Look out Sony Michel.
Heck, look out Damien Harris.
The New England Patriots have added yet another power running back in Rhamondre Stevenson (6-foot, 230 pounds) to their backfield. This one is more of a prototypical bruiser than Harris (215 pounds) or Michel (210 pounds), who both run well behind good blocking but aren’t exactly big runners. That’s what Stevenson can give New England: size. He’s not LeGarrette Blount (250 pounds), but Stevenson can still work as a hammer between the tackles.
Per NFL.com’s Lance Zuerlein, Stevenson is a “wrecking ball of a runner who tends to be all fight and no flight between the hash marks. Stevenson’s burly, thick frame and punishing demeanor clearly takes a toll on defenses as the game rolls on.” That’s just the type of running back the Belichick likes to have — someone who can put a hurt on the defense to help with controlling or closing games. If the Patriots can build leads in 2021, they will want a player who can pick up first downs, even when a team knows the run is coming.
Per @ESPNStatsInfo: RB Rhamondre Stevenson averaged 3.9 yards after contact per rush in 2020, 2nd-best in the Big 12. He also broke 26 tackles last season, tied with Breece Hall (Iowa State) for most in the Big 12. However, Stevenson did it in 178 fewer rushes.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) May 1, 2021
Stevenson finished 2020 with 101 carries for 665 yards and seven touchdowns in six games. In Oklahoma’s blowout win over Florida in the Cotton Bowl, Stevenson had 18 carries for 186 yards and a touchdown, though he logged his only fumble of the season.
He may also prove a viable contributor on third down with strong contributions as a pass-protector in college. That could be his avenue onto the field in passing situations, which might also lead to targets. In his six appearances in 2020, he had 18 receptions for 211 yards.
There should be some question as to whether the Patriots need a running back in the fourth round after taking a first-rounder in 2018 (Michel) and a third-rounder in 2019 (Harris). But with the Patriots still searching for a quarterback (by re-signing Cam Newton and drafting Mac Jones in Round 1), they must have big plans for their running backs.