Gillislee brings strong production to Patriots
- The Buffalo Bills on Monday declined to match the Patriots’ offer on restricted free agent RB Mike Gillislee, making Gillislee a Patriot.
- Gillilee ranked 14th among 62 qualified HBs in 2016 with an overall grade of 76.4. Gillislee proved to be a tough back to bring down as he also ranked eighth with a 57.6 elusive rating (elusive rating attempts to distill the impact of a runner independently of the blocking in front of him by looking at how hard he was to bring down); his average of 3.34 yards after contact per attempt (one of the components used to form elusive rating) ranked third.
- The Bills current depth chart now leaves a lot to be desired, with Johnathan Williams (overall grade 55.3 in 2016) and Joe Banyard (65.1) as the primary backups for LeSean McCoy; those two combined for just 105 total snaps last season.
- Gillislee earned 43.3 percent of his yards on runs of 15 yards or more – which was the third-highest rate in 2016. If the Bills want to replace his production toward the back of the draft with a similarly sized back who’s capable of breaking out for a big gain they should have some options.
- Marlon Mack, James Conner, or Elijah Hood could all be potential replacements on Day 3 of the draft as all have shown breakaway ability – Mack ranked fifth (52.3 percent) in breakaway percentage among the 69 draft-eligible RBs in 2016, Conner sixth (51.7), and Hood eighth (51.5).