Which running backs stand out from Patriots perspective at 2020 NFL combine

Ryan Hannable
February 27, 2020 - 8:30 am

INDIANAPOLIS -- The running backs met with the media on Wednesday at the NFL Combine to round out all of the offensive positional groupings.

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After drafting Sony Michel and Damien Harris at the position in each of the last two years, it doesn’t seem to be a major draft need this year for the Patriots, but you never know with Bill Belichick.

Here are five names to keep an eye on from a Patriots perspective.

Joshua Kelley, UCLA — Kelley had a solid career at UCLA becoming the eighth running back in UCLA history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His first two collegiate seasons came at UC Davis prior to transferring after his sophomore season. The 5-foot-11 back has met with the Patriots at the combine.

A.J. Dillon, Boston College — The local product is one of the toughest backs in the entire draft, as he was asked to do a ton at Boston College. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in all three of his seasons and received over 30 carries in four games this past fall, including 40 in a 38-31 loss to Florida State. Dillon will make a good short-yardage back in the NFL.

Lamical Perine, Florida — While James White isn’t old by any means, he could likely benefit from another third-down back on the roster. The 5-foot-11 back recorded 40 receptions for 262 yards in his senior season at Florida this past year. He also has the ability to make players miss, so could be an option in the screen game.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt — A Day 3 selection who could be worth a flier. While he doesn’t have the best stats by any means, all accounts are he’s a workhorse who gives his best at everything he does and makes things tough on opponents. He ran for just over 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons and made strides in the passing game.

Sewo Olonilua, TCU — Olonilua could create some buzz this week as he stands 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, but likely will run his 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds. The Patriots could use a bigger back and if available late in the draft, why not take a chance on a player like him? 

Related: Centers of attention at the NFL Combine