Coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and averaging 94 yards per game, undrafted free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis left the University of Mississippi as one of the most productive backs in school history . "Blessed with a rare combination of size, agility and acceleration," NFL.com goes on to describe Green-Ellis as a "durable workhorse and a secure ball-handler ."
At 5'11", 215lbs, Patriots' new number 42 gets rave reviews for his power game and soft hands. The Draft Guys, Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom, evaluated Green-Ellis and praised how he "runs low, allowing him to win collisions and bounce off on contact ."
"He only had two receptions in 2007," but in their opinion, "film reveals that he trusts his hands and smoothly transitions in and out of his catches." Lack of experience in receiving might be an area of concern for now, but he has great role models in veteran running backs Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, and Laurence Maroney to help fine-tune his skills. Maroney, criticized in the past for dancing at the line of scrimmage , silenced his detractors last season. NFL.com has raised similar flags with Green-Ellis, cautioning that he "can be an impatient runner who rushes into the hole instead of allowing his blocks time to develop." With coaching, time and experience, this rookie can overcome this "impatience" tag as well.
The Draft Guys were also very impressed with his "vision" and how he uses it to "make subtle adjustments and pick the right hole without ever stopping his feet." Draft expert Russ Lande from the Sporting News agrees. "He showed the quick feet, the burst through the hole, and the vision that we didn't expect to see. This kid is a tough, hard-nosed running back who plays a lot bigger than his size ." Sound like a Patriot yet?
Having an outstanding, reliable, and consistent 3rd down back has been vital to keeping Tom Brady and the offense on the field. Kevin Faulk won't be with us to fill that role forever, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis just might be the perfect protégé to follow in his footsteps.