LSU’s Stevan Ridley Could Emerge as Powerful Running Back for Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. — One running back wasn't enough for Bill Belichick. He kept the youth movement rolling and took two, adding LSU's Stevan Ridley with the 73rd pick in the third round.

Key Stats
The 5-foot-11, 225-pounder rushed for 1,147 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior in 2010. He didn't see much action as a freshman and sophomore, accumulating 272 yards and four touchdowns during his first two seasons.

Scouting Report
Ridley is a very powerful runner with mediocre speed who is very difficult to tackle, in a way similar to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He won't add much as a pass catcher, but his value will be between the tackles and in short-yardage situations. He's still got room to grow, but he could emerge as a pretty solid back over the next few seasons.

Roster Impact
This might spell the end of Sammy Morris' tenure in New England. With Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, second-round pick Shane Vereen, Ridley and potentially Kevin Faulk, the Patriots have four young backs and a veteran who will have a spot if he wants it. Green-Ellis and Ridley will be the power backs, and Woodhead, Vereen and (potentially) Faulk will be the change-of-pace guys who get most of their action on third down.

Top Story
The Patriots were expected to take one running back in this draft, but it was an eye-opener to see them take two with their first four picks. It's reminiscent of the way they overhauled the tight end position a year ago, moving on from the aging veterans and adding two different types of players through the draft. They didn't add a feature-caliber back in the class, but Ridley and Vereen will have very defined roles.

Quote
"They told me I tied Kevin Faulk's record. I thought that was pretty neat that I ended up going to the same team that he's at right now."
–Ridley on Faulk, an LSU legend who he has met a few times. Both rushed for 15 touchdowns during a single season, which was fourth in program history.

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