NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure
|01.26.11 at 4:33 pm ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2011 NFL draft.
Position: Running back
Weight: 230 pounds
Achievements: All-Big Ten (2010), Second-Team All-American (2010), 2010 Texas Bowl MVP, Illinois team MVP (2010)
What he brings: A classic power runner, Leshoure was a workhorse for Illinois in 2010, carrying the ball 281 times. Given his size, he has a surprisingly quick initial burst and uses his feet well to make defenders miss. Leshoure didn’t catch a lot of passes out of the backfield, but he has good hands and could develop into a solid receiving option. He has been compared to another Illinois product, Rashard Mendenhall, as well as LeGarrette Blount.
Where the Patriots could get him: No. 17
Notes: Leshoure set a single-season school record with 1,697 rushing yards in 2010, which included a 330-yard effort against Northwestern on November 20. He also set a Texas Bowl rushing record in his MVP performance, rushing for 184 yards in the 38-14 Illinois win over Baylor. By his own admission, Leshoure was overweight and immature as a freshman, but worked hard to transform himself physically and became a leader in the locker room.
Video: Here’s highlights of Leshoure’s 2009 season: