Patriots 7-round Mock Draft: Prioritizing the offense will bring massive improvements

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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. . Bucky Irving. player. Running back. . Bucky Irving. 515. Patriots 4th rounder. 4

With Rhamondre Stevenson under contract for at least one more season and Ezekiel Elliott heading to free agency, there is a definite need for another running back on this roster. They could try to address the void in free agency since 42 players will be available to sign, some of whom are the best in the game (Saquan Barkley, Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, and Josh Jacobs).

However, that would be assuming Mayo and the future general manager are 100% willing to spend big in free agency to sign top-tier players, and it's difficult to believe that at this point in the offseason, especially considering how much all of those players would want to sign for.

So, instead, they could draft another halfback to join Stevenson, and why not go with Bucky Irving out of Oregon?

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest after playing one season for Minnesota, Irving recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, accomplishing his career best just last year. He was also a fixture in the passing game, totaling 413 yards and two touchdowns in 2023, averaging 7.4 yards per catch.

Because the Patriots have been historically known for loving dual-threat running backs, Irving would be the ultimate pick. It would allow them to spread the ball between him and Stevenson, utilizing their unique skill sets to ultimately boost the offense and run the football efficiently without overusing one or the other.