Patriots Claim RB Tyler Gaffney off Waivers from Carolina

The Patriots added another 6th Round pick to their draft haul.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The 2014 NFL Draft ended almost three months, but on Monday the Patriots added another 6th Round pick to their draft class by claiming RB Tyler Gaffney off waivers from Carolina. Panthers GM Dave Gettleman tried to sneak the injured running back through waivers after tearing his lateral meniscus in practice; Bill Belichick had other thoughts.

Who is Tyler Gaffney and what can he bring to the Patriots when healthy?

Tyler Gaffney is a two sport star who returned to Stanford in 2013 after two years playing minor league baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates system. Gaffney went on to have one of the best rushing seasons in the country and dramatically improved his NFL Draft stock. During the draft process Gaffney earned praise for his impressive character and terrific workouts. At the NFL Combine Gaffney was one of the top finishers in the 3-Cone drill posting a 6.78 and ran a sub-4.50 forty yard dash.

The Patriots obviously had some interest in acquiring Gaffney during the draft, but he was selected two spots ahead of their final 6th round selection #206. The Panthers snagged the Stanford RB at pick #204 and the Patriots went on to select Georgia Tech DB Jemea Thomas. With no Running Backs under contract after the 2014 season the Patriots assume little risk in adding Gaffney’s contract. The Patriots must keep Gaffney on the 90-man roster until the rosters are cut down at which time they can place him on injured reserve. Gaffney compliment’s 4th round RB James White nicely, in that he’s a more straight ahead, downhill, power runner. If Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley aren’t retained after this season, the Patriots would have some viable replacements at both spots.

Many people will compare the waiver claim to that of Jake Ballard in 2012 and logisitcally that is true. The Gaffney maneuver has much more upside for a number of reasons. Gaffney is coming off an injury that is much less significant than Ballard’s microfracture surgery and he shouldn’t have nearly as long of a recovery period. Add that to the fact the Patriots are thin at the position in future years and it’s a shrewd more.

Here is my complete and comprehensive scouting report on Tyler Gaffney from 2014 NFL Draft Guide.

Tags: Tyler Gaffney

11 Responses to “Patriots Claim RB Tyler Gaffney off Waivers from Carolina”

  1. Buddy-L says:

    Sounds like a smart move. A guy who could make good contributions as a player next year, and in the meantime adds a little more motivation to the current RBs, knowing they have to keep ahead of the upcoming competition for roster spots and playing time.

  2. DMC413 says:

    Great move BB, hopefully this will pan out better than the Jake Ballard move. Coaching from all angles!

  3. MaineMan says:

    Good move by BB. Both Gaffney and OL Chris Martin (another likely IR-redshirt) are effectively early acquisitions for the 2015 draft class. Even if neither ultimately work out, BB has kinda saved himself a couple 2015 picks.

    The flipside of picking up Gaffney now is that it may signal BB’s preliminary opinion of the level of RB talent that may be available in the 2015 draft.

    • Ryan says:

      I don’t think I would read too much into his opinion of the 2015 draft class. 2015 looks very promising much more so than this year. I think he saw a guy he liked, and considers it a free 2014 6th rd pick.

      • MaineMan says:

        Well, I *did* use the words “may” and “preliminary” as an indication that it’s merely *a* possible contributing factor, not the only reason.

        Given that Gaffney will be available for the first time along with whatever 2015 Pats draftees there are (effectively a free 2015 draft pick), it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that he could be hedging his bets a bit, what with the three current incumbent RBs all in their contract years.

        Have to wait and see how the college guys do in 2014, but I personally haven’t seen any “gotta get him” types yet.

        • Ryan says:

          Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and T.J. Yeldon to me are got to get them types. That being said, BB got a free 6th round pick this year and took him. I think it was a good move, and I think Riverboat Ron was upset about it, as he should be. The reason this is nice, is his ability to be in the facility, and see how things work in New England. The other good thing to come from this is Cam Fleming, and have experience together.

      • steve earle says:

        Do you really think next draft will be better then this past one? Not convinced of that, so many underclass opted for the last draft seems to me more likely to be kind if slim pickens espically where depth is concerned.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree with your assessment on Gaffney and Martin as both positions look solid for this year barring injuries.

  4. Dylan.C says:

    As someone who was hoping the Pats would draft him in the later rounds I couldn’t be happier about this!

  5. Kevan says:

    Great move considering Ridely,Vereen,Bolden are not signed past this year. It’s gonna be interesting to see what the Rb’s do this season, and how the Pats handle the next off season for that position. I’ll say it again, great move.

  6. J H TARBORO says:

    Great pickup, extremely good athlete and i hope we keep him. I suggested Tyler as an UDFA and he’s here. WR Cole Stanford from Cal Poly is just as intriguing 6’2 225 and runs in the mid 4.4s 40yds. he was a FB/H-back and WR, a do it all type of guy! I hope he can carve out a role for himself.






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