Patriots Pass on Talented WR With Ties to Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders

Getty The Patriots passed on a talented wide receiver coached by NFL legend Deion Sanders.

The New England Patriots passed on taking a player in the recent NFL Supplemental Draft, and the prospects included a talented wide receiver Malachi Wideman coached by Deion Sanders at Jackson State.

Known as “Coach Prime”, Sanders expressed his high regard for Wideman’s athletic talent during an interview on Thee Pregame Show. Up to 17 NFL teams “reached out to Wideman” before the supplemental draft on  Tuesday, July 11 according to HBCU GameDay. Sanders said one NFL team called him about Wideman.

“That kid probably should be in the darn NBA,” Sanders said about Wideman. “Let’s just get this straight. And that’s what I told the gentleman who called me, one of the scouts, I said go watch his basketball tape from high school and then call me back.”

It amazed the scout, Sanders alluded to.

“I said yeah, that’s the type of athlete he is. But this life stuff has to match up to the smart, tough, fast, disciplined, [and] it has to match up with who he’s trying to be,” Sanders said. “I’m praying for him.”

A two-sport athlete at JSU, Wideman has a 6-foot-5 frame and can excel with his athleticism on the basketball court as he can on the football field. Wideman played basketball for JSU during the 2021-2022 season, but he played two football seasons for the Tigers.

Deion Sanders: ‘There Are Certain Things That Malachi Has to Work On’

He shined at times for the Tigers with 13 touchdowns and 15.9 yards per reception, but his limited availability hindered his draft stock. Wideman only caught 37 passes for 589 yards in 17 games played.

“There are certain things that Malachi has to work on as a young man to develop himself to being a professional. A lot of these guys think when you go pro, you go pro. So you got to be a pro before you’re pro. You don’t get to the pros and say, I’m a pro. Malachi just has to work on some personal things that constitutes that he’s a pro even before he makes it to the pro,” Sanders said.

Whether or not the Patriots inquired about him remains unknown from the HBCU GameDay report. No team took Wideman nor Purdue wide receiver Milton Wright in the supplemental draft.

Malachi Wideman to Workout With NFL Teams, Patriots Could Use Depth

Wideman will workout with NFL teams in time for training camp according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. If the Patriots are one of those teams, it will give New England a look at an additional athletic receiver for depth at camp.

New England has a dearth of rookies at receiver: Demario Douglas, Kayshon Boutte, Malik Cunningham, Raleigh Webb, and Ed Lee. It wouldn’t hurt the Patriots to add one more for the competition as the team tries to improve the position group for 2023.

All of the rookies will be challenged to carve out roles among Patriots veterans JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton, and Kendrick Bourne. However, none of the aforementioned veterans had brilliant 2022 seasons.

The Patriots could also sign free agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but the five-time Pro Bowler remains unsigned with training camp just two weeks away.