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On The Rise? New England RB Primed For Second Year Breakout?

Over the last couple of years, the Patriots have had an extensive rise in their running-back room, from Sony Michel to Damien Harris, to Rex Burkhead, to James White.

While all these running-backs have their moments, another candidate may be on the rise to have a breakout year in the running department. Rhamondre Stevenson entering his second year, has a lot of changes to adjust to, such as the loss of Harris and new coaching, but ultimately I believe he will prevail.

Stevenson’s College Career

Stevenson started his football career in Cerritos, putting up an impressive 2000 yards and 16 touchdowns in his sophomore year.

However, during his last two years in Oklahoma, his rushing numbers weren’t super eye-popping, putting up a little over 1000 yards in 160 carries.

Yet he scored 13 Touchdowns in his two years there and was used as a two-way player considering he also has 298 receiving yards from being there, so he was slowly on the rise. In addition, Stevenson is a six-foot, 231-pound running back, so tackling him isn’t easy.

It’s also worth mentioning that in terms of team ranks, in both seasons, he either finished first or second in terms of rushing and even finished fifth in receiving! So in a season where there is a lot of pressure on Mac Jones’ back to succeed, Stevenson can put up a solid running game against a poor running defense (such as the Bills).

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Stevenson’s Rookie Year On The Patriots

Stevenson didn’t contribute much to the Patriots last season, putting up 606 yards in 133 carries. However, this was his rookie year, and being the fourth pick in the draft isn’t promising he will be the best.

With Harris maybe battling injury coming into this season and James White primarily being a receiving back, this is Stevenson’s rise and time to shine. The Patriots were on the lower side of rushing yards (2151 yards total last season), but the team hopes someone can get those numbers up and rise to the higher ranks. Again, I think it will be Stevenson.

It is also worth pointing out that the two-way play style was also implemented on the Patriots, considering his first year, he had 14 receptions for 123 yards.

For the Patriots to have his breakout can be huge because if Stevenson shows himself as a dual-threat, they could save cap space by cutting either James White or trading Damien Harris (if they so please) and be on the rise for a deep playoff run.

What Does Stevenson Have To Do?

This may sound great in theory, but Stevenson has much to improve in the league. The Patriots are still deciding on and moving forward in training camp with no offensive coordinator, so that could be a significant impact.

However, at Stevensons’ combine, his grade reflects that he is a solid backup with the potential to be a starter, and now is his time to rise. Since he’s an enormous player, most of his dominant runs would be draws or plays up the middle. However, working on outside drag runs this season could make him more elite.

Also grooming him to stay as a receiving back can be dangerous since Mac will have more targets (White, Parker, Agholor, Henry).

The scouting reports also mention his lower graded ability to pass block, and although this isn’t too much of an issue due to new linemen and tight ends, it’s something to improve on.

If Stevenson can master each of these skills a little at a time, he can easily take over the starting position and become a solid running back.


Rhamondre Stevenson, like so many of the Patriots’ draft picks, came as a surprise. He was projected to be picked way later in the draft.

However, Belichick is all for drafting the underdogs and molding them into the next big thing; maybe that’s his plan for Stevenson. Either way, after his pretty promising college career and solid rookie season, Stevenson has the potential to be on the rise this year and awe the league.

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