The New England Patriots have their eyes on a certain prize as the NFL draft draws closer.
Per a report from The Athletic, the Patriots may have some interest in bolstering their ground game talent with some early-round draft capital. According to Jeff Howe, the Patriots have shown some interest in adding a “blue-chip” running back in the draft this year and are “intrigued” by Texas RB Bijan Robinson.
“The personnel has turned over, too. They opted for more explosion in the slot with JuJu Smith-Schuster over Jakobi Meyers, and they traded tight end Jonnu Smith before adding Mike Gesicki. They’re building the running game around Rhamondre Stevenson and have quietly shown interest in adding another blue-chip back in the draft.”
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Former running back Damien Harris has already taken his talents elsewhere when he signed with the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal. The Patriots have the No. 14 pick and it’s quite possible Robinson is on the board when they pick.
The 21-year-old Robinson is seen as the draft’s best running back prospect. He was a unanimous All-American and won the Doak Walker Award in 2022, given to the best running back in college football. He finished the season with 1,580 yards and scored 20 total touchdowns for the Longhorns last season.
He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash time at the rookie combine.
It should be noted that the Patriots don’t appear to need a running back, given the presence of Stevenson. The 25-year-old ran for 1,040 yards and caught 69 passes in the recent season.
However, Robinson is also a threat in the passing game. During his time at Texas, he became proficient as a backfield receiver. He can certainly be a weapon in the Patriots offense thathas since hired Bill O’Brien to be their offensive coordinator.
The Pats next selection is set at No. 46 in the second round, so if they pass on Robinson, he certainly won’t be around for them to select by then.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.