If you are looking for Patriots offseason acquisition wide receiver Chris Hogan to come in and be a Julian Edelman/Wes Welker type, let me stop you right there in your stereotyping tracks.
Yes, Hogan is a white receiver like Edelman and Welker, but that's about where most of the similarities end. He's actually 6'1, 220 pounds, so he's much taller and bigger than those other guys. He's also much more of a true outside receiver who is probably going to run more go routes than crossing routes this season.
With his former team, the Bills, Hogan was a third or fourth receiver. Yes, he lined up in the slot at times, but that wasn't really his bread and butter. In New England, where he has a better chance of starting, he will likely fill the role of what the Patriots wanted Brandon LaFell to be when they signed him a couple years back.
When he is not running go routes, you will probably find Hogan blocking the piss out of a DB in the running game. The dude really gets after it, and he has the size to actually make a difference as a blocker at the position.
Hogan caught 41 balls and had four touchdowns with the Bills in 2014, so he's already had some success in the league. I think those numbers will pale in comparison to the numbers he puts up with Brady this year. Mind you, Hogan started only two games in 2014. He started four games last year and caught 36 balls with two touchdowns. What he showed in those limited opportunities was a knack for getting open and some pretty good hands.
Hogan has a good understanding of how to keep working in different windows underneath when the ball doesn't come to him initially, which also makes him perfect for that Patriots offense.
Considering how much attention opponents are going to have to show the middle of their defense with tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett hauling ass up the seams, Hogan is likely to see a ton of one-on-one coverage outside. Taking that into consideration, I fully expect all of his numbers to take a huge jump, including and maybe especially his yards per reception average. If he can stay healthy, Chris Hogan may actually end up being one of the better deep threats in the league this year.
Yeah, I know some of y'all are reading that and chuckling under your breath. Just remember, laugh now, cry later, and we will revisit this at about the midpoint of the season.