The New England Patriots have had one of the worst offenses in the NFL so far in 2023. Through seven games, they are averaging 14.4 points, which shockingly ranks 31st in the NFL this season instead of just dead last. Despite ranking 11th in the NFL in pass attempts this season, the Patriots rank in the bottom-10 of the NFL in total passing yards and only in Week 1 did they manage to eclipse 300 yards through the air.
A major part of the team's struggles in the passing game has to do with the fact that their wide receiver position is mostly awful. Kendrick Bourne leads the team in targets, and with all due respect to Bourne -- who is a solid player -- that is just not a situation you want your team to be in.
Not that he's going to immediately become the team's WR1, but the Patriots picked up Jalen Reagor for their practice squad after roster cuts in September, and the former first-round pick out of TCU has earned his way up to the Pats' active roster permanently.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had this to say about Reagor earning a more expanded opportunity going forward based on him showing out at practice:
"Been a really good scout-team player for us. We've played against a lot of top receivers and he's gotten a lot of good opportunities - with some of the routes those guys run - to be featured a little bit. He's earned some playing time, which has come from his practice performance. So he's picking up the offense and we'll see how it goes. But he's a good talent, good guy to work with, glad we have him."- Bill Belichick
Jalen Reagor, up to this point, has been a surprise disappointment from the vaunted 2020 NFL Draft class. That class included a number of star receivers in the league today, including Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Tee Higgins. It also included Brandon Aiyuk, Jerry Jeudy, Michael Pittman Jr., Gabe Davis, Darnell Mooney, and another number of other players that have become solid role players.
When those guys were coming out of college, this was considered arguably one of the great receiver draft classes of all time. Jalen Reagor was considered one of the best, and the Philadelphia Eagles obviously agreed. They took him with a first-round pick, and held out hope for a few years before trading him to the Vikings. The Vikings let him go, and he is now getting one more shot with the Patriots.
Still just 24, it will be very interesting to see if an expanded role for Reagor can help him revive his NFL career. Coming out of TCU, he was an explosive playmaker not only in the passing game but also in the return game. Perhaps the Patriots can not only help Reagor get back on track but mutually benefit in the fact that Reagor's speed and playmaking abilities could end up helping bring some life to their passing attack.