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Saturday, May 10, 2014
Patriots pick James White in 4th

By Mike Reiss


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The pick: James White, RB, Wisconsin (130th)

My take: The Patriots lost LeGarrette Blount in free agency and figured to come out of this draft with at least one running back. A key consideration is that the top three running backs on the depth chart -- Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden -- all enter the final year of their contracts. White is 5-foot-9 1/8 and 204 pounds and was one of the most sure-handed prospects at the position. He is short for the position, but as we've seen with Kevin Faulk, Danny Woodhead and others in New England, that's not always a bad thing. His running style ("violent cuts") looks like a nice fit for the Patriots' zone-blocking scheme.

Added value on special teams: White has 39 career kickoff returns on his resume and could be a consideration in the role in New England.

Running back depth chart: Vereen, Ridley, Bolden, White, Jonas Gray.

What's next: The Patriots have the final pick of the fourth round, 140th overall. It's a compensatory pick that can't be traded.