With their second pick of the fourth round, the New England Patriots have selected running back James White, out of Wisconsin.
The Patriots have finally filled one of their biggest needs in the draft, after taking a quarterback in round two (which wasn’t a bad pick, but they had bigger needs). White is a good player, and he was extremely productive in his four years with the Badgers. White carried the ball 643 times, amassed 4,015 yards, and totaled 45 touchdowns. This is in addition to 73 receptions, 670 receiving yards, he caught three touchdowns as well.
He was also extremely reliable, as ESPN Boston’s Field Yates points out:
Patriots covet reliability first among RB’s: James White had just 2 fumbles in 754 career college touches.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 10, 2014
New England has a terrific staring duo in Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, but after losing LeGarrette Blount to the Steelers this offseason, they needed to add someone else to provide some depth in the backfield. White isn’t a flashy guy, and he doesn’t have “breakout talent”, but he is a solid prospect. He will be fighting with Brandon Bolden for the third spot on the depth chart behind Ridley and Vereen.
The Patriots next pick is the last pick of the fourth round, the 140th overall selection.