Once Rhamondre Stevenson got some consistent reps out of the New England Patriots backfield, the 2021 fourth round pick out of Oklahoma lived up to expectations as a physical back, punishing running back who will just get better.
Following an early trip to Bill Belichick’s doghouse due to ball security issues, Stevenson eventually got out of that doghouse to form quite the running attack with fellow running back Damien Harris.
In all, Stevenson had a successful rookie season rushing for 606 yards on 133 attempts with 5 rushing touchdowns. Not only did he live up to the hype as a mini version of LeGarrette Blount, but he also showcased a bit more shiftiness than Blount and an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
New England Patriots have a dual threat force in Rhamondre Stevenson
Certainly, a player to look forward to in 2022, Stevenson has something to build on as he looks forward in his NFL career. In reflecting on his rookie season, the Patriots bruising running back definitely embraced it as a learning experience.
"“It was kind of stressful, but successful I would say. Those are two words I would use,” Stevenson told ESPN.com back in early February. “It was stressful just because of the daily grind of the NFL player. But the success part was on the field, and learning how to be a pro.”"
In part, Stevenson was part of a ground attack that helped the New England Patriots reach the playoffs. Although a disappointing ending, it was promising in that the team has a couple of running backs who can take some pressure off Mac Jones. They also have a couple of running backs who can play every down with their ability to leak out and catch the ball like Stevenson showcases in the play below:
This 41-yard pass reception showcased all what Rhamondre Stevenson can do on the field once he gets the ball in his hand in open space. He has power, an ability to accelerate and best of all, he is hard to take down.
But, above all of that is he is a player who improved throughout the season as emphasized by Belichick in talking about the rookie back in December.
"“I think anybody on the team would tell you that he’s improved tremendously from where he was, let’s call it in July, to where he is now,” Belichick said, via NBC Sports. “We see it on defense, we see it on offense. He’s just one of those players that’s just gotten a lot better and he’s pretty good to start with, but he just got a lot better in terms of adjusting his skills and his game to the team that he’s on and what we’ve asked him to do.”"
That is saying a lot from a coach with a track history of sitting rookie running backs their first season. It also shows Stevenson’s’ commitment to getting better as an NFL professional and if he keeps that up, he is going to be a good one for the New England Patriots.
Lastly, in grading the rookie performance of Stevenson, he earned a solid B, which is a high mark considering he was on track early in the season of earning an incomplete grade as he was trending towards being a healthy scratch each week.