Under-the-Radar Alabama WR Called ‘Prototypical Patriots Slot Receiver’

Getty Slade Bolden

The New England Patriots love a good slot receiver. Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne are getting some looks in this role currently, but neither is elite and on the level of a prime Wes Welker, Deion Branch or Julian Edelman.

Wouldn’t the Patriots love to have another one of those guys?

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Is Slade Bolden the Next Great Patriots Slot Receiver?

Justin Leger of NBC Sports loves Slade Bolden. He called the junior WR from Alabama the “prototypical Patriots slot receiver,” and if you take a good look at his tape, it’s hard to argue.

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Phil Perry of NBC Sports spoke with AL.com’s Mike Rodak about Bolden, and he had great things to say about the receiver.

“There’s definitely a couple guys. I’d say later in the draft if he comes out this year … Slade Bolden, a wide receiver,” Rodak said. “You talk about the prototypical Patriots slot receiver, he’s probably fitting that mold and seems to be this sort of makeup fit that might fit New England. But that’s more of a later-round pick. In terms of the perfect Patriot, I’d probably put him in that category more than anybody else, especially with Bill O’Brien having run the Alabama offense this year.”

Bolden has yet to put up huge numbers in Alabama’s stacked offense. In his junior season in 2021, Bolden had 35 receptions for 364 yards and 3 TDs heading into Monday’s National Championship Game against the Georgia Bulldogs. All three totals are career-highs.

Bolden had 7 receptions and 44 yards in Alabama’s loss in the CFP title game. Rodak isn’t the only one who has linked Bolden to the Patriots. BetOnline tweeted this popular Bill Belichick GIF:

The Mac Jones Connection Could Be a Factor

The Patriots’ Mac Jones knows Bolden well. He was the man throwing Bolden the ball in his freshman and sophomore years, and the two clearly have some chemistry. Bolden is the kind of QB-best-friend sort of wide receiver that could be a Godsend for Jones’ development.

The Patriots could release Gunner Olszewski and potentially trade N’Keal Harry. That would give the Patriots Bourne, Meyers, Bolden and Nelson Agholor as four of their best receivers while the team would still give New England an opportunity to sign a potential No. 1 WR.

Players like Allen Robinson or even AJ Green might be smart options. Group in tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith with the pass-catching ability of running back Rhamondre Stevenson, and New England could have a truly potent offense through the air.

Bolden may go back to school for his senior season, but if he can get a 4-5th-round grade, he might consider coming out of school as it doesn’t seem practical he’ll improve his stock too much as a senior.

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