Well, as NFL debuts go, it doesn’t get much better than that. Rhamondre Stevenson, 4th round draft pick for the New England Patriots capped off an impressive night in the seasons opener against the Washington Football team with his second touchdown off a 91 yard run. He finished the game with 127 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns off of 10 carries, against one of last years most impressive defences. Okay the starters might have been out by then, but the performance has definitely helped Stevenson to earn his way into the regular season rotation.
As he sped up the sideline, Patriots players were hyped, and Cam Newton was at the very front of them, pointing him in the direction of the end zone as he flew by.
Stevenson is part of a strong group of running backs that could end up being a pivotal part of the new look New England Patriots, but he gives them something a little bit different. With Damien Harris likely the starter, and James White & Sony Michel adding plenty of experience between them, plus powerful back JJ Taylor, Rhamondre will have to earn his reps. He draws comparisons to Super Bowl winning Patriot LeGarrette Blount with his stocky build and running style, and when asked about it post game, Stevenson explained that he’s ‘not there yet’. He talked about wanting to continue to learn and improve and contribute in regular season games before any comparisons like that are viable. He seems a very humble character who will let his game do the talking. Going for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns in your first appearance is a pretty good start, and some believe the Patriots might even be looking to move Sony Michel via trade before the season begins.
Rhamondre Stevenson was picked 120th in the 2020 draft out of Oklahoma, and the former Sooner looks every bit the part in an NFL uniform so far. He totalled 13 touchdowns in his two seasons with the Sooners, and impressed in 2020 despite only playing 6 games. Stevenson put on a show in the Peach Bowl against the Florida Gators, with 186 yards and 1 touchdown, including an impressive run dodging tackled into the end zone which rounded out his college career, then moving on to the NFL draft.
The Patriots have found themselves a steal here, something Boomer Sooner fans have been trying to tell everybody for a while now. With a revamped offensive line including the addition of Trent Brown and resigning of David Andrews, plus two premium tight ends, this Patriots team could look very different this season. Last year, we know they had no cash to spare, and had to scrape the barrel all year long just to get by. But this year, the wheels are back on, and Bill Belichick has plenty of talent again, from big free agency signings, opt outs in 2020 now returning, and a rookie class to work their way in, including, Rhamondre Stevenson. I’ll be looking forward to seeing him go to work again in week 2. Everybody loves a preseason success story.
Maybe I should be adding this young man to my list of fantasy football steals when it comes to ranking the best running backs for value.
The below press conference is from back in June, but highlights Stevenson’s humble attitude and will to work hard and earn his way into the rotation.