New England Patriots Position Grades: Running Back

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Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrates with teammates Tom Brady (12) , James Develin (46) and Nate Solder (77) after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Dion Lewis: Lewis has had a tough run in the NFL so far. Lewis had a promising start to his career with the Eagles having a 4.8 yard per carry rushing average his first two seasons. He was then traded to the Cleveland Browns where he fractured his fibula in a preseason game. He was expected to be the Browns backup to Trent Richardson in 2013 and that, as we now know, could have lead to Lewis being the starting back for Cleveland. In 2014 the Indianapolis Colts signed Lewis only to release him eight days later. The Patriots brought Lewis in for a visit in November but the team signed LeGarrette Blount instead.

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(Full Back) James Develin: James Develin is Belichick’s prototypical New England Patriot. Develin will not go break any combine records but he will work harder and smarter than any of the athletes. He is a sure-handed fullback who hustles on ever play. Full Backs are no longer the popular position they once were so most teams including the Patriots only have one. Develin worked his way from Arena Football to the NFL after he received his Mechanical Engineering Degree from a New England Ivy League school, Brown University.

Running Back Group Grade: C. With the departure of RB’s Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen there will be new faces in the backfield for New England. There is a lot of potential deep at the position with a cumulative career rushing average of 4.6 yards per carry (excluding Develin). The big knock on this group however is the lack of experience. This will be one of the biggest position battles during the Patriots training camp and preseason.