With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine right around the corner, the New England Patriots are going through their initial preparation for this year's draft.
The first step in that process is determining the team's biggest needs. The next step is poring over a year's worth of notes to decide which players best fit the needs at those positions.
Among all the positions that would be on a potential priority list, running back would have to be at or near the top of the list. The Patriots lack of a running game could be attributed in part to the collective struggles of the offensive line, but the running back position has to take some of the blame. Even when they were at full health, that group didn't put up a consistently acceptable performance.
On the season, the Patriots' average of 3.7 yards per carry was the fourth-lowest in the league, and their average of 87.8 yards per game was the third-lowest. And if you can imagine, it's possible that things could get worse if the Patriots let LeGarrette Blount walk as a free-agent without adequately replacing his between-the-tackles running ability.
So, here's a look at a handful of running backs the Patriots should have their eyes on in Indianapolis this year.