For the second year in a row, the New England Patriots are represented by a running back on Football Outsiders’ “Under-The-Radar Prospects” list.
Rivers McCown of Football Outsiders put together a list of the top-25 players who he believed are sliding under-the-radar headed into the 2022 season. Ranking highly on the list was second-year running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who finished No. 3 in the year following Damien Harris’ first-place finish.
Here’s what McCown had to say about Stevenson:
Checking in with the No. 3 success rate in the NFL (59%) in his rookie season, Stevenson was a change-up behind last year’s No. 1 overall prospect Damien Harris. It was clear that Stevenson had some juice even if the fantasy football tastemakers and preseason watchers were a little ahead of their skis when they anointed him as someone who could make a difference in 2021. Stevenson finished in the top 20 in both rushing DVOA and rushing DYAR. He also had 0.53 rushing yards over expectation per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, a top-10 figure in the NFL. And he was behind Harris in all three categories.
Stevenson has been a hot topic this offseason, drawing lofty expectations heading into his second year.
Stevenson will remain behind Harris on the depth chart heading into 2022, but it doesn’t rule out a bigger role for the 24-year-old. With James White still recovering from a hip injury and the Patriots being notoriously stingy with playing time for rookie running backs (Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris), Stevenson will likely see increased snaps in the third-down role as well as behind the elder Harris on downs one and two.
Preparing for a new system, Stevenson slimmed down prior to the start of training camp in preparation of an increased role. If he gets it, there’s a chance we see a major step taken for the former Sooner.