Bill Belichick & drafting running backs

April, 7, 2011
4/07/11
11:25
AM ET
In his 11 drafts with the Patriots, coach Bill Belichick has selected just six running backs. The last time the Patriots have chosen a running back was 2007.

When assessing the chances of the team selecting a running back this year -- and in what area of the draft -- a look at Bill Belichick's drafting history at the position is something to consider. When combining his Patriots (2000-2010) and Browns (1991-95) drafts, here is the breakdown of when he selected running backs/fullbacks:

First round -- 2
Second round -- 0
Third round -- 1
Fourth round -- 1
Fifth round -- 0
Sixth round -- 2
Seventh round -- 2

The two first-round running backs -- Tommy Vardell (1992, Browns, 9th overall) and Laurence Maroney (2006, Patriots, 21st overall) -- were not hits.

This leads to the question: Does Belichick's history in drafting at the position potentially play a factor in his thinking this year if the team has the option of selecting running back Mark Ingram?

EXTRA POINT: Don Banks of SI.com writes on the value of drafting running backs, noting that this could be the first year since 1963 that at least two running backs are not selected in the first round.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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