Who were Tom Brady's all-time favorite Patriots targets? What the numbers say


Tom Brady completed a lot of passes in a New England Patriots uniform -- 6,337, to be exact.

Brady was diplomatic in his distribution, too: He threw at least one touchdown pass to 77 different targets during his 20-year tenure with the Patriots, which ended when he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.

But the six-time Super Bowl champion certainly had his favorites. And as it turns out, the most prolific pass-catcher of Brady's Patriots era by sheer volume is on the current roster.

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Boston Sports Info (@BostonSportsInf on Twitter) compiled a list of Brady's 10 most-coveted targets based on total receptions. At the top of the list: wide receiver Julian Edelman.

Edelman has the benefit of experience: He spent 10 years catching passes from Brady, more than any other player on this list. But the 33-year-old still averaged 68.9 receptions per season with Brady after beginning his career as a converted quarterback drafted in the seventh round.

As for Brady's most prolific pass-catchers based on their career averages in New England rather than total numbers? Here's our unofficial top five:

1. Rob Gronkowski
Gronkowski's stats are absolutely mind-boggling: A Patriots-leading 8,949 receiving yards in the regular- and postseason with 90 touchdowns over nine seasons.

2. Wes Welker
Welker was nearly as prolific in a shorter amount of time: He averaged 112 catches per regular season alone during his six-year stint with Brady from 2007 to 2012.

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3. Julian Edelman
Edelman has three 1,000-yard seasons under his belt with Brady and has caught at least 74 passes from the GOAT in five of the last six seasons.

4. Troy Brown
Brown was Brady's Welker and Edelman before either player came to prominence, winning three Super Bowls with TB12 in the early 2000s while amassing 101 receptions in 2001.

5. Randy Moss
Moss only spent three seasons in Foxboro, which makes it even more remarkable that he cracked the overall top 10. The Hall of Fame wideout hauled in an NFL-leading 23 of Brady's 50 touchdown passes during the Patriots' historic 2007 season.

Brady has a strong set of weapons in Tampa Bay with wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans and tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard. But none of those players will come close to cracking the "Brady 10."

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