Brandon Lloyd did what most people predicted coming into the offseason as he followed OC Joch McDaniels from the Rams to the Patriots. While the move is far from surprising, it is significant. Lloyd is a 9-year veteran whose best year by far was 2010 when he had almost 1500 yards and 77 catches with 11 TDs. McDaniels was his head coach that year in Denver, which makes it obvious why he would be interested in New England.
This last season was a more difficult one for Lloyd but part of that was due to QB play. He played the first 4 games of the year for the then-Kyle-Orton-led Denver Broncos before being traded to the Rams with (and mostly without) Sam Bradford behind a porous O-line. He would appear to be ready for a bounceback season and should have that QB-issue solved with Tom Brady welcoming him to the chilly Northeast. Compared to the other money WR have gotten, this is an extremely team-friendly deal for a proven receiver.
The overall impact on the Pats offense will be huge. NE WR are always a little inconsistent since Brady has so many options and McDaniels and Bill Belichick do such a good job game-planning to beat whatever the weakness of the opposing defense is. I’d feel great about getting Lloyd or Wes Welker as WR2’s. Welker can go back to not being “the man” which was the situation when he thrived with Randy Moss in the fold. With Gronk and Aaron Hernandez still a big part of the offense, don’t be surprised if Brady challenges Drew Brees’ newly-minted record for most passing yards in a single season.
The tricky part of drafting anyone in the Pats offense is that there are games where they will have down weeks as the offensive game-plan focuses on someone else. Gronk is still the top TE in the game and Hernandez is a good start in most formats as well. Welker and Lloyd are both low WR1 to great WR2’s at this point. This isn’t your Chad Ochocinco pickup, Lloyd is the real deal.
Whether this addition means New England will be back in the Super Bowl depends on what the man-in-the-hoodie can pull together on the defensive side of the ball. With the draft picks they have and the cap space, don’t be surprised if New England finishes what they couldn’t quite get done this last season.