Earlier this afternoon, we talked about how the Patriots had worked out a late-round running back prospect, now we'll discuss a high-profile running back that the team recently worked out. According to Sports Illustrated's draft analyst Tony Pauline, the New England Patriots recently worked out Boise State running back Doug Martin.
Martin is regarded by many as the second best running back in the 2012 NFL Draft class behind Alabama's Trent Richardson. Of course, the gap between the two is very steep, but Martin is the type of back that has the potential to be a featured back in a system, and could go anywhere between the late 1st round and end of the second round of the draft next month.
At just over 5'9 and 223 lbs, Martin has a compact frame and low center of gravity. He can bull through tacklers and make defenders miss while maintaining great balance. He has decent speed (4.55) and is a reliable option as a receiver in check-downs. Like the recently departed BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Martin possesses good patience while his blocks set up, although unlike Green-Ellis, he's had some issues consistently holding onto the football.
During his final two years at Boise State, Martin carried the ball for more than 2,500 yards. His final three years, Martin had a combined 47 touchdowns.
With two young backs, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, already in the fold, I do not think it's likely that the Patriots address the running back position in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. However, if they were to choose a back at pick 27 or 31, Martin could definitely be that guy. And if he somehow fell to 48 or 62, he would represent an excellent value for the team.