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Friday, April 29, 2011
Patriots draft second RB in a row

By Tim Graham

One spot before they made the sexiest second-day pick with Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, the New England Patriots took Louisiana State running back Stevan Ridley in the third round.

Why the Patriots took him: The Patriots clearly felt their backfield was a strong area of need, following up second-round pick Shane Vereen with another running back. Ridley rushed for 1,147 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, but he's not a prolific receiver. He had 11 receptions for 61 yards.

How it affects the roster: As mentioned with Vereen, a good portion of the Patriots' backfield is old and unsigned. The backfield depth chart would appear to be full with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Ridley and Vereen.

Scouts Inc. says: Good initial burst to and through the hole. Shows some burst when turning the corner. Has a better second-gear than expected for a back his size. Shows quick feet and does a great job of navigating through small creases. But he does have some tightness in his hips. A bit of an upright runner. Struggles to make sudden moves in the hole. Does not make many defenders miss in confined area.