NFL New England Patriots

2012 New England Patriots Running Back Roles

This article will examine the future status of the running backs on the New England Patriots depth chart.  If there are any free agents than I will examine their status with the team as well.  Will New England resign BenJarvus Green-Ellis?

BenJarvus Green-Ellis Starting Running Back Role Free Agent

BenJarvus Green-Ellis becomes a free agent in 2012.  New England drafted 2 running backs in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Green-Ellis had 181 carries, 667 rushing yards, and 11 rushing touchdowns.  BenJarvus helped New England with double digit touchdowns.  New England may move on with Woodhead and Ridley being their 1 2 punch in 2012.  I feel like resigning Green-Ellis to a one or two year deal is a priority.

Danny Woodhead #2 Running Back Role #2 Running Back

Woodhead is a #2 back that is used for rushing out of the backfield and catching passes.  Woodhead was splitting carries with Green-Ellis.

Stevan Ridley Backup Running Back Role Running Back of the future

Stevan Ridley was a 3rd round pick out of LSU.  Ridley appeared to be a one year wonder with 1,147 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns as a junior at LSU before deciding to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.  Ridley showed more production than Woodhead in 2011.

Ridley could be a starter in 2012 if BenJarvus Green-Ellis is not retained.  New England also drafted another running back before Ridley.

Kevin Faulk 3rd String Running Back Role Free Agent

Kevin Faulk is in his 30′s.  Faulk has had a great run with New England, but his time is up.  New England has tons of running backs and the Patriots need to make way for bigger needs on defense.

Shane Vereen 4th String Running Back Role Reserve Back

Shane Vereen will be used as a reserve back.  Vereen was a 2011 second round pick who was a #2 back behind Jahvid Best.  Vereen like Best is injury prone.  Vereen can develop into a decent back.  Vereen will play a 3rd string role if Green-Ellis and Faulk are released in 2012.