Cal's Vereen to Patriots with 56th pick

April 30, 2011, 12:03 am
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April 29, 2011


Cal running back Shane Vereen was selected by the New England Patriots with the 56th pick overall, the second member of the Bears to join an NFL team in as many days.

Vereen opted to forgo his senior year of eligibility after steadily improving each of his three years at Cal. He finished with 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2010 as the feature back after Jahvid Best went to the pros.

Vereen also has been a consistent receiving option out of the backfield, catching at least 22 passes all three of his seasons with the Bears. Being undersized, Vereen has a good low center of gravity, but he also lacks that explosive burst to get through the hole and doesn't have the lower-body strength to move a pile forward. His open-field ability also gives him the potential to be a return specialist.

Vereen was one of the best performers in the 225-pound bench press at the NFL scouting combine with 31 reps and finished eighth among running backs with a 4.50 time in the 40-yard dash.