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Patriots No. 4 pick scouting report: RB Stevan Ridley, LSU

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Posted April 29, 2011 @ 9:06 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots took another running back, selecting LSU's Stevan Ridley with the 73rd overall pick. You knew the Patriots were going to go running back, and they did in the second round with Shane Vereen. The way that Bill Belichick likes to share the rock, it's not a surprise that the Pats took another back in Ridley, who is a good blocker. Here is PFW draft expert Nolan Nawrocki's scouting report on Ridley:

Notes: Rushed for 3,089 yards and 28 touchdowns during his senior season as a Mississippi prep. Redshirted in 2007. Played in 13 games in '08, rushing 12 times for 92 yards (7.7-yard average) and one touchdown and made 15 special-teams tackles. In '09, saw action in all 13 games (started final two) and rushed 45-180-3 (4.0) with six receptions for 33 yards (5.5) and zero TDs. Was the featured back in '10 when he produced 249-1,147-15 (4.6) rushing and 11-61-0 (5.5) receiving in 13 games (eight starts). Team captain.

Positives: Good size. Competitive and runs with urgency. Good lean and leg drive to churn through and spin off contact. Nice inside run vision. Powers through arm and ankle tackles. Catches naturally out of the backfield. Willing blocker who does not hesitate to initiate contact.

Negatives: Does not have speed to the perimeter and can be tracked down. Average explosiveness and agility and is not elusive or creative. Gears down to cut (too exaggerated). Inconsistent pad level and cannot string moves together. Average, one-year production.

Summary: A good-sized, competitive slasher, Ridley got lost in a crowded backfield at LSU and lacks the speed, gear change and pedigree to be considered more than an ideal No. 3 back. Will have to earn his way on special teams.

NFL projection: Late draftable pick.


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