NFL Analyst Believes This Patriots Rookie Could ‘Pop Right Away’

Rhamondre Stevenson impressed in his preseason debut

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The New England Patriots on numerous occasions in the past have effectively red-shirted running backs in their respective rookie seasons.

NFL analyst Gil Brandt has a feeling this strategy won’t be used on Rhamondre Stevenson.

Brandt in a recent column for NFL.com identified 11 rookies not drafted in the first round who could shine in their first professional campaign. The veteran analyst certainly liked what he saw last week from Stevenson, who New England grabbed in the fourth round this past spring.

“Stevenson rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries in the preseason opener against Washington,” Brandt wrote. “Yes, all of those snaps took place in the second half, presumably against backup-caliber defenders, and yes, 91 of those yards came on one scoring dash in the game’s final moments. But Stevenson still showed the kind of burst that should earn him a chance to compete with Damien Harris and Sony Michel as the preseason continues to unfold. In eight of the past 10 seasons, New England’s rushing leader was either drafted in the third round or later or not drafted at all. There is a prime opportunity for Stevenson to become the latest unheralded back to thrive with the Patriots.”

The Oklahoma product will have another opportunity to boost his stock within New England’s crowded backfield Thursday when the Patriots visit the Eagles for a preseason Week 2 clash.

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