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2014 Running Back Rankings

May 4, 2014

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Running Back

Prototype in the NFL: Adrian Peterson

Best In Class

Best Pure Speed: De’Anthony Thomas         Best Inside Runner: Jeremy Hill

Best Pass Blocker: Carlos Hyde                    Best Open Field Runner: Lache Seastrunk

Best Pass Catcher: Charles Sims                  Best Vision: Lache Seastrunk

Best Burst: De’Anthony Thomas                    Best Goal Line Runner: Carlos Hyde

 

1. Carlos Hyde Ohio State 5’11 7/8 230 Sr.

Comparison: Marshawn Lynch

Stats: Big Ten

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2013

1521

7.3

15

16

147

9.2

2012

970

5.2

16

8

51

6.4

2011

566

5.3

6

10

73

0

2010

141

5.9

0

0

0

0

Combine: He had almost the exact same workout as Jeremy Hill. He was big (230 lbs), slow (4.66) and un-explosive (’34 ½ vertical and 9’6 broad). He also skipped the quickness drills due to pulling his left hamstring.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5117

230

32

9.63

4.66

19

34.5

906

 

 

Strengths: 1st Team Big 10 in 2013. Well built back who looks to be good in between the tackles. Elite feet for a guy his size. He constantly amazes me how quick he is in short areas causing a player who sized him up to hit him on the edge of his pads instead of directly on. He’s a downhill power back with very good strength but the more you watch him the more his feet and his underrated speed impress you. He had an elite season statistically despite missing 3 games in 2013. He ended his career with 9 straight 100 yard games.

Weaknesses: Suspended 3 games in 2013 due to an altercation at a bar with a woman. No charges were filed as the woman didn’t want to pursue charges (paid off?). His yards per carry were sub 6.0 in his first 3 seasons and he never wowed me with his tape until 2013. Did the light turn on, did he take steroids, did the offensive line get better or did he see a potential payday one year away and finally worked hard in the weight room.

Overall: In 2012 I had a late round/free agent grade on Hyde due to mediocre stats (5.2 ypc being the biggest culprit) and questionable athleticism. One year later he’s my #1 RB as he was clearly the best back in college last year. That dichotomy scares me as I don’t know if the light went on for him and it will stay on or maybe he actually tried this year and once drafted will once again coast on his raw talent. At 230 lbs Hyde has the size to be a workhorse back. He also has incredibly quick feet for a man his size and he runs extremely hard. He battles defenders on every possession and gives better than he receives on most plays. Due to his physical style and aggressive mentality he reminds me of Marshawn Lynch who is currently one of the 5 best running backs in the NFL. Hyde has some off the field issues for teams to sort out but he’s helped by the fact that Hill and Carey have issues as well with Hill’s being far more serious. Hyde’s seem more of the immature variety and I’m willing to overlook them and leave him as my #1 RB as his 2013 season was elite. My bigger worry is his 2010-2012 tape which was very mediocre and that issue is what ends up keeping him out of the 1st round. Early 2nd round as my #1 RB who has Pro Bowl potential as a Marshawn Lynch clone but who also has some bust potential due to being a one year wonder type 5/4/14002E

2. Lache Seastrunk Baylor 5’9 ½ 201 Jr.

Comparison: LeSean McCoy

Stats: Big 12

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

1177

7.4

11

0

0

0

2012

1012

7.7

7

9

107

1

2011

X-fer

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: I expected a better 40 (4.51) yet it’s still hard to say he had anything other than an exceptional Combine as he was best among the 39 RBs in the vertical (41 ½) and broad jump (11’2) with both numbers being among the best I’ve ever seen by any RB I’ve graded. He’s an elite athlete. Very good in bag cut drill. Great hands in post corner drill. Good in flare out drill-has very soft hands.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5094

201

30

9.25

4.51

15

41.5

1102

 

 

Strengths: Blue chip prospect out of HS. #40 in ESPN 150 for ’10. Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2012. He has elite lateral quickness and is great at jump cutting or juking a player in space. He’s solidly put together and I don’t think he’s only a 3rd down back. He has elite explosion numbers as his vertical and broad jump are two of the best numbers I’ve ever seen recorded by a RB at the Combine. His yards per carry average is elite and there’s a possibility that he would have added weight and dominated in 2014 becoming a 1st round pick. Out of the 35 most prolific rushers he had the 2nd highest yards per carry (Melvin Gordon was 1st). He was top 11 in the nation in yards per carry in 2012 AND 2013. With only 291 career carries he has plenty of tread left on the tires so to speak.

Weaknesses: Redshirted in 2010. Supposedly lost his backup job to true freshman De’Anthony Thomas putting him 4th on the depth chart so he transferred to Baylor. Despite coming out as a junior he still is a slightly older prospect due to redshirting in 2010 and sitting out 2011 due to transferring. He’s a fumbler and doesn’t seem to be very tough. He’s a jokester but sometimes he takes it too far and he seems to be a bit of a media whore. Despite playing in a prolific pass offense he only has 9 career receptions and isn’t experienced in the passing game. He’s injury prone. He’s cocky and not always team oriented as evidenced by his proclamation in the preseason that his goal for 2013 was to win the Heisman. He sometimes goes too much East-West and not enough North-South.

Overall: Lache is an elite athlete who never was quite able to put it all together for a full season. For the team that drafts him that could be a blessing in disguise as his inconsistencies could make him drop on draft day and turn him into a steal. A case can be made that Lache is the most talented RB in this draft as his lower body explosion puts everyone else to shame. He has the best jump cut I’ve graded since LeSean McCoy and a comparable 40 time (4.51 for Lache/4.50 for McCoy). He also has the same number (#25) and is the #4-6 ranked RB on most boards which is where McCoy was ranked in his draft year. I see a lot of similarities in them and the more I watch Seastrunk the more I think that this is one of the best players in this draft and a potential Pro Bowler. He is a bit of an unknown due to only two seasons of play and both seasons him being not used to his full potential (1st 7 games of 2012 he got single digit carries each week and in 2013 he missed 2 games and most of a 3rd due to injury) yet his production on a per game and per play basis was elite. Most have him as the #4-6 RB (Mayock actually doesn’t have him in his Top 5 so unsure how low he is with him and nfldraftscout has him as their #8 RB) yet I have him biting on the heels of the top 2 guys. In the end I had to move him ahead of Jeremy Hill who has more red flags than Seastrunk. Early 2nd round as my #2 RB who I think could become a Pro Bowler and the best RB out of this draft if put in the right system 4/6/14.

3. Jeremy Hill LSU 6’0 5/8 233 Soph

Comparison: Le’Veon Bell/Ron Dayne

Stats: SEC

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

1401

6.9

16

18

181

0

2012

755

5.3

12

8

73

0

Combine: He wrote a letter to all 32 teams explaining his off the field issues. He had almost the exact same workout as Carlos Hyde. He was big (233 lbs), slow (4.66) and un-explosive (’29 vertical and 9’5 broad). He also skipped the quickness drills. Solid for his size but overall just average in weaving cone drill. Good catch on ball behind him. Good hands catch in post corner drill. Fluid on out and up drill. Agile but is a body catcher in mini gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6005

233

32.63

10.38

4.66

20

29

905

 

 

Strengths: 1st team SEC in 2013. Due to only 2 seasons of college football and how LSU rotates backs so frequently he has very limited wear and tear on his body. He plays well in big games (career high 216 yds in 2013 bowl game vs. Iowa). Les Miles says he was the smartest freshman he’d ever seen-elite football IQ. He dominated in the best conference in America. He quickly became the team’s lead back despite facing NFL caliber talent that was older than him (Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue). He is a punishing runner and likes to finish off a run forcefully. He’s cocky and feels he can dominate anyone.

Weaknesses: Sat out 1st season after HS due to legal issues. During the 2013 bowl game he was pushed back by a defender longer than he thought deserving and began punching the defender? Plays like that make you question his maturity. Missed 2013 opener due to April 2013 arrest where he sucker punched a bar patron. He was on probation for his HS legal issues (originally charged with oral sexual battery due to pressuring a 14 year old girl to give him a blowjob but it was reduced to probation). He has good speed for his size but he’ll never be a game breaker and in the NFL he might even have trouble turning the corner on off tackle run plays.

