The New England Patriots appear to be interested in selecting a running back early in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Patriots are hosting USC running back Ronald Jones II on an official visit, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday. The Patriots also reportedly hosted LSU running back Derrius Guice on a visit. Guice and Jones are the second- and third-ranked running backs in the draft, respectively, by DraftScout.com.
Jones carried the ball 261 times for 1,550 yards with 19 touchdowns in 2017. He also added 14 catches for 187 yards with one score through the air. In his three-year college career, Jones had 591 carries for 3,619 yards with 39 touchdowns and 32 catches for 302 yards with three scores. He didn’t fumble in 2017 and fumbled just twice in his college career.
Jones ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash with a 1.55-second 10-yard split, 7.14-second 3-cone, 4.26-second short shuttle and 36.5-inch vertical leap at his personal pro day earlier this month, in which he said he was only 85 or 90 percent recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him from testing at the NFL Scouting Combine and at USC’s pro day.
The Patriots have Rex Burkhead, James White, Brandon Bolden, Mike Gillislee and Jeremy Hill on their running back depth chart. Hill, 25, is the youngest player in that group.