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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams

02.17.11 at 4:38 pm ET
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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.

Ryan Williams

Position: Running back

School: Virginia Tech

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 202 pounds

Achievements: Sporting News third-team All-American (2009)

What he brings: A big talent who probably could have used more time in college to boost his résumé, Williams decided to declare for the draft after his sophomore season. He runs hard and would provide that happy medium between finesse and power that the Patriots seem to lack. Some see him as a potential first-round pick, but his lack of production in 2010 make such a scenario unlikely.

Where the Patriots could get him: No. 33 or 60.

Notes: Williams missed four straight games in his sophomore season due to a hamstring injury, and when he returned, his carries went down. After getting 20 carries in the first two games of the season, he failed to get more than 15 in a game following his injury.

As will be the case with any running back prospect expected to go in the top two rounds, the big question is whether it is truly worth it. Laurence Maroney nightmares aside, investing a high pick in a running back is very hit-or-miss, and the team may be better off going for somebody in the middle rounds to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead.

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