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Patriots RB James White has top receiving grade from Pro Football Focus through Week 7

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The Patriots top receiving threat out of the backfield is the top receiving threat out of the backfield in the NFL.

James White is pretty good at football too.
James White is pretty good at football too.
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have always had a RB that's been a major threat as a receiver. This year it's no different as the 3rd year RB James White has been a reliable option for the Patriots out of the backfield. In fact, he has more receptions (27) than carries (24) when handed the football. White currently splits the RB duties with LeGarrette Blount, who's mainly the main rusher of the two. As a receiver, White has the 2nd most targets (38) in the offense behind WR Julian Edelman (54). He's caught 27 of them for 244 yards and 3 TD.

Even though White isn't a dynamic threat as a runner (3.8 YPC), he's very good on 3rd downs and moving the chains underneath. White's run grade on Pro Football Focus is an uninspiring 55.3, although his primary use is as a receiver, where his grade is an astonishing 85.4. When Lewis returns from PUP, White will be the main receiving threat as Lewis gets back into football shape, but each week could be having a more reduced role. White should still be a big piece of the offense down the stretch as a reliable receiver and pass protector as well. When Lewis is back and healthy, the Patriots should have a nice 3-headed monster in the backfield with the shifty Lewis, the powerful LeGarrette Blount, and the solid and reliable receiver White.