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Will Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson lead the backfield this year?

The Patriots have two strong contenders to lead their backfield. Who will it be?

Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots catches a pass before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on December 6, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Rhamondre Stevenson hype is high to start training camp, as he’s been getting work with the first team, has been targeted the most out of the running backs after prioritizing his receiving skills this offseason, and has slimmed down a few pounds.

Last season Stevenson put up good numbers behind Damien Harris, but Harris was the no-doubt lead back and goal line back, helping him to 15 touchdowns. Stevenson did have five touchdowns himself, but Harris is still the guy he needs to knock out of the top spot.

The good news for Stevenson is that Harris is on the last year of his rookie deal and could very well be gone next season, while Stevenson still has time on his rookie contract.

Peter King also feels good about Stevenson’s chances to take over that job.

In this clip, King mentions that neither of the running backs will see 300 touches, but that Stevenson should be the back that ends up getting the most touches this season.

Much will depend on James White’s health, as Stevenson is getting many of White’s receiving reps while he recovers from a hip injury. But, no matter how you look at it, Stevenson’s usage as a receiver over Harris so far in training camp is a great sign for his ability to stay on the field.

Also, the addition of DeVante Parker should open up the offense, giving it a bit more efficiency per snap. New England led the league with 24 rushing touchdowns and I’d expect a similar number this season, giving both Harris and Stevenson upside, but with Stevenson as the more complete back of the two.