Although the Patriots picked up Fred Taylor this offseason, the team may have a need for a back of the future, with every running back on the roster expiring in the next two years. With three second round picks, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots used one of them to pick up a running back. One name to keep an eye on is North Carolina State’s Andre Brown.
At 6′, and over 225 pounds, Andre Brown has a very big, strong, and compact frame. While he certainly doesn’t possess elite speed, he is fast enough to rip off big runs on occassion. He also isn’t the most agile back in the draft, but is nifty enough to make the occassional defender miss in the open field. He is a true north-south runner who is very decisive runner, can break tackles, and uses the stiff arm effectively. He has great lower body strength and consistently churns his legs to pick up the extra yards. He is a good receiver out of the backfield, as he possesses natural hands and good body control. He is also a good pass protector with a good initial pop to stand up linebackers and chip defensive lineman.
Has health concerns related to his left foot that caused him to miss a lot of time in his collegiate career. Runs a little bit upright at times. Not the best straight-line speed. Never had 1,000 yards in a season, due to an array of factors, including the injuries.
Andre Brown could come in and learn from Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, Laurence Maroney, and Fred Taylor, and possibly take over as the starter in 2010. He has a ton of unrealized potential, but could compete as a rookie as well. He is a great all around back who can play on all three downs, so he could be utilized in a bunch of different ways.
Patriots Draft Prospects