As the 2018 NFL season quickly sneaks its way upon us, there are many questions surrounding the 2018 New England Patriots and some glaring holes some see in our roster. Sure, the Patriots do play in a weak AFC East and will more than likely win the division and get a bye into the playoffs. But there is one group of guys that I think need to step it up the most. No, its not the defensive unit, even though last year they were more than suspect. This year it is the WR core who will need to step up and fill the voids left by Julian Edelman (serving a 4 game suspension for PED’s) and Brandin Cooks (traded to the Rams).

The Deepest Hole In The Roster

With the Patriots, one spot on the field that is constantly in question is defense, especially now under Coach Belichick and first year coordinator, Brian Flores. Sure, Malcolm Butler left and signed with Tennessee. But again, the position to watch on the field early on is the WR position and how some of the new faces will mesh with Tom Brady. With a banged up WR group before the season even starts, there is one name I think will play a huge role this season on the offensive side of the ball…..Phillip Dorsett.

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Young and Hungry

Phillip Dorsett may not be a household name yet. But this is a guy who was a late first round pick with great speed and tremendous upside coming out of The U. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to really get it going in Indianapolis, which lead to a trade to the Patriots. Dorsett ended up appearing in 15 games with the Pats in 2017 and now has a full year and offseason learning the playbook and becoming more familiar with Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels and their tendencies.

Dorsett is only 25 years old and brings a tremendous amount of talent to the table for this Patriots offense. This is a guy known for his speed, the ability to catch and hold onto the football, and also his footwork – with or without the ball. From an outsider standpoint, we should look for Dorsett to fill the void left by Brandin Cooks as a fast, deep threat down the sideline. Also look for him to get a ton of slot work early in the season, with Edelman being sidelined for 4 games.

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Phillip Dorsett’s career high in receptions is 33 in 2016 with the Colts. But after a full season in 2017, plus an additional off-season and training camp learning the playbook and working more closely with Brady and McDaniels, I would expect him to reach a career high in every category across the board. We can also look for Dorsett to make an impact in the kicking and punt return game.

Phillip Dorsett will be the surprise X-Factor on this Patriots offense in 2018 ….. here is my prediction for Phil:

700 yds

5 TD’s

45+ receptions

60+ Targets