Patriots WR Signing Fulfills Childhood Dream: Report

Bill Belichick

Getty Bill Belichick added a receiver with local ties recently.

New England Patriots rookie wide receiver Ed Lee saw a dream come true recently.

The former Rhode Island standout recently “agreed to terms with the Patriots” according to source via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Lee grew up as a Patriots fan from 8 years of age, Reiss wrote.

At Rhode Island, Lee tallied 58 catches for 908 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. He finished his collegiate career with 86 catches for 1,262 yards and eight touchdowns in 37 career games.

Lee also returned punts for the Rams — primarily in 2022 — where he averaged 11.3 yards per return. He earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors for punt returning and second team honors for receiving.

During the pre-draft process, Lee “worked out at the Patriots’ local pro day” according to NESN’s Zack Cox. Lee’s performance at the Bryant pro day in March notably impressed scouts.

“He ran a 4.53 forty and he looked smooth getting in and out of cuts in the field work. Lee felt he could have done better but he definitely helped himself,” New England Football Journal’s John Sarianides wrote.

At the NFL Combine Lee ran a 4.45 time in the 40, but his cone drill time impressed even more. He clocked 6.84, which made him second to Seattle Seahawks first-round pick receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Lee also received a minicamp invite after the NFL Draft in April. A 5-foot-10, 185-pound wideout, Lee gives the Patriots additional depth at receiver and competition for minicamp this month and possibly training camp next month.

Mac Jones Shows Confidence in WR Tyquan Thornton

While Lee looks to crack the 53-man roster, Patriots receiver Tyquan Thornton looks to take a big step forward in proving himself this year.

A second-round pick in 2022, Thornton turned in a meager rookie year performance with 22 catches for 247 yards and two touchdowns amid injury. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones sees better things coming based on what he’s seen of Thornton this offseason.

“I think Tyquan, he’s done a really good job just trying to be consistent,” Jones told reporters on May 31. “I got a chance to work with him in the offseason like a lot of the guys. For me and him, it’s all about communication. He has to grow and learn with me, and all the other guys, too. We’re all in the same boat together, but what you see is exactly what you’re going to get.

“He’s fast, he’s a smart football player, he’s got strong hands,” Jones added. “I really think it’s just him continuing to grow that confidence just like we’re all working for, and he’s going to be a great player for a long time.”

New Patriots WR Impresses Mac Jones

Jones also likes what he sees in the Patriots’ biggest receiver addition this offseason — free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster. The former Kansas City Chiefs wideout joined the Patriots amid expectations for him to fill the top receiver role.

“I think JuJu’s done a great job, also from a leadership standpoint. Coming in, that’s someone who adds veteran leadership from different places,” Jones told reporters. “He just came off of a Super Bowl team, so what a great value to our offense. Obviously, when he gets on the field, that’s going to be great because he has the experience and he loves talking about football.”

“He’s just a football nerd, I guess, kind of like me,” Jones added. “We kind of hit it off in that regard. He’s an awesome guy, and I’m looking forward to working with all those guys in that room. I think there’s a lot of potential there.”