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Thursday, April 10, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Patriots

By Mike Reiss

And with the 29th and 62nd selections of the NFL draft, the New England Patriots select ...

We've continued to dissect and analyze various possibilities for the team, focusing on the general idea that almost every position outside of quarterback is in play with a first-round pick.

One question pondered of late is, "How high might the Patriots select a running back?"

ESPN draft expert Todd McShay's fourth 2014 NFL mock draft is out on ESPN Insider Insider today, and he answers that question by going two rounds deep.

At No. 29, he likes Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III and then follows up at 62 with Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde.

While the running back position has been devalued by many clubs in recent years from a draft perspective, Hyde would seem to represent a terrific value late in the second round.

The Patriots could use a boost at the position after LeGarrette Blount signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency. Also, top backs Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden all enter the final year of their contracts, and the only other player currently on the depth chart is Jonas Gray.

If not Hyde, perhaps the Patriots would consider Boston College bruising running back Andre Williams, who is also part of the "big back" class this year.