Patriots pick up shifty Oklahoma RB Finch

Patriots pick up shifty Oklahoma RB Finch
May 11, 2014, 10:45 pm
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If a player's draft stock was based strictly on highlight reels, Oklahoma running back Roy Finch would have been selected.

But it isn't. And he wasn't.

He did, however, come to an agreement with the Patriots this weekend as an undrafted free agent, according to his agent Kelli Masters.

Finch is certainly undersized at 5-foot-6 and 177 pounds, which is three inches shorter and about 23 pounds lighter than the listed heights and weights of Chargers running back Danny Woodhead.

He had a hard time staying on the field at Oklahoma even though he was a four-star recruit coming out of high school in Niceville, Fla. As a sophomore he was beat out by a junior walk-on (though he claimed the starting job when the walk-on was injured). As a junior he was used as a slot receiver and quickly slid down the depth chart.

In 2013, he got a little more run. He made two starts and appeared in all 13 of his team's games, making 59 carries for 347 yards. Still, he was more of a reserve than a heavily-relied-upon fourth-year player.

To recap: He's small, and so is the sample size of his college production. Why give him a shot at an NFL roster spot?

Athletically he's impressive. He ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at his pro day and had the best three-cone drill of any Sooner (7.14 seconds). He also posted a whopping 22 reps on the 225-pound bench press test, which would have been fifth-best at the NFL Combine.

Then there's his highlight reel. It's loaded with jaw-droppers that make his college stats even more confounding.

He seemed to run with very good power for his size, and he showcased great agility. On several occasions, he left defenders grasping at air. An oft-used spin move allowed his small frame to absorb hits and kept him on his feet to gain positive yardage.

Will his slipperiness translate to the pro game? Will he find any consistency after steering clear of it through college?

Those are the questions the Patriots will eventually be able to answer now that they've brought him aboard.