(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2012.)
NAME: Jeremy Ebert
POSITION: Wide receiver
2011 STATS: 13 games (all starts), 75 receptions, 1,060 yards, 11 touchdowns -- with Northwestern
INJURY STATUS: Slowed at minicamp due to a leg injury
CHANCE OF MAKING 53-MAN ROSTER: 15%
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: With veteran receiver Wes Welker facing an uncertain future in New England, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Ebert was a productive pass-catcher in college and is the lone recent draft pick at a position loaded with veterans. At the top of the depth chart, only Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney are under contract beyond this season. Keeping Ebert around would give the team a young receiver to develop for the future.
WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: The numbers at receiver have been shaved after Anthony Gonzalez and Chad Ochocinco were released, but Ebert still faces long odds to make the roster at a jam-packed position. Due to obligations at Northwestern, Ebert was unable to practice with the Patriots until the end of organized team activities. He also was slowed at mandatory minicamp due to a leg injury.