Mike Mayock on Patriots wideouts – a lot of new guys Dan Leberfeld

The New England Patriots wide receiver position is in a state of transition.

Wes Welker is gone, and his replacement, Danny Amendola is likely out this week, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

So what should fans expect to see on Thursday night at the wide receiver position from New England?

“Kenbrell Thompkins was kind of the sensation of training camp and the preseason,” said Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. “There are reasons that he went undrafted that had nothing to do with physical ability.  He had a significant number of off‑the‑field problems and he transferred a couple of times, etc.  He came out of nowhere.

“I watched them when they practiced for the Eagles for two days prior to the first preseason game, and I couldn’t believe when I saw the first team offense jog to the field, [Thompkins] was on there.  I had to look at my program to see who it was, who was 85, and [Aaron] Dobson was in the group and [Josh] Boyce was in the group.

“So they have been a continuing story.  Now, with youth comes growing pains.  That’s just the way of the world in anything.  I think what they are betting on is that over time, these guys are younger, quicker, faster, and will develop into better playmakers down the road.  You might lose a little bit early ‑‑ and by the way, I thought there were several disconnects between [Tom] Brady and his young receivers in the game [against Buffalo].  And I think that’s something you’re going to have to live with for a little time.

“Now, when [Rob] Gronkowski gets back, I think a lot of that gets better more quickly because he’ll draw so much coverage.  But I think Thompkins has an ability to separate and get open.  Dobson, who didn’t play, I think has big‑time ability.

“Tom Brady is the kind of guy that can get them a win like yesterday when they had all they could handle and more, but they still got the win, and try to allow these guys time to develop.”