Three running backs the Patriots should consider

When you look at the New England Patriots roster, there aren’t a whole lot of weak areas that need strengthening before the start of the new regular season. On the back of their fifth Super Bowl triumph, Bill Belichick and his men are preparing to make yet another run at the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

As the 2017 draft edges closer, the Patriots have a couple of very interesting decisions to make. While a large part of the team that secured the championship last season will start the new year with the Patriots, there are some areas where Belichick and his coaching staff will feel they need to tweak before preseason.

Tom Brady” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Keith Allison

One of those areas could be at running back, with some talented prospects preparing for the draft that could well fit in well with this Patriots roster. Having traded a first and second round pick in order to sign Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy, New England know how carefully they need to treat their options in this draft. Priced at around +500 in the latest NFL betting odds, Tom Brady and his men are expected to be one of the leading contenders in 2017. But despite being tipped to defend their crown, the franchise know they have some strengthening to do before the new season.

Bill Belichick” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Keith Allison

Here are three running backs that could be on the Pats’ radar.
James Connor: Despite being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in November of 2015, Connor returned to the game in 2016 and started every game for the Pittsburgh Panthers. Boasting a conference record of 52 rushing touchdowns, Connor has all the physical attributes to be a real star in the NFL. A power rusher with a very capable set of hands on him – responsible for 30 career receptions – Connor will be a player a host of teams are looking at and the Pats will be just one franchise closely monitoring the running back.

D’Onta Foreman: While the majority of other running backs in 2017 are bigger than him, Texas running back Foreman is considered one of the most athletic rushers available in the 2017 draft. Averaging 184.4 rushing yards a game with 15 touchdowns for the Longhorns, it wasn’t a surprise when the 21-year-old decided to declare himself for the draft after his junior season. There might be question marks regarding his ball security, but at such a young age, Foreman is more than capable of improving as a player.

Sameaje Perine: Another of the smaller running backs in the draft, Oklahoma’s Perine certainly makes up for his lack of height with an incredible physical strength. As well as his raw power, the running back brings a lot to an offense in terms of his catching ability, recording 40 receptions last season to go alongside his 4,122 rushing yards. Not expected to be a consideration during the early rounds of the draft, Perine may well be one of the steals of the season if he can make the step up as many expect him to.

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