Currently, the New England Patriots have seven running backs on their roster, including first-round pick Sony Michel and a slew of veterans like Brandon Bolden, Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee, Jeremy Hill and James White. Last season, the Patriots had Dion Lewis leading their backfield, but they lost him to free agency when he signed a four-year, $19.8 million contract with the Tennessee Titans, including $8.25 million in guaranteed money. The Patriots also have another rookie rusher in Ralph Webb, whom they signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Patriots usually carry three to four running backs on their regular-season roster, making it a tight and interesting competition in training camp and the preseason. According to reports, Burkhead, White and Michel are all assured spots on the 53-man roster, while the remaining four rushers will have to fight it out for the last position in the lineup.

Hill confident

Despite this enormous challenge, the 25-year-old Hill said he is up to the task ahead, saying the “competition is definitely there.” Hill, a second-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, signed a one-year deal worth $1.5 million with the Patriots. According to Hill, he has faith in himself to compete at a high-level against fellow veteran rushers.

“It’ll only bring the best out of all of us,” said Hill (Pats Pulpit/SB Nation), who rushed for 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie year with the Bengals. In his three-year stay in Cincinnati, Hill tallied 2,873 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. However, injuries and the arrival of Joe Mixon derailed his stint with the Bengals.

Michel ready to compete

Despite being assured a roster spot, Michel said he will not be complacent ahead of training camp and the preseason. Michel said he’s ready to face fellow Patriots rushers who will try to “challenge me and get the best out of me everyday.” While his role with the Patriots is unclear at this point, Michel is confident that he can contribute to the team’s offense and success moving forward.

Michel, the 31st pick in the NFL Draft, tallied 3,613 yards and 33 touchdowns in his four years at Georgia. Michel is also known as a dual-threat player as he received 64 passes for 621 yards and six touchdowns in his college days. Despite these impressive numbers, Michel said he has a lot to learn in the NFL, but he’s confident that his teammates will teach him the ropes so he can adjust quickly to the professional style of play.