Every Saturday in the offseason, one question from Twitter will be selected to expound upon based on a hot topic surrounding the New England Patriots:
@MikeReiss Hi Mike, think this is Brady's best corps on paper w/ Gronkowski and White in the mix?
— Ryan (@RyLo2382) May 24, 2017
Ryan, from an on-paper standpoint, I'd put this group of overall weapons at the top of the list quarterback Tom Brady has worked with in his 18 seasons with the franchise. I can't recall another year with more offensive skill-position depth across the board, but as coach Bill Belichick has said, depth in May can sometimes look a lot different from depth in November and December.
The one season that I think could compare to it is 2007.
I give the edge to the '07 receivers in a close call, mainly because of Randy Moss' dominance and uncommon traits, but this current receiving corps looks deeper to me. Danny Amendola as a No. 5 option, assuming good health, is a strong reflection of that.
The depth of the running backs also seems stronger this season. One example came in Thursday's organized team activity when one of the top performers was second-year player D.J. Foster, who was catching the ball well on a rainy day when there were more drops overall than desired. You're watching that at practice -- where James White, he of the three Super Bowl LI touchdowns, was also on the field -- and thinking to yourself, "Can they possibly keep five running backs and six receivers on the final roster if everyone is healthy?"
There's a lot of talent on the field.
At tight end, as long as Rob Gronkowski is healthy, his presence tips the scales in the direction of 2017 in this discussion. He's that much of a difference-maker.
As we consider this topic, there are two final points that have to be mentioned: (1) Health can be the great equalizer; (2) the 2017 weapons haven't accomplished anything yet, so this is all about potential at this point.
But there's no denying that potential is great.