Slot – Jeremy Kerley/Austin Proehl/Ray-Ray McCloud
There is a lot to sift through at the wide receiver position. Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones are the two starters on the outside, and that is what it is. I have a lot of hope for Jones because he has the ideal size and I am not afraid of his production last season. Rookie receivers generally take a little longer to transition to the NFL and the team’s offense was not at all pass-oriented. I think he will prove to be a solid option and become a bigger part of the offense.
After Benjamin and Jones things begin to get more unclear. Jeremy Kerley is penciled in as the slot receiver for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Austin Proehl earn the starting slot receiver role. He is similar to the style of slot receivers that the Patriots have had for seasons, and the Patriots Erhardt-Perkins system is what the team will be running with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
Andre Holmes stays due to his special teams abilities and Ray-Ray McCloud seems to slot in as the special teams returner. I can definitely see undrafted free agent Robert Foster making the team as well because of his speed.
I expect the team to sign another wide receiver but not until training camp. From now until then veteran receivers will get cut or guys like Jeremy Maclin or Eric Decker will come down in price. They did the same with Anquan Boldin last season by signing him in camp, and I believe a bigger name will become available that they will bring in to compete.
This remains the same to me as last season. Clay began to be more utilized and for a pocket QB like McCarron and a rookie like Allen, a veteran tight end will be their best friend. Nick O’Leary is solid and does everything you would want him to, and his grandpa is Jack Nicholas so that obviously means he makes the team. Logan Thomas is an intriguing prospect still and does things well. He could find a new role in the new offense.