5 things Patriots fans should know about new WR Kendrick Bourne

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Danny Jaillet
·4 min read
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It has been a crazy couple of days in free agency for the New England Patriots, as they look to improve their roster. One of their acquisitions was former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

The former Eastern Washington product found himself a nice little niche in San Francisco as a Speedy receiver. Now, he will look to take that speed to New England and become one of many weapons in the Patriots passing game.

His name may not be familiar to some, and we have five things that you need to know about Bourne as he looks to call Gillette Stadium home.

Bourne played college ball with future NFL star

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bourne played college football with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp at Eastern Washington University. Bourne was slightly overshadowed by Kupp, but he still managed to have a respectable college career. He caught 211 passes for 3,130 yards 27 touchdowns in four seasons at Eastern Washington. His best season came in 2016. That year, he played in 14 games, and caught 79 passes for 1,201 yards and seven touchdowns. Bourne and Kupp were a formidable duo. They were able to strengthen the Eastern Washington passing attack. For his part, Kupp was able to break many school records and garnered several accolades during his time at the collegiate level.

Bourne made headlines early

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

As a high schooler at the Milwaukee Arts Academy, he turned heads. He was named a first-team All-Northwest Oregon conference selection in 2012. He caught 54 passes for 1,292 yards and 18 touchdowns. Following his senior season, he was chosen to play in the Polynesian All-American bowl. This was where he really began to start making a name for himself. From early on, he was able to show his capabilities as a playmaker right away. As noted by his time at Eastern Washington, he was able to parlay that into a successful collegiate career.

2020 was a career year for Bourne

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In 2020, he had a career year. He was fully able to cement himself as a part of the San Francisco passing attack. Bourne caught 49 passes for 667 yards and two touchdowns last season. Those numbers represented a career year for him. His best game of the season came against the Dallas Cowboys. In it, he caught four passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. San Francisco had a very run-heavy offense in the 2020 season. Bourne was able to find a role in it, and it allowed him to be a good complementary receiver. Now, he will look to be a major part of a New England passing attack that struggled mightily last season.

Bourne is a sure-handed receiver

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He is known as a very sure-handed receiver. Throughout his career, he has been able to haul in whatever pass is thrown his way. Beginning in the 2018 season, he caught 42 passes. He only dropped five of those. In 2019, he caught 30 passes and only dropped three. Last year, he saw his role begin to expand a bit. He was targeted 74 times and caught 49 passes. He only dropped six of those. His 92.6 dropped pass rating was the lowest number of his career. For a Patriots team that struggled to get production from the wide receiver position last year, his sure hands could be an asset. Especially when he can play out of the slot, that could prove to be vital for the Patriots.

Bourne is known for his separation

Bourne is known to be very good at being able to separate from his defenders. In a pass-happy league, that certainly makes him an intriguing weapon. He averaged 2.8 yards of separation per route, per NexGen stats. Patriots defenders had trouble separating from receivers last season. This affected their ability to get open, and made for a stagnant passing offense. Bourne should be able to help improve the passing game in that regard. With how he can separate from defenders, he could open himself up to be a big-play type of receiver in the New England offense. He has the ability to stretch the field, and New England did not have that last season.

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