The New England Patriots didn’t make moves for the biggest names, but they haven’t stood pat and completely ignored their deficiencies. On Wednesday, New England signed former Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars WR Donte Moncrief.
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Patriots Have Now Added Two WRs Who Could Contribute
At the trade deadline, the Patriots acquired Isaiah Ford from the Miami Dolphins for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2022 draft. On Wednesday, the Patriots added Moncrief to the practice squad after having worked him out last week.
It’s not the big-name tandem that some may have hoped for, but Moncrief and Ford would appear to be upgrades from the current crop of receivers.
What Moncrief Does Well?
Moncrief is a big (6’2″ 221 pounds), athletic wide receiver who was compared to Josh Gordon when he came out of Ole Miss in 2014.
Bleacher Report draft guru Matt Miller wrote the following positives on Moncrief in his scouting report after he was selected by the Colts with the 90th overall pick.
- Built like a tall running back and essentially played that role at times for Ole Miss, getting multiple targets on screen passes each game.
- Has the frame to excel as a possession receiver.
- Gives a strong effort as a blocker and displays the technique to continue to excel in this area in the pros.
- Has experience running the full route tree at Ole Miss.
- Does a nice job tracking the ball over his shoulder on deep routes.
- Game speed is modest, but he’s a smooth runner and accelerates to top speed quickly, which makes him dangerous enough that defensive backs have to respect his ability to get over the top of the defense.
- Has experience lining up out wide and in the slot.
- Quick enough to occasionally make a defender miss after the catch and fast enough to break off chunks of yardage if he’s given a running lane.
- Runs hard after the catch and is strong enough to break an occasional tackle attempt.
Miller listed these negatives, some of which he’s proven to have overcome.
- Takes a very passive approach to catching the ball, and usually lets the ball come into his chest rather than catching away from his body.
- Struggles to focus on the ball when locked in tight coverage and misses a lot of difficult but catchable passes.
- Body control is poor—struggles to position himself to box out the defender and adjust to the ball quickly enough to make plays as a possession receiver.
- Phenomenal workout numbers, but it doesn’t always translate to the field.
- 40-yard dash and 10-yard split times just didn’t translate to consistent separation in college.
- Tried to play like a pure speed receiver in college but he doesn’t have the elite separation ability to play that same role in the NFL and will need to develop his ability to win with his size.
- Frequently failed to get on the same page with his quarterback in terms of depth and timing of routes; it wasn’t always necessarily his fault, but its an issue worth inquiring about.
- Athletic enough to make one move after the catch but lacks the agility to put together multiple moves to weave his way through traffic.”
When is the Soonest You Could Expect Moncrief to Join the 53-Man Roster?
Moncrief has to go through COVID-19 protocol which won’t likely allow him to join the team until next week. He’ll need some time working with the coaches, and at the earliest, he might be ready for activation for the Week 10 battle against the Baltimore Ravens.