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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure

01.26.11 at 4:33 pm ET

Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure set a school record with 1,697 rushing yards in 2010. (AP) 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.

Mikel Leshoure

Position: Running back

School: Illinois

Height: 6-foot-1

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:

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Mikel Leshoure, Potential Patriots,
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