NEW YORK — The New England Patriots found a new backup running back with the No. 130 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
The Patriots selected Wisconsin running back James White, who has the potential to be a three-down player in the NFL. He can run, block and catch out of the backfield.
White had 221 carries for 1,444 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior with the Badgers, and he also caught 39 passes for 300 yards with two scores. He had 643 carries for 4,015 yards and 45 touchdowns in his college career, and added 73 receptions for 670 yards with three scores. White also has experience as a kick returner.
The Patriots needed a versatile running back in the draft. Stevan Ridley was benched last season for fumbling, and third-down back Shane Vereen is an injury risk. White has the potential to be a backup in both the workhorse and third-down roles.
The 5-foot-9, 204-pound running back ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and also had a 7.05-second three-cone drill and 4.20-second short shuttle. He was projected as a fourth- or fifth-round pick by NFL Draft Scout.