I don’t think there’s any question who Tom Brady’s top two targets will be at the wide receiver position in 2009, with Randy Moss and Wes Welker both returning. But after those two, there are a lot of questions at the wide receiver position, considering the departure of the Patriots’ second outside receiver Jabar Gaffney. In the offseason, the Patriots acquired veteran Joey Galloway through free agency, Greg Lewis through trade, and rookies Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman through the draft. Also returning are Sam Aiken, Matt Slater, and Ray Ventrone. Shun White and Terrence Nunn round out the position.
Projected Depth Chart
1. Randy Moss
2. Joey Galloway
3. Wes Welker (slot)
4. Greg Lewis
5. Brandon Tate
6. (Sam Aiken)
7. (Julian Edelman)
8. (Matt Slater)
9. (Ray Ventrone)
CUTS: Terrence Nunn, Shun White
1. Who will emerge as the #3 target behind Wes Welker and Randy Moss? How much tread does Joey Galloway have on the tires? Is Greg Lewis ready to step up?
2. Can Randy Moss and Wes Welker continue to play at an elite level?
3. Will rookie Brandon Tate be healthy for training camp? If not, will he go on PUP, or will he be placed on injured reserve?
4. Will the versatility and special teams potential of Ray Ventrone, Matt Slater, Julian Edelman, and Sam Aiken enable them to keep roster spots?
Training Camp Battles
Ray Ventrone vs. Matthew Slater: Both play receiver/safety, both can play receiver, both can return kicks, both can cover punts and kicks extremely well. But is there room on the roster for both of them? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, watching these two duel should be good fun.
Joey Galloway vs. Greg Lewis: Both receivers will be in the top four on the Patriots depth chart, but both will be competing to start on the outside opposite Randy Moss. Greg Lewis may be the underdog, but Joey Galloway, known for his blazing speed, will be 37 years old.