Patriots

Could Kendrick Bourne have a 'Deebo Samuel year' for Patriots?

Patriots
Kendrick Bourne

If you want a bold prediction about the New England Patriots' offense in 2022, you've come to the right place.

Reporting from Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium after watching Friday's practice, Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran shared a very bold prediction about the role wide receiver Kendrick Bourne will play in New England's offense during his second year with the team.

"Full-on stud," Curran said of Bourne, as seen in the video player above. "... He is the player around which the Patriots are going to really start to craft their offense."

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Curran cited Bourne's contributions in both the passing game and the running game in addition to his clear chemistry with quarterback Mac Jones as evidence that the Patriots should make Bourne a focal point of their offensive attack in 2022.

"When you look at him last year, 55 of the 70 balls that went his way, he caught," Curran said. "The passer rating for Mac Jones throwing to him was (129.7). Very few drops. He had 125 yards on 10 carries, so 12.5 (yards per rush).

"He does it all for the Patriots, and they really are going to be in a position where they should make him the hub of their offense."

Perhaps like a certain dual-threat Pro Bowler for the San Francisco 49ers?

"He's going to have a Deebo Samuel year. He's going to be Deebo Samuel this year," Curran said, raising the eyebrows of fellow Patriots Insider Phil Perry.

 

Samuel ranked third in the NFL in all-purpose yards last season, racking up 1,405 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns in addition to 365 yards and eight TDs on the ground en route to First-Team All-Pro honors.

That seems like an impossibly high bar for Bourne to reach, especially since the Patriots have a deep stable of running backs led by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson that could limit Bourne's involvement in the run game.

To Curran's larger point, however, Bourne might be New England's most explosive offensive weapon. He led the team in yards per catch last season (14.5) and turned nearly half of his catches (27 of 55) into first downs.

So, even if Bourne doesn't put up Deebo Samuel numbers in 2022, we could see the Patriots find creative ways to get him the ball in key situations to unlock an offense that ranked 15th in the NFL in yards per game last season.

And if Bourne somehow does put up Samuel-esque numbers this season? Curran can say he told you so.