The fact that the New England Patriots want to work out Ole Miss running back/wide receiver Dexter McCluster shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
The Pats have had four different running backs carry the ball at least 60 times in each of the past two seasons. Head coach Bill Belichick likes to use multiple running backs in a wide variety of offensive sets in an effort to keep opposing defenses off balance.
And McCluster could possibly be the next man to get involved in that rotation.
Per Albert Breer of the Boston Globe, the Patriots are sending a contingent down to McCluster’s hometown of Largo, Fla. on Wednesday to work out the former Rebel. The interesting thing to note here is that this is now the second time the Pats have checked out McCluster.
The 5’9”, 172-pound offensive weapon averaged 6.5 yards per carry on his way to 1,169 yards and eight scores for Ole Miss in 2009. One of the SEC’s most lethal dual-threat backs over the past two years, McCluster caught 88 passes for 1,145 yards and four touchdowns from 2008-2009.
We got a good look at the Mississippi running back during Senior Bowl week and were very impressed. South Team linebackers had no chance to cover McCluster when he came out of the backfield during 1 v. 1 passing drills. When the 21-year-old lined up on the outside against the South Team cornerbacks, he demonstrated the ability to get vertical on them on a consistent basis.
New England is currently sitting on three second-round draft picks (44, 47, 53 overall), which is right in the range of where McCluster is projected to go.
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