Pats add a running back and another wide receiver
The Patriots running back room is thin. Returning are Rhamondre Stevenson for his fourth year and Kevin Harris for his third. Stevenson is a top back when healthy but the depth is certainly suspect with Ezekiel Elliot a free agent. Even if Zeke he's brought back, they need to add and they do. With the 122nd pick overall obtained in the trade with Chicago, the Pats select Jaylen Wright from Tennessee.
Wright had a top season for the Volunteers in 2023 when the 5'11", 210 pounder ran for 1013 yards and four touchdowns. His transcendent stat, however, is his whopping 7.4 yards per carry. In addition, he caught 22 passes for 141 yards showing he can catch it out of the backfield.
In the fifth round with their own pick, the Patriots continue to bolster the wide receiver corps. This time they add a receiver with impeccable bloodlines. He's Brenden Rice from USC, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice. Rice, like Legette, has great size at 6'3" tall and 205 pounds.
Rice caught passes from Caleb Williams at Southern California. In 2023, he snatched 43 for 791 yards and a huge haul of 12 touchdowns. He'll hopefully add that attribute when he presents another big target and catches passes from Jayden Daniels next season. Additionally, another eye-catching stat is his yards-per-catch at 17.6 per. The Patriots couldn't convert on third down in 2023. Rice's field-stretching ability should help in moving the chains
Here are some top positives noted by thedraftnetwork.com about the big USC receiver,
"Rice is a legit NFL prospect with prototypical size and athleticism. He primarily aligned outside at X receiver but also was utilized in the slot at times. Rice is listed at 6-foot-3 and weighs 210 pounds with excellent length. He is quick off the line of scrimmage and flashes good burst to get into his stem. He struggles when faced with press coverage and needs to be more physical when defenders press him through his stem. He has very good vertical speed to stress corners and he has shown a knack for making plays down the field. He is excellent at tracking the ball and has outstanding hands overall...
"Rice is a highly instinctive route-runner who understands how to set up defenders and exploit leverage. He lacks short-area quickness and lateral agility and won't create a ton of separation at the top of the route with sheer athleticism. Rather, he sets up defenders with head and body fakes and then breaks free with a subtle cut once the defender is in a bad position. Rice is outstanding at finding the soft spot in zone coverages and making himself open when the quarterback is scrambling and looking for a receiver down the field. "