BOSTON (CBS) – Each week night leading up the 2015 NFL Draft, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones and Rich Keefe break down the biggest needs of the New England Patriots.
On Tuesday night, the guys focused on running backs prospects. With Shane Vereen signing with the Giants, Stevan Ridley exploring his options on the open market and LeGarrette Blount suspended for the first game of the season, the Patriots have a bit of a need in the backfield.READ MORE: Somerset Firefighters Searching Taunton River For Missing Boater
Jones and Keefe look at all the prospects and break them down into three groups:
Group 1: Off The Board – These players are the best of the best, prospects who the Patriots have no chance at picking 32nd overall.
Group 2: The Targets – These are prospects who could be available to the Patriots.
Group 3: The Pick Is In – Jones and Keefe each reveal who they want to see the Patriots pick.
Off The Board
RB Todd Gurley – Georgia
Jones: He’s electric in the running game, decent in the passing game, and electric in the return game. If he didn’t tear up his knee, he would be a Top 5 pick, and certainly a Top 10 pick.
Keefe: If you watched Georgia play at all, the guy is tremendous.
RB Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin
Jones: He is one in a long line of productive running backs at Wisconsin.
Keefe: I think he’ll be long gone [when the Patriots pick at 32]. You hear a lot of comparisons to Jamaal Charles. He’s a smaller guy who is fast.
RB Tevin Coleman – Indiana
Jones: I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Darren McFadden, which are scary when you read them, but remember, McFadden came in as a high pick. He’s kind of a straight-up runner, but with electric speed.
Keefe: One of the comparisons I read was DeMarco Murray. That’s a guy who isn’t going to juke you to death or be very flashy, but you saw how productive he can be. [Coleman] also has decent size; a little under six feet, which a lot of the good running backs are. He’s over 200-pounds and was crazy productive [in the Big 10].READ MORE: Search For Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Elijah Lewis Continues In New Hampshire
RB T.J. Yeldon– Alabama
Jones:I think this guy is a little underrated. I think he did OK at the combine, but if you go back and look at his production and what they asked him to do at Alabama, I like T.J. Yeldon.
Keefe: I don’t like T.J. Yeldon. When he was sharing carries with Eddie Lacy, going back three years, he was terrific. He was more productive as a freshman and sophomore, but I thought he slowed down. Maybe he put on some weight or some muscle. But he runs very upright, and I think he could get killed in the NFL. That’s a guy I would probably stay away from at 32.
RB Jay Ajayi — Boise State
Jones: He is as good catching the football as he is running the football. I’m not sure how effective he’ll be at the next level as a runner, but I do think that versatility would be something that catches the Patriots eyes, something they could hitch their wagons to. He’s a pass-catcher out of the backfield, which is what they need.
Keefe: He had 50 catches last year. He doesn’t have the toughest competition, and isn’t going up against the Big 10 or the SEC… He had 28 rushing touchdowns last year, and could be a dual back. One of the knocks on him is he doesn’t break a lot of tackles.
RB Ameer Abdullah — Nebraska (and Duke Johnson of Miami)
Jones: They’re both a little smaller, both fast as can be and both productive in the passing game.
Keefe: They would be ideal Shane Vereen replacements… Abdullah is a strong kid even though he is smaller, and can also return kicks. He has been very productive over the last couple of years, and he’s also seems to be one of the best characters – the best people.
Other notables: Jeremy Langford, MSU; David Cobb, Minnesota; David Johnson, Northern Iowa
The Pick Is In
To find out who Adam Jones and Rich Keefe desire most out of all the running back prospects, listen below!
Later in the evening, Bleacher Report NFL Draft Analyst Brent Sobleski checked in with Jones to discuss the biggest areas of need for the Patriots.
Listen below!MORE NEWS: Boston Police Cruiser, Sedan Collide In Early Morning Crash In Roxbury