New England Patriots: Top Running Back Prospects for Them in 2017 NFL Draft.
This has been the best offseason for the New England Patriots in recent years. The Patriots have addressed just about all their needs thus far but, running back still has a few question marks.
The New England Patriots recently offered running back Mike Gillislee an offer sheet, but the Buffalo Bills have the right to match. Depending on what happens with Gillislee, New England clearly has a desire to add at least one more running back.
Superbowl hero James White is expected to shine next season in his third down role but, White is the only known commodity in the backfield. Dion Lewis has a lot of talent on the field, unfortunately he has a talent for getting injured as well.
New acquisition Rex Burkhead has been getting high praise coming from Bengals but, he still has to produce in a Patriots uniform. Unless LeGarrette Blount comes back to the organization the Patriots should plan to use this draft on a running back that could potentially replace Blount’s load. Two prospects that come to mind that should be in range for the Patriots to select are Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara and Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine.
Alvin Kamara is a gamer ladies and gentlemen. He can give you everything Dalvin Cook can give you except he just had less opportunities. While at Tennessee he was part of a one-two punch for the bulk of his time there until a surprise transfer from fellow star running back Jalen Hurd. Once Kamara received the opportunity to carry the load he shined tremendously.
In his debut as the starter versus Texas A&M Kamara amassed 127 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while also catching 8 passes for 161 yards and another score. Overall he has rushed for 1,294 yards and 16 touchdowns in addition to catching 74 passes for 683 yards and five scores during his two years at Tennessee.
Kamara is the prototypical running back for today’s NFL game. He can run in between the tackles, outside the tackles, catch passes out of the backfield and has all the measurables for an every down back. He is the wildcard of the draft at this position and frankly it is a bit of a stretch for the Patriots to select him.
Kamara is definitely a first round talent and could possibly get selected in the first round. The Patriots will need to make a trade to get high enough to pick him. Bill Belichick is known for dealing on draft day so don’t expect the Patriots to wait until the third round to make a selection. This year’s draft is too rich with talent for Belichick to sit idle.
Perine would be the perfect replacement for Blount; This man is a human tank when he runs the ball and he runs with bad intentions. He would be great in short yardage situations, he gets stronger as the game goes on and is fantastic in pass protection. Out of all the running backs in this year’s draft Perine is the best pass protector by far and that will win over every coach at the next level especially Bill Belichick.
He was a beast the moment he set foot on campus as a freshmen. He ran for over 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns during his freshmen campaign, which included a legendary performance against Kansas when he set the all time record for rushing yards in a game with 472.
He is Oklahoma’s all time leader in rushing yards with 4,122 over all time greats like Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray, and Billy Sims. Unlike Kamara, Perine should be available for the Patriots to select without having to trade up. He is projected to go anywhere between the third and fifth round in the draft. Perine could had solid value to the team and enough leverage to close the door on a LeGarrette Blount return.
Next: Patriots 7-Round Mock Draft
I believe Perine is the more realistic draft choice between these two players but no one can honestly predict the draft after the first round. If New England lands either one of these fantastic options Brady could find himself playing those extra years he craves since these guys will most certainly lighten the load.