The Patriots have always had success with smaller, shifty running backs who can play multiple roles within the offense.
From Kevin Faulk to Danny Woodhead to James White, no other team in the NFL in recent years has used smaller running backs the way the Patriots have. Especially in the passing game.
White is still on the team as are Sony Michel, Damien Harris and J.J Taylor. Running back isn’t a pressing need but the Patriots like to rotate their depth so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they added one running back in this draft.
Jaret Patterson had a virtual meeting with the team and he fits the mold in terms of what the Patriots look for in a smaller, change of pace back.
Here is my scouting report on Jaret Patterson.
Jaret Patterson, RB, 5-6 1/2 195, Buffalo
Inside Runner: Runs hard for his size. A one cut runner who can pick and slide at the line and accelerate into the second level.
Outside Runner: Strength of his game as a runner. Patient. Allows blocks to develop. Has a good feel for cutting it up the alley. Runs with good balance to the outside and has the speed to finish once he’s in the open field.
Elusiveness: Patterson is shifty. He can make a defender miss in space. Runs with good balance and a good pad level.
Power Runner: Runs with good power for his size. Runs with a low center of gravity and good balance.
Blocker: Competes but does get overpowered at times. Stay square and balanced but lacks the upper body strength to consistently compete. Better of cutting defenders.
Hands/Routes: Terrific receiver out of the backfield. Catches the ball cleanly and runs a full running back route tree. Can also line up in the slot or split out.
Durability: Tough. Runs hard for his size. Can absorb a lot of carries for a smaller back.
Running Style: Patterson is a slasher who runs with power. Thickly built for his size. Reminds me of Darren Sproles.
Patterson could be a good complement to the running backs the Patriots already have. He would be a terrific value early in day three.