Reports: Patriots Showing Pre-Draft Interest In Top Running Backs

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The New England Patriots have four selections between the 60th and 96th overall picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, and they’ve reportedly hosted two running backs expected to go in that range.

The Patriots hosted Utah running back Devontae Booker on a pre-draft visit Wednesday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported. They also hosted Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon, a source told Rapoport.

Booker carried the ball 560 times for 2,773 yards with 21 touchdowns in two seasons at Utah. He also caught 80 passes for 622 yards with two scores.

The 5-foot-11, 219-pound back previously played at American River College. He didn’t complete any NFL Scouting Combine or pro day drills after having knee surgery in November.

Booker fumbled once every 71.44 touches at Utah. He fumbled once every 101.67 touches in his final season. He forced 71 missed tackles in 304 touches in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus.

Dixon carried the ball 802 times for 4,483 yards with 72 touchdowns in four seasons at Louisiana Tech. He also caught 87 passes for 969 yards with 15 touchdowns.

He ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash with a 6.97-second 3-cone, a 4.28-second short shuttle, a 37.5-inch vertical leap and a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump at 5-foot-10, 215 pounds.

Dixon fumbled once every 63.5 touches during his college career. He fumbled once every 57.75 touches as a senior. He forced 70 missed tackles in 231 touches in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus.

Dixon is an ideal fit for the Patriots based on testing numbers, though he fumbled more than a typical New England draft pick.

Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports

Thumbnail photo via Nov 7, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Utah Utes running back Devontae Booker (23) rushes against the Washington Huskies during the fourth quarter at Husky Stadium. Utah won 34-23. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

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