Overall: Hill is an interesting player that will likely polarize a room of scouts as he is elite in certain areas and has numerous red flags in others. As an inside runner there is no equal to him as his size (233 lbs), strength and tenacity make him a handful. He showed scouts his innate talents in this area numerous times when he dominated NFL talent in games vs. South Carolina, Texas A&M and Clemson in 2012 and Florida and Iowa in 2013. He also has surprising agility and speed for a big back and should be a very solid runner. Unfortunately a team drafting him will have to be accepting of the fact that he has had two legal issues in his 3 seasons at LSU, he doesn’t fit the prototype mold of an NFL runner and he lacks the speed or hands to be a 3 down back. A similar problem arose with Eddie Lacy last year yet I overlooked the issues and kept a mid 1st grade on him. He was OROY in 2013 and is a Pro Bowl caliber player so a dominant 2 down back can succeed in today’s NFL but it is an added risk. Also Lacy had a superior burst and no off the field issues compared to Hill so it’s not a complete apples to apples comparison. Since Hill took over as the lead back for the Tigers against South Carolina in October 2012 he’s been one of the best running backs in the country. In 2013 though Hyde was the better player and his off the field issues are less worrisome to me than Hill’s rape charge in 2011 and his battery charge in 2013. Seastrunk also passed him late in the evaluation process due to being a 3 down back, being more explosive and having fewer red flags. Due to these issues (off the field behavior and only being a 2 down back) Hill drops to the 2nd round as my #3 RB who still has the talent to be a Pro Bowl back 4/6/14.

4. Bishop Sankey Washington 5’9 ½ 209 Jr.

Comparison: Emmitt Smith

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

1870

5.7

20

28

304

1

2012

1439

5.0

16

33

249

0

2011

187

6.7

1

6

14

0

Combine: He made a lot of money as he had a good 40 (4.49) and elite quickness drill numbers (4.00 shuttle and 6.75 3 cone which were both 1st among the 39 RBs). With Jeremy Hill and Carlos Hyde being average and Ka’Deem Carey being terrible at the Combine, Sankey made himself a lot of money with this performance. Solid in post corner drill. Very good in mini gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5094

209

31

10

4.49

26

35.5

1006

4.00

6.75

Strengths: 1st Team Pac 12 in 2013. Coaches compare him to Emmitt Smith due to his style and underrated skills (vision, short area quickness, durability). He’s a smaller (5’10 203) back with very good short area quickness and vision. He’s at his best between the tackles and adept at lowering his head to gain additional yards. He’s involved in the passing game with +30 catches each of the past two seasons. In the 2013 BYU game (bowl game) he had an elite 11 yd TD run jump cutting against Kyle Van Noy in the hole, he consistently broke a tackle or two on EVERY run.

Weaknesses: He has some wear and tear on his body with back to back 300 carry seasons in 2012 and 2013. Former Husky Chris Polk was also extremely productive but went undrafted and is only a rarely used backup for the Eagles (some will say that doesn’t matter but how previous players from a school translate always affects the draft status of that school’s current players). Sankey was only the starter in 2012 due to the starter in front of him tearing up his knee in the season opener. He isn’t a speedy back and rarely breaks off big runs. His yards per carry are solid (5.0 in 2012, 5.7 in 2013) yet hardly dominant especially considering the help he was given by playing Idaho (19.3 ypc) and California (8.9 ypc) in 2013.

Overall: In this year’s draft Sankey might be the “safest pick” at the RB position. Unlike Jeremy Hill who is a bigger 2 down back, Sankey is a complete back who has good hands and experience as a receiver. Unlike Carlos Hyde who is a one year wonder, Sankey has been a consistent performer the past two seasons. Unlike Tre Mason or Lache Seastrunk who come from gimmicky offenses, Sankey played in a pro style running offense. Bishop’s tape is fun to watch and easy to scout as he often ran behind a fullback in power formations and showed the kind of vision, quickness and burst that make it obvious he will be a solid starting tailback in the NFL. He’s probably the safest running back to take but he is by no means the best as he lacks the size and strength of Hyde/Hill or the elusiveness of Mason/Seastrunk. He’ll never be a franchise back but in today’s NFL I’m not sure you really need one so there’s an argument to be made for avoiding the higher risk backs and taking the safe guy in Sankey. As a mid round pick he’d be a borderline steal for a team as I’m sure he’ll be productive, durable and versatile. Early 3rd round as my #4 RB 5/3/14.

