Combine: Patriots Hot For A Top RB

Patriots Insider has learned that the Patriots are very carefully scouting running backs of the future in Indianapolis. That they've talked to a number of them comes as no surprise. What opened our eyes was a statement one insider told us about what New England might be willing to do to get the guy they really want.

From Friday's Report

Quietly making his rounds through the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, one of the hottest names not working out at the combine event is USC running back LenDale White.

A junior, White will not be showcasing his talent on the field in Indianapolis, but that hasn't stopped White from talking with many teams late today.

"I've had the opportunity to briefly talk with a few teams and that has been a great experience, one you never are really able to plan for. The best thing has been for me to talk and show people who I am and what kind of person I am," White said.

Despite playing in the shadow of quarterback Matt Leinhart and running back Reggie Bush while at USC, White believes he has the ability to become a player at the professional level.

"Playing with those guys made me a better player and when I was talking to a couple teams, they told me I have the physical ability to play in the league(NFL), which made me feel pretty good knowing I was being noticed for my play," White added.

While not naming any teams which he has met with, has learned White has had discussions with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, and Carolina Panthers, to name a few.


Insider Update: Patriots Insider has been told that Belichick likes what White brings to the table as a big powerful back. New England knows Corey Dillon's future is limited, and would like to get a back to groom behind him. One insider told PI that if White were still on the board they wouldn't be surprised to see [the patriots] make a move on him, as "his stock is on the rise." White is believed to be high on BB's "wish list" along with a certain linebacker to be named later.

PI Notes: At Super Bowl week, a league source told that the Arizona Cardinals have USC running back LenDale White high on their list to select with their first-round pick in April's draft. While the team hasn't given up on second-year running back J.J. Arrington, the coaching staff isn't sure if he's a starting caliber back for the future. ... Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview had this to say about White "Taking a backseat to Heisman winner Reggie Bush, White is preferred by many scouts as a 'feature runner' at the next level. Fast 40 times will push him into the upper Round 1." ... White said in his interviews at the combine this week that he ate so much food at Thanksgiving and Christmas that he could have weighed as much as 253 pounds for the Rose Bowl where Texas defeated USC for the national championship. He said he'd like to weigh 233 for when he runs on USC's Pro Day on April 2. ... Last week in an interview with The Denver Post White talked about where he might endup; "There's been talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots," White said. "It just depends on who needs what at the right time and how I work out for them." ... The Cardinals(10) , Browns (12) and Ravens(13) are thought to be the most realistic destinations for White if he's gone before New England can pick. All three select before the Patriots (21) who may be too far back to get White. Player Evaluation:

Tackle-Breaking Ability

Breakaway Speed

Tough runner who gets a lot of yardage after contact. With his strength and quick burst, White is a prototypical downhill runner and will likely be a productive back at the pro level.

Related: Profile || Top Rated RBs || More articles on Lendale White

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