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Patriots draft RB Pierre Strong Jr. with No. 127 pick

South Dakota State running back Pierre Strong Jr. goes to the New England Patriots with the 127th pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Syndication: Argus Leader Matt Zimmer / Argus Leader / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New England Patriots selected South Dakota State running back Pierre Strong Jr. with pick No. 127 in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’ll join a crowded backfield in New England, featuring backs Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, and James White.

Strong did it all on offense as a four-year starter for the Jackrabbits. Most notably, he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in three separate seasons, including a Football Championship Subdivision-best 1,686 last season. He ended his career with more than 4,500 rushing yards, the third-most in SDSU history. He also recorded at least 20 receptions in each of his two final seasons and tallied 49 touchdowns — 40 rushing, three receiving and six more passing. Here is what you need to know about Strong.

Scouting Report

Undersized at 5-foot-11 and a little more than 200 pounds, Strong burned FCS defenders for years with his 4.37-40 speed. That tied for the best 40-yard dash time for any RB at the 2022 NFL Combine. He is a big-play threat as 10 of his touchdowns came from at least 50 yards out. He has serviceable pass-catching chops and good field vision. He doesn’t carry much power when he runs, which you would expect from a back his size. He seems best suited as a third-down playmaker. Strong will have to improve his blocking techniques to really hold down such a role, however.

Fantasy football impact

Like most guys drafted on day three, Strong is a much better dynast fantasy league pick, rather than the regular season-long fantasy. In his first season in New England, I would expect him to have a special teams impact, but not much more than that.