Maurice Harris and Bruce Ellington Could Slide into Prominent Roles in Patriots Juggernaut - Roto Street Journal
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Maurice Harris and Bruce Ellington Could Slide into Prominent Roles in Patriots Juggernaut

Between the departures of Chris Hogan and Cordarelle Patterson and the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots are one of the league’s premium value hole spots for receivers and tight ends. They were unable to add any major names through free agency, but did lock up Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris to 1-year deals worth less than $1 million each. Neither are locks for big years or even necessarily locks to make the roster, but one or both could develop into decent penny stocks in what is always a strong offensive attack in New England. 

We’ll start with Maurice Harris, who undoubtedly has the higher floor of the two. Harris signed with Washington as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and played in 28 games over 3 seasons. After catching just 12 passes in 16 games over his first 2 seasons, he set career-highs in 2018 in games played (12), targets (47), receptions (28), and receiving yards (304). He has just 1 TD in his career thus far, but it was one of the more impressive catches you’ll ever see from back in 2017. At 6’3″, 200 pounds, Harris is the biggest body in New England’s receiving corps and his great hands make him a potential favorite target for Tom Brady, although his lack of explosiveness and consistency will limit his fantasy ceiling.

Bruce Ellington looks the part of a Pats wideout a bit more than Harris at 5’9″, 200 pounds, but injuries have limited him over the last few years. The former football and basketball standout from the University of South Carolina was drafted in the 4th round by the 49ers in 2014 and caught just 19 passes for them in 2 seasons before missing all of 2016 with a torn hamstring. His recovery for this injury actually included having his Semitendinosus, a major muscle that makes up his hamstring, removed surgically. He’s played in 18 games over the last 2 years with Houston and Detroit but has continued to struggle to stay on the field. Ellington is definitely the riskier option of the two, but the Patriots have done far more with far less, and Ellington could very well be a major factor as a shifty slot option in 2019.

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