It’s never too late to add a wide receiver who can help your young quarterback take the next step, and the New England Patriots are well aware of this. Looking to round out the back end of the depth chart in order to give Mac Jones more support, New England took an interest in Lil’Jordan Humphrey.
The 6-4, 225-pound Humphrey has spent the last three seasons buried on the New Orleans Saints‘ depth chart. Perhaps in need of a change of scenery to really move into the stratosphere, Humphrey decided to bolt the bayou and come up to frigid New England.
Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport are reporting that the Patriots have agreed to terms on a short-term contract with Humphrey. While the former Texas Longhorn is likely viewed as nothing more than a quick fix that adds more competition to the receiver room, he shouldn’t be counted out just yet.
With skill position names like N’Keal Harry on their last straw in New England and the back half of the depth chart a complete free-for-all at the moment, Humphrey might be skilled enough as a possession receiver and blocker to beat out his competition and make the 53-man roster.
Will Lil’Jordan Humphrey impact the New England Patriots?
After going undrafted despite a breakout season at Texas, Humphrey linked up with the Saints. 2021 was his most productive season to date, as he caught 13 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns despite some painful quarterback shuffling from New Orleans. He might put up some better numbers with Jones under center if given the opportunity.
Humphrey went undrafted due to a very noticeable lack of speed. Where he’ll make his money is over the middle of the field and in the red zone, as his size and hard-running style make him a difficult ball-carrier to tackle and a solid option when it comes to catching 50-50 balls.
Humphrey could easily be viewed as a Harry replacement. Both players are taller receivers with speed limitations, yet Humphrey was actually slightly more productive last season despite Harry’s status as a first-round pick. Expect a similar level of production from Humphrey this year with less expectation.
Humphrey isn’t going to change the scope of the offense, but there’s a universe in which he becomes a viable red zone target for Jones late in the season. Are we in that universe? We’ll have to wait and see what happens with Harry before we can answer that.