Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman are locks at the No. 1 and No. 2 receiver spots, but it may not be clear which one is No. 1. They make up the team’s top two receivers and Josh Boyce is making a case to be No. 3 on the wide receiver depth chart.
Tom Brady has favored Boyce in the early goings of OTAs, according to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal, which bodes well for his role in the receiving corps in 2014.
Positions are never lost and won in OTAs, particularly one like No. 3 receiver. The Patriots like to pick and choose match up week-to-week and target opposing deficiencies. The three spot will be an important one for the Patriots offense. With Gronkowksi’s health status in question and little depth behind him at tight end, the Patriots will likely resort to using three receiver sets often.
Boyce will jockey with fellow second year players Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. The entire group has had ups and downs. Boyce had the smalls impact in his rookie campaign, and had a unfortunate drop in the end zone against the Dolphins in week 15.
Boyce figures to make a more certain impact on special teams, where he could take the opening at kick returner, now that LeGarrette Blount has taken off for Steelers pastures. If he maintains this momentum into training camp and preseason, however, there is no doubt he can win the job. The fourth-round selection has as good a chance as any to take a starting spot on the roster.