FOXBORO — Evan Lazar & Alex Barth kick off a series of Potential Patriots as the NFL Draft approaches. Today the Patriots Insiders break down the running back position.
James White, Sony Michel, the Patriots have had a lot of success drafting running backs in recent years. Will Bill Belichick look to add to that resume in the 2019 NFL Draft? Evan Lazar and Alex Barth look at the incoming running back class and who may be a good fit in New England.
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Evan Lazar believes if the Patriots go running back it will be for depth and no earlier than round 4. Here what Lazar wrote last month in his Positional Previews about his favorite ‘Potential Patriot’ RB round 4 or later.
DAMIEN HARRIS, ALABAMA
Overall grade: 5.45, Round grade: fourth, NFL potential: chance to become NFL starterHarris will likely go higher than most Pats fans would like to see them take a running back, but he fits perfectly into the locker room culture and backfield in New England. During his time at Alabama, Harris was in a backfield filled with NFL talent and had to split carries with the likes of Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake. Harris told me at the combine that it wasn’t a competition with his teammates as they were all focused on one thing: winning. As a runner, Harris has similar traits to Sony Michel; he has a compact frame with good burst for his size and contact balance to run through wimpy tacklers and find open space. He also generates power with a low center of gravity and leg drive to push piles and find production in short yardage situations. Harris only had 52 career catches for the Crimson Tide, but he’s underrated in the passing game with good hands and is fundamentally sound in pass protection. A change of pace back might be a better foil to Michel, but Harris walks and talks like a Patriot.
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