Every Saturday throughout the offseason, one question from Twitter will be selected to further explore a relevant topic around the New England Patriots.
@MikeReiss how many of Dobson, Washington, Harper, Martin, Lucien can they keep if 4 other WRs are already locks?— Chris (@CJ_sports_twit) June 10, 2016
Probably one, assuming there is good health for the top four receivers of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. I didn't include special-teams captain Matthew Slater on the list, as he is technically listed as a receiver but his primary contributions come in the kicking game.
If I had to rate the odds of who has the inside track for the No. 5 role, it would currently look something like this:
2. Aaron Dobson
3. Chris Harper
5. Devin Lucien
A few factors to keep in mind is that depth can be built on the practice squad, and Harper, Lucien and Carter all have eligibility. So let's say one receiver from the group of Martin, Dobson and Washington earns that No. 5 role, you can double-layer the practice squad should Harper, Lucien or Carter clear waivers.
There are also special-teams considerations, and Martin and Harper do more than the others in that area, which adds value and helps their cause.
While Carter lands at the bottom of the list, I thought he caught the ball well and ran crisp routes during OTAs, and is a developmental slot worthy of note.
"I think our receiver group overall has done well -- gotten open, caught the ball," coach Bill Belichick said.