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2011 NFL Draft: Patriots Select RB Stevan Ridley, LSU at 73rd Overall

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The Patriots, with the first of their back-to-back players, select RB Stevan Ridley at 73rd overall. Ridley is a great complement to Shane Vereen and rounds out the Patriots' running back committee. He lacks elite speed, but he will be great in the fullback role, allowing the Patriots to let Sammy Morris walk away. Ridley stands at 5-11, 225 lbs, is a phenomenal blocker and is a special teams contributor. He IS Sammy Morris. He only has one elite season, but it was in the SEC, which is a good sign.

I don't think that Ridley will be expected to be an elite player in the offense, but he will be a solid piece of the offensive puzzle. Along with Vereen, the Patriots now have two blocking backs for many different scenarios. Ridley will allow Belichick and Bill O'Brien to craft interesting offensive plays, using him in the short yard downs as well as on third downs as a blocker.