LeGarrette Blount is a bruiser who can wear down opponents and close out games with his punishing running style. Unfortunately, he's now a Steeler so will the Patriots look for a replacement in the early rounds of the NFL draft? Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran takes a look at some of the potential running backs the Patriots could target.
Dare to Dream:
Carlos Hyde - Ohio State
1,521 rushing yards
3rd team All-American
Hyde's running style would definitely fill the vacancy left by Blount.
"[Hyde] gets to the second level in a huge hurry and he gets there in a bad mood," says Curran. "He’s got some tree trunk-looking Earl Campbell legs so he’s a load to bring down for those small players trying to go low, and he’s very explosive up top and runs with a good lean, so he gets through some of the bigger players at the linebacker and defensive line level."
Hold the Line:
Tre Mason - Auburn
195 yards in BCS title game
Mason boasts excellent quickness, and his 2013 performance earned him SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors. He came up big for Auburn late in the season against some of the best teams in the country, so he knows how to deliver in big games.
Andre Williams - Boston College
2,177 rushing yards (5th all-time)
4th in Heisman Trophy voting
Williams finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting after posting the fifth-highest rushing total in a single season.
"It was only one year of extreme production,” says Curran.
Williams is a high-character guy with a spotless off-the-field reputation. He would have no problem adopting "The Patriot Way" and assimilating into a team-first culture.
"The Patriots could do a lot worse than to get Andre Williams in round three or four," says Curran.