It would be easy to overlook the contributions of Stevan Ridley this season in an offense featuring names like Brady, Gronkowski and Welker. After all, 53 running backs had more rushes than Ridley’s 87 carries, and Ridley only scored one touchdown on the season. However, evidence is mounting that the Patriots found a pretty solid player with the 73rd overall pick in last year’s draft. Ridley’s 5.1 yards per rush is 10th among the 56 running backs with at least 85 rushes. Ridley has been among the league’s most powerful runners, averaging 2.6 yards after contact per rush. That trails only Ben Tate, Isaac Redman and Donald Brown among running backs with at least 85 carries. However, Ridley was far more than just a niche power rusher, averaging a 20+ yard run once every 17.4 carries. That was the seventh-best average among backs with at least 85 carries, trailing Darren Sproles, DeAngelo Williams, Darren McFadden, C.J. Spiller, Matt Forte and Fred Jackson.
If he played for a different team, we'd be high on Ridley as a keeper/dynasty grab, but the Patriots have a reputation for shuffling their backfield around at a moment's notice.