Philip Tor | Pats Militia
Coming off his best season as a professional, former Bengals RB Rex Burkhead has officially signed a contract to play for the New England Patriots. In his first 3 seasons in Cincy, Burkhead was mainly a 3rd option behind young studs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. Even though his touches were limited, when he got the chance Burkhead did not disappoint. In his final game in a Bengals uniform, he got an opportunity, rushing 27 times for 119 yards and a pair of TD’s.
Other than that game Burkhead’s career has been lived on the practice field and on the bench. Coming out of college he was seen as a player who would have a tough time transitioning his game to the NFL. Burkhead has some incredible quickness and an arsenal of moves that he used in college that we have not seen yet in the NFL.
Hopefully the Patriots are unable to un-earth some of the talent that Burkhead showed in his time at Nebraska. If the Patriots give him a shot, Burkhead would be a player that would thrive in the Belichick system. I mean just his name sounds like a Patriot name. A comparison for Burkhead would be more of a Laurence Maroney or Stevan Ridley. Burkhead has quick feet and is able to use his speed to burst past defenders and make plays in the open field. Yet because of his small frame he is not considered a power back or a between the tackles type rusher.
The reality is Burkhead will most likely be fighting for a roster spot with the current Patriots running backs James White, Dion Lewis, and D.J Foster. Also don’t be surprised if New England expands further in the draft in the later rounds to add even more depth to their roster.
All in all it’s a small move made here by Belichick, but it is a low risk high reward type deal that could either make the Patriots and Bill look even smarter if Burkhead turns into something special.