5. De’Anthony Thomas Oregon 5’8 5/8 175 Jr.

Comparison: Tavon Austin

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

594

6.2

8

22

246

1

2012

701

7.6

11

45

445

5

2011

595

10.8

7

46

605

9

Combine: By far the most confusing time from any position at the Combine as I expected him to fly and instead he had a 4.50 official 40. I think something is up though as unofficially his first time was 4.34 and it was the 2nd fastest behind only Dri Archer yet his official time dropped him from 2nd best to 11th. Another RB had an unofficial 4.38 which became a 4.41 official so I think they got his time wrong. No way this kid plays like anything less than a 4.3 guy on the field. Very fast in post corner drill. Good jumping catch on out and up drill. So quick and agile in mini gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5085

174

29.88

8.13

4.50

8

32

1004

 

 

Strengths: Elite blue chip prospect. #16 on ESPN 150 for 2011. Nicknamed Black Mamba by Snoop Dogg. Ran fastest prep 200m (20.6 sec) in nation during 2010. Beat out Lache Seastrunk for 3rd RB on a loaded depth chart with LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner ahead of him. Chose Oregon over USC at the last minute on signing day. He was productive from the beginning as he was amazing in spring practice as a true freshman. He had an elite career ypc of 7.8! He has over 100 career catches for +1,000 receiving yards with both being elite for a RB. The best short area quickness and initial burst of any RB I’ve ever scouted. His stop to start time is ridiculous and combined with his long speed makes him capable of beating angles in a secondary (had a 40 yd TD vs. Virginia in 2013 where he beat both safeties despite them having angles on him). He has elite hands as he’s a plucker, can catch on the run, is consistent, and can make the highlight reel catch (4:52 1st Q vs. Arizona in 2013). He should be an elite punt returner and kick returner due to his speed and quickness. He scored a TD on 1 out of every 8 touches in 2011. That is Reggie Bush’s Heisman campaign type of explosiveness.

Weaknesses: His best statistical season was his freshman year in 2011 and his productivity declined from there. He is extremely thin and has had trouble staying healthy. He lacks the size to play RB consistently  but isn’t experienced enough to be a full time receiver either. He is not scheme diverse and needs to be used correctly to be effective. He has 8 1/8 inch hands which are some of the smallest hands I’ve ever graded. He is a fumbler and it is an issue that likely won’t get better due to his poor hand size.

Overall: Thomas is one of the most explosive, exciting players I’ve ever graded. He’s a combination of Tavon Austin, Reggie Bush and DeSean Jackson as his start and stop ability and pure speed is shocking on a football field. Unfortunately, much like Bush and Austin, he doesn’t perfectly fit any specific position and he could struggle if put in an uncreative system or if asked to play like a normal RB. I personally think slot receiver could be his best long term position but am leaving him at RB for now due to that being the position where he has experience at. In the open field he’s almost impossible to defend and he will bring a deep threat that will change the way defenses play his team. In the right system he could be an elite punt returner, kick returner, slot receiver and 3rd down back yet I doubt he’d be able to stay healthy if given that many touches per game. His value has to go down when accounting for this as his NFL team will always have to weigh the risk in using him in each role as he will be one of smallest players in the NFL and might end up in a Trindon Holliday role if he’s injured too often. I’m unsure how exactly his NFL team will use him but I have no doubt that he’ll become a productive game breaker in some capacity. Due to this he keeps a high grade despite his unconventional style and likelihood as an injury prone player. Early 3rd round as my #5 RB 4/6/14.

6. Ka’Deem Carey Arizona 5’9 3/8 207 Jr.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

1885

5.4

19

26

173

1

2012

1929

6.4

23

36

303

1

2011

425

4.7

6

15

203

2

Combine: He was slow with a 4.70 40 and was mediocre in every other drill. What’s even worse is that at 207 lbs and with only 19 reps on the bench he isn’t even that big or strong. A horrible day for him and it cost him a lot of money. He had off the field issues (Jan 2013 he was removed from an Arizona basketball game due to an altercation with police, Dec 2012 he had domestic violence charge with his ex-girlfriend, arrested for driving without a registration). He has a ripped upper body and is lythe and long looking for only 5’9 3/8. Not very good in weaving cone drill. Atrocious in mini gauntlet drill as he dropped 2 of 3 balls and didn’t hand the ball off to the coach on the one he did catch.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5093

207

31.75

9.5

4.70

19

32.5

907

4.38

7.08

Strengths: 1st Team Pac-12 in 2013. Rushed for +100 yards a Pac-12 record 16 straight times. Coaches raved about him as a freshman and how quick he was picking things up. He has quick feet, runs with power, has good vision and always falls forward. He is solid at everything he does. He has elite productivity with 2 straight seasons of +1,800 yards while playing in a Top 4 Conference. On film he showed solid hands and his 77 career receptions in 3 seasons is solid. He has just enough shiftiness and vision to make people miss in the open field.

