Kenbrell Thompkins came in as rookies and gave them a little bit last year," Baldinger said. "But imagine one of these highly-touted wide receivers in the first round; the Patriots have not selected a wide receiver in the first round since Terry Glenn under Bill Parcells in 1996. That's 18 years ago. Never under Tom Brady have they taken a wide receiver [first].

"Imagine if you took a receiver in the first round and he got a chance to work against Brandon Browner on one side and Darrelle Revis on the other side in practice every day, they would grow up pretty quickly. I think that's where the Patriots should go."

SportsNation

Is the wide receiver position one of the Patriots' top three needs heading into the draft?

  •  
    39%
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    61%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,044)

Fellow analyst Charles Davis then began listing receivers who could be targets at No. 29.

"Would Kelvin Benjamin still be there?" Davis asked after listing Southern Cal's Marqise Lee among the possibilities.

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: The feeling here is that the Patriots made their move at receiver last year and other needs -- specifically in the defensive front seven -- trump it if all things are equal. While the Patriots haven't selected a receiver in the first round, they have devoted early second-round picks to the position, with Chad Jackson one notable example in 2006. After investing a second-round pick (Dobson) and fourth-round pick (Boyce) last year, I'd be surprised if the Patriots go back there again in 2014.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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