Patriots have another emerging star at WR

Patriots have another rising star at receiver

Among New England wideouts, Julian Edelman tends to garner the greatest amount of praise. But as Super Bowl LI approaches, another Pats pass catcher should be commanding Atlanta’s attention.

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Chris Hogan, once cut by three NFL teams in the span of 14 months, is suddenly ready to assume a major role on football’s biggest stage. The fourth-year pro erupted for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ AFC title-game triumph over Pittsburgh. He also led all wideouts in that affair with 12 targets.

A closer look at Hogan’s 2016 resume, though, provides some clues as to his potential for astounding success. Signed as a nondescript free agent last summer, the former lacrosse standout quickly developed a rapport with quarterback Tom Brady. In Week 5 at Cleveland, Hogan hauled in five receptions for 114 yards. He passed the century mark vs. Baltimore, too, on Dec. 12.

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Of course, those performances were merely warm-up acts for that rousing effort against the Steelers. With Edelman doing his usual yeoman’s work on the short-to-intermediate patterns, as well, it’ll be fascinating to see how the Falcons’ susceptible pass defense handles both options. Stay tuned throughout Super Week as we explore more of the key angles and monitor the line movement.

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