Arriving to New England as a seldom-used wideout who made his name on special teams, Welker exploded alongside Moss and Brady in 2007 to the tune of 112 catches for 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns. Over the next five seasons he would surpass the 100-catch mark four more times, make five Pro-Bowls and earn two All-Pro selections. During his six-year Patriots tenure, no one in the NFL had more catches or yards than the 5-foot-9 wide receiver.
In an era of Patriots football that saw Bill Belichick break down and rebuild his roster, Welker was New England’s best player not named Brady. He even imparted some wisdom on another entry on this list.
3.Troy Brown (1993-2007)
Speaking of great slot receivers, let’s throw it back to the original.
You could say roughly 1,000,000 things about Brown’s career in New England that earn him a spot on the list. He arrived as a special teamer who was cut before ever taking a snap. He then molded himself into a solid wide receiver, before becoming the blueprint in the slot for so many throughout Belichick’s tenure. He was a Pro-Bowl wideout and return man, he authored some of the great forgotten plays in Patriots history and, most importantly, was reliable.
If the Patriots needed a big play on special teams, Brown was there. If they needed someone to fill in at defensive back in a season where they were decimated by injuries, Brown was there. When they desperately needed help coaching up wide receivers, Brown wasn’t there, but he returned. All in all, the three-time Super Bowl champion was a renaissance man, finishing his 15-year career with 557 catches for 6,366 yards and 31 touchdowns at wide receiver, 4,487 yards and three touchdowns as a returner and three interceptions as an emergency cornerback .
2.Stanley Morgan (1977-1989)
The first 40 years of Patriots history is often forgotten. But, before Belichick came around in 2000, there was actually a team in New England that had some halfway decent football players.
Stanley Morgan was among the best.
Morgan revolutionized what it meant to be a weapon in the Patriots offense, becoming New England’s first true big-play threat. Taking a look at his year-by-year numbers is confusing at first, as he only eclipsed the 50-catch mark twice in his 13 seasons as a Patriot, but the four-time Pro-Bowler put up over 1,000 yards three times and averages 22.5 yards per reception in his first six seasons. Without Morgan, the Patriots don’t make their first Super Bowl in 1985 and things could look a lot different for the boys in Foxboro. The Patriots Hall of Famer still leads the franchise with 10,352 career receiving yards.