Patriots sign UDFA, WR Austin Carr
The 2017 NFL draft is complete, and it seems clear that slot receiver is still a position that’s undervalued by most NFL teams. The Patriots have long capitalized on this market inefficiency, and may have done so again by signing former Northwestern WR Austin Carr to an UFDA contract.
- When you consider that New England’s current receivers manning the slot are Danny Amendola (31 years old) and Julian Edelman (30 years old), drafting a successor with an eye toward the future makes a lot of sense.
- Austin Carr finished the 2016 season with an 89.5 overall grade, which ranked first among 511 qualified FBS receivers. Carr ran 97.7 percent of his routes from the slot and his average of 2.91 yards per route run from that spot ranked sixth among the 80 FBS receivers who ran at least 50 percent of their routes in the slot.
- Carr wasn’t limited to short and intermediate routes though – in fact, he caught all nine of his catchable deep passes (20-plus yards in the air), for 245 yards and five touchdowns. His deep catch rate of 52.9 percent was 15th out of 251 qualified FBS receivers.
- Carr also proved that he’s a red-zone threat from the slot: his 12 touchdowns from there in 2016 ranked third among those 80 aforementioned receivers.