Patriots Call up ‘Elite’ Athlete WR Ahead of Huge Week 9 Battle vs. Jets

Getty Kristian Wilkerson

Help is on the way as it pertains to the New England Patriots‘ wide receivers group. Just before the Patriots take on the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in the Big Apple, New England signed undrafted rookie Kristian Wilkerson from their practice squad.

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Patriots Head Into the Game with 4 Active WR

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Kristian Wilkerson is another potential fill-in player for N'Keal Harry. He has the size and athleticism, though he lacks experience and familiarity with the playbook… Wilkerson, 23 was originally signed by the Tennessee Titans on May 7, 2020, as a rookie free agent out of Southeast Missouri State. The 6-foot-1, 201-pounder also went to training camp with the Titans and was released on Sept. 5. Wilkerson played in 47 games with 43 starts during his collegiate career and registered 219 receptions for 3,540 yards and 33 touchdowns. His reception total, receiving yardage and receiving touchdowns are school records. Last season, Wilkerson started all 13 games and posted 71 receptions for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns. #Patriots #NewEnglandPatriots #CamNewton #StephonGilmore #DevinMcCourty #JasonMcCourty #JoshMcDaniels #JCJackson #LawrenceGuy #ChaseWinovich #JoshUche #KyleDugger #JoeThuney #JamesWhite #DamienHarris #JarrettStidham #AdamButler #JJTaylor #DevinAsiasi #DaltonKeene #JulianEdelman #NKealHarry #GunnerOlszewski #DavidAndrews #BillBelichick #isaiahzuber #MasonKinsey #AFC #NFL

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Wilkerson joins a group that includes Cam Newton‘s new favorite target, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, and Damiere Byrd.

Wilkerson got the call instead of the promising Isaiah Zuber. The latter had already been called up this season as many times as possible without forcing the Patriots into a decision.

Another call-up would have required him to clear waivers before returning to the practice squad, which means the Patriots would have had to sign him or risk losing the speedy rookie to another team.

When you compound that with the upside of giving an athletic guy like Wilkerson a chance to show a glimpse of what he’s capable of adding to the offense makes the decision a simpler one.

Wilkerson’s Pro Day Numbers and Overall Athleticism Described as “Elite”

According to Wilkerson’s RAS (Relative Athletic Score) the 6’1″ 215-pound receiver rated at the “elite” level in explosiveness and agility. He was given the grade of “great” as it pertains to speed, and on a scale of 0-10, his overall RAS was 9.72.

You might be asking yourself how he went undrafted with these kinds of measurables. Well, it’s because he hails from lesser-known South East Missouri State, and while Wilkerson re-wrote the record books for receivers at the school, he didn’t do enough to outshine others players at his position in most of the talent evaluator’s eyes.

He was originally signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent, but the Patriots took the first opportunity to pluck him from their practice squad. This will be his first opportunity to play in a regular-season game if he gets an opportunity on the field on Monday night.

Wilkerson has some ability to play special teams, so that could provide his first on-field opportunity.

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