Report: JuJu Smith-Schuster not considered among Patriots top WRs

JuJu Smith-Schuster signing with the New England Patriots gave the impression that he would be picking up the baton left by Jakobi Meyers and carrying it to greener pastures.

Both players were similar receivers, but Smith-Schuster’s ability to excel in yards after the catch was the game-changing element that tipped the scale in his favor.

So coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots decided to go with the former Kansas City Chief and let Meyers walk to the Las Vegas Raiders.

That decision could be coming back to bite them with a recent report from the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan stating that Smith-Schuster isn’t currently viewed as one of the Patriots’ five most effective pass-catchers.

Callahan wrote:

Multiple team sources believe Smith-Schuster is not presently among the team’s five most effective pass-catchers.

Callahan noted Smith-Schuster’s health as being one of the reasons for his sluggish progress in New England. He was in on 43 snaps in the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the opener and hauled in four catches for 33 yards.

There were clear moments in the game where the team opted to go with rookie wideout Kayshon Boutte over Smith-Schuster. Boutte was in on 55 snaps, including late in the fourth quarter where he saw targets on a potential game-winning drive.

Smith-Schuster’s knee has been an issue, but he’s also dealing with fierce competition at wide receiver. DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne were always going to big factors, but sixth-round rookie draft picks Boutte and Demario Douglas have been surprise hits in New England.

Tyquan Thornton returning at some point could make things even more difficult for Smith-Schuster if he continues to struggle. It’s way too early to say for sure, but as of right now, the Patriots are looking like big losers in the Meyers and Smith-Schuster switch.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire