NFL Analyst Views Patriots As Perfect Fit For Play-Making Prospect

New England might draft an RB early this year


Apr 6, 2023

The Patriots will enter the 2023 season with one of the NFL’s best running backs, but one analyst believes a superb complement to Rhamondre Stevenson can be found in the early rounds of the draft.

In a column published Thursday, ESPN’s Matt Bowen highlighted 15 of the best offensive skill players in this year’s draft class and identified the perfect landing spot for each of them. According to Bowen, New England would be an ideal fit for Jahmyr Gibbs, a running back out of Alabama.

“The Patriots have depth in the running back room with Rhamondre Stevenson, James Robinson and 2022 fourth-round pick Pierre Strong Jr.,” Bowen wrote. “Even so, I like Gibbs here because he has a dynamic skill set that would add a playmaking element which is currently missing at the position in New England. With his 4.36 speed and formation flexibility to upgrade the pass game for new coordinator Bill O’Brien, I see Gibbs as an offensive asset for the Patriots. He can pick up big chunks on perimeter run schemes or backfield releases to give quarterback Mac Jones leveled reads.

“Plus, I’d love to see Gibbs flexed outside to run unders and screens for the Pats after he caught 44 passes at Alabama in 2022. He has home-run juice, too, breaking free for 25 rushes for 10 or more yards last season. The Patriots need a jolt of speed on this side of the ball.”

Bowen’s analysis was provided one day after a report surfaced indicating New England is interested in drafting a “blue-chip” running back. Round 2 probably would be the spot to do it for the Patriots, who should address a more pressing need at No. 14 overall.

In our latest Patriots mock draft, we had New England trading up in the second round to land Gibbs, who has received Alvin Kamara comparisons in the pre-draft process.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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