As the 2019 NFL Draft draws near, Patriots.com looks at prospects at each position that might make sense for New England.
Sony Michel is coming off an impressive rookie season as the first-round pick was a key part of the Patriots postseason run. The hope is that he'll evolve as both a playmaker and a pass catcher in year two, within a group that returns elite third-down option James White, versatile veteran Rex Burkhead and Brandon Bolden, who's home again in Foxborough after a year in Miami. New England would seem unlikely to surprise with a running back pick early in the draft for the second straight year.
1 – Damien Harris, Alabama: Nobody has a greater pipeline to Tide prospect intel than Bill Belichick. Harris split the load with Josh Jacobs and is an interesting mix of power running and pass-catching ability. Pairing Harris with Michel would certainly give the Patriots a nice SEC youth movement in the backfield.
2 – Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky: Belichick has always had an affinity for bigger backs over the years and the stocky, confident Snell is one of the beefier options in this year's class. A downhill runner with a pretty decent nose for the end zone, the Kentucky product might an option in the latter rounds.
3 – Dexter Williams, Notre Dame: Basically a one-year wonder in terms of production for the Irish, Williams is a pretty complex prospect. He has off-field concerns but also a solid package of size, wiggle and developmental upside as a possible lead back.
4 – Elijah Holyfield, Georgia: We all know the respect the Patriots have shown lately for SEC players and Bulldogs in particular. Holyfield is a physical at times violent runner coming off a breakout season. He's not huge, but is another candidate as a later-round power runner.
5 – Bryce Love, Stanford: The former Heisman runner-up had a terrible senior season that ended with a torn ACL. He's probably not a real option until 2020, but there was a time when he was arguably one of the most productive, dynamic players in college football. For a team with 12 picks, why not use one to stash a possible star?
OTHER NAMES TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
- Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
- Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma
- Mike Weber, Ohio State
- Miles Sanders, Penn State