Weaknesses: In the 2013 BC game (bowl game) he fumbled on the opening series and then fumbled again in the 2nd half. He does nothing great as he isn’t extremely big, fast or elusive. His 40 was atrocious and makes you wonder if he has the speed to be a starting back in the NFL. The Pac-12 isn’t known for great defense and the system he’s in is somewhat gimmicky so his stats are definitely inflated. He was involved in a number of small incidents in the past 18 months as well as a domestic violence charge that should be deemed serious.

Overall: At one point Carey was considered the best RB in this draft by most people. I never had him higher than the late 2nd round as he never wowed me on film but some had him as a late 1st/early 2nd. That time is long past as his Combine was atrocious and people are becoming quite negative on him. This is an overreaction as his film is good and he shows a noticeable burst on film that makes me less worried about his 4.70 40 than others are. He’s a RB that is good at everything but great at nothing and won’t wow you yet if you watch his film you’ll see a player with a combination of skills that should make him a starter caliber player. He won’t be a star but he’s got a good burst, elite productivity, good durability and solid vision. Late 3rd round as my #6 RB 4/6/14.

7. Terrance West Towson 5’9 ¼ 225 Jr.

Combine: He had a good Combine with a solid 40 (4.54) to go with a solid vertical (33 ½) and broad (10’0). For his size (225 lbs) those are very fair numbers and cement him as a mid round sleeper. Very good ankles in bag cut drill. Fluid on out and up drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5092

225

31

9.13

4.54

16

33.5

1000

 

 

Strengths: Incredibly productive with 2,410 yds and 41 total TDs (both single season FCS records). He averaged 6.2 ypc. He’s a strong, physical back that is nothing like previous FCS star RB Taiwan Jones who flamed out in the NFL. He’s a dominant red zone and short yardage runner and gets yards after contact. He’s clutch as their improbable playoff run has been on his back with FCS record 354 rushing yards in quarterfinals as the best example. He is a low to the ground, thick back that can get additional yards after contact. He has quick feet and is very agile for his size. He has good vision.

Weaknesses: At the Combine he had average athleticism. He’s often taken out on 3rd down and 2 minute offense situations. He is a non-entity in the passing game but does seem to pick up the blitz well due to his strength-rarely asked to do it though so not much experience. He lacks homerun speed and consistently is caught from behind on tape.

Overall: West is one of the least well known backs in this draft yet I’ve come to fall in love with his size, quickness and power. He isn’t a homerun threat but, at his size, that shouldn’t be too big of a red flag as the kid is 5’9 225 and is pure strength. He has the size to be a workhorse back if a team wanted him to be that and he has the quick feet and vision to be an efficient runner and not just a battering ram. He came from a very small school, has only one great season to his credit and wasn’t used a lot in the team’s passing game so I’m curious to see how high he goes. In my opinion he’s one of the most underrated players in this draft and he could be a steal if put in the right situation. Early 4th round as my #7 RB 5/3/14.

8. Tre Mason Auburn 5’8 ½ 207 Jr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

1816

5.7

23

12

163

1

2012

1002

5.9

8

7

86

0

2011

161

5.8

1

0

0

0

Combine: He ran an average 40 (4.50) for a guy his size (207) but had a great vertical (’38 ½) and above average broad, shuttle and 3 cone drills. It was a solid day for him but again showed the fact that he isn’t the speed demon some think he is. Quick in weaving cone drill. Ladanian Tomlinson has him as the best RB in the draft. Good hands in quick out drill. Solid in post corner drill. Dropped ball in flare out drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5084

207

30

9

4.50

 

38.5

1006

4.15

 

Strengths: Elite balance. He was a good kick returner in 2011 so he could add value there (he had a 97 yard KR TD vs. Utah State). He has a noticeable burst and can break the long run. He had 46 carries in the win over Missouri and never tired (his 44th, 45th and 46th carries netted 13, 6 and 8). He battles for extra yards on every carry and really runs hard. His size wouldn’t indicate he has the ability to be an every down back but he never seemed to wear down in 2013 despite 317 carries on the season.

Weaknesses: Isn’t big but isn’t incredibly fast for a smaller back either. Might be big enough to be more than a 3rd down back but definitely lacks the size to be a workhorse. He never had a season with a ypc of 6.0 or higher. His 2013 stats dwarf his previous two years and make him somewhat of a one year wonder though it’s not as bad since he’s leaving as a junior. He played in a gimmicky system that gave him a lot of huge holes to run through. Often he’d run +10 yards before a defender made contact with him which begs the question: How much of his yardage was him and how much was the scheme? He has some jukes to him but he really isn’t that elusive for a guy his size. He also isn’t that fast for a guy his size and I wonder just how talented of a back he is. He doesn’t have great vision and seems to miss holes regularly.

Overall: As I write this nfldraftscout.com has Mason as their #3 RB and Mike Mayock has him as his #4 RB. I don’t have him in my Top 7 as every time I put the tape on of him I see him running through massive holes and not getting hit until 5-10 yards into a run. Despite this his yards per carry is still mediocre (5.7) as there are quite a few carries in each game where he misses a hole or is taken down by an arm tackle. At 207 lbs Mason will never be a power back yet he lacks the elusiveness, vision or elite speed to be dominant without this power. He runs hard, showed surprising durability during his 317 carry season and has solid athleticism but nothing stands out elite to me when I scout Mason. I see him as a good #2 RB or a below average starter and as such he’s a 4th rounder as my #8 RB who I consider vastly overrated 5/4/14.

9. Isaiah Crowell Alabama St. 5’11 224 Jr.

Stats: SEC, SWAC

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

1121

6.6

15

7

27

0

2012

842

5.3

15

11

95

0

2011

850

4.6

5

8

59

1

Combine: He had one of the better Combines with a 4.57 40, 23 reps, a ’38 vertical and a 9’9 broad while measuring in at 224 lbs. Very quick in weaving cone drill. 2x 1st Team All-SWAC.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5110

224

31.75

9.25

4.57

23

38

909

 

 

Strengths: #4 on ESPN 150 for 2011. Extremely highly rated prospect out of HS who many expected Marcus Lattimore type production in 2011. He’s an elite athlete who has the speed to take it all the way and the quickness and elusiveness to make defenders miss in the open field. He’s an elite punt returner. He has very good hands and should be able to play on all 3 downs. At one time I had a 1st round grade on him (The kid is a wunderkind with an elite burst, good vision, and surprising strength. I already rate him as the #2 RB in the nation only behind Trent Richardson as the kid has future NFL superstar written all over him 10/12/11.) as I expected him to become a star. He was the 2011 SEC Freshman POY. He has an elite burst on film.

Weaknesses: He has had fumbling issues throughout his career. Coaches at Georgia were not happy at all with him and thought he needed more maturity and to work harder. That was before his off the field issues caused him to be kicked off the team. In the 2011 Michigan St. bowl game he barely played and limped off after a run where he was tackled from behind, hardly a big hit, showing again his lack of toughness and the coaches lack of faith in him. He was twice suspended and eventually kicked out of school on weapons charges causing him to x-fer to Alabama State. He’s injury prone as he had a groin injury in 2011 and battled an ankle injury in the second half of the 2013 season.

Overall: At one time Crowell had a 1st round grade from me. Since then he’s been dropped as a starter at Georgia due to maturity and a lack of toughness, he’s been arrested on felony weapons charges, he’s been kicked out of UGA, he’s transferred to Alabama State and he’s had two productive but hardly amazing years at that school. He’s about as off the radar as you can get but I watched his film this year, yes I watched Alabama State film, re-read my old analysis of him at Georgia and dissected his Combine performance. After doing all of that I’ve come to the conclusion that Crowell could be one of the steals of this draft. The draft this year is so deep overall and is pretty deep at RB that there’s a legit chance he goes undrafted. That would be a mistake as Crowell is a quick, athletic back with NFL size who I think would make a great dual starter in a RB by committee system. He’s too injury prone and too aggressive of a runner to make him a bell cow type back but he’s also too talented to just leave him as a 3rd down change of pace type back. He has flashed NFL stardom at times in his career and he appears to have matured since his Georgia days so I think the team that takes a chance on him will be surprised how good he is. 4th round as my #9 RB who is one of the sleepers of this draft 4/6/14.

10. Charles Sims West Virginia 6’0 214 Sr.

Stats: Conference

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2013

1095

5.3

11

45

401

3

2012

846

6.0

11

37

373

3

2011

821

7.5

9

51

575

4

2010

698

5.3

9

70

759

1

Combine: He had a great overall Combine with a 4.48 40, ’37 ½ vertical and 10’6 broad showing great speed and explosion. He also measured in taller (6’0) and bigger (214) than I expected. This kid is a legit sleeper as he has NFL size and athleticism to go along with very good collegiate production and elite experience as a pass catcher. Smooth in post corner drill. Dropped ball in mini gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6000

214

31

8.25

4.48

17

37.5

1006

4.30

7.16

Strengths: 1st Team Big 12 in 2013. He had over 200 career receptions which is by far the most of any RB in this draft. He’s a complete back as he’s good in the passing game, has the size to be a full time back and has the speed to break a long run. As a runner he’s a very N-S type which is rare to find in guys like him that have more scat back roles in offenses.

Weaknesses: He graduated from Houston and left a year early to join West Virginia. That always rubs me the wrong way as he essentially just quit on his teammates whom he spent the past 3 seasons with. He’s never had a great season rushing the ball as his career high is only 1,095 yards. He’s always been in a passing offense, which can be looked at as a strength but if he goes to a team like the 49ers or Seahawks can he adjust. He runs in an upright fashion that increases the chance for injury. He doesn’t seem to have enough talent to ever be a starting RB as he’ll likely be more of a #2 that can do everything.

Overall: Sims is arguably the most complete back in this draft. That doesn’t mean he’s the best back in the draft as he lacks the burst, vision, power and/or strength of some of the upper echelon backs but he’s a 3 down back with elite experience in the passing game. As a pure runner he’s a late round back as he’s more of a N-S runner with just enough jukes and quickness to make defenders miss but add in his great hands, impressive long speed and elite experience as a pass catcher and his grade improves dramatically. I could see him fitting in nicely with a team like the Denver Broncos who ask their backs to be an integral part of their passing game. Most rookies, see Montee Ball, can’t handle these duties right off the bat but Sims has the experience and tools to be used on Day 1. 4th round as my #10 RB who doesn’t have an extremely high upside but is one of the most complete backs in this draft 5/3/14.

11. Marion Grice Arizona State 6’0 208 Sr.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2013

996

5.2

14

50

438

6

2012

679

6.6

11

41

425

8

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: He didn’t work out due to an injury.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6000

208

32

9.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strengths: 2nd team Pac-12 in 2013. He’s a speedster with good height and weight who could be moved to WR or add additional weight to become a full time RB. He was the team’s best offensive weapon the past two seasons and played well in a Top 4 Conference. He was one of the most prolific pass catching RBs the past two seasons.

Weaknesses: In the 2013 USC game he dropped two TD catches. I love his versatility but for a pass catching back he drops his fair share. His versatility can be a curse as you hasn’t specialized in WR or RB.

Overall: Marion joined Arizona State in 2012 from the JUCO ranks and immediately was their best playmaker. He was used almost evenly as a pass catcher and a pure running back with his speed and quickness making him effective in either role. I’m unsure if he’s best suited as a 3rd down back or as a full time receiver (he has the size and speed to become a capable outside receiver which has far more value than a 3rd down specialist does) but a smart team will use him in both ways as a Reggie Bush type. Due to his late season injury he could go undrafted but his film is far too impressive for me to rank him that low. 4th round as my #11 RB who could be a steal if he drops due to his injury 4/6/14.

12. Zach Bauman Northern Arizona 5’7 ¼ 194 Sr.

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5072

194

 

 

4.50

13

34

900

4.12

6.92

Strengths: 4 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. Great lateral quickness allowing him to jump cut, start and stop quickly and avoid defenders in space. At the East-West Shrine practices he dominated looking like the best RB at the game, one of the best overall prospects and according to one scout, “the most natural runner I’ve seen in my four years covering this game (East-West Shrine Game).”

Weaknesses: His level of competition was one of the weakest of any player in this draft. He only played 1 FBS school in 2013 and struggled (21 carries for only 71 yards). As a smaller back he isn’t that strong and had a fumble in a practice at the East-West Shrine game which makes me worried it will be exacerbated when the competition goes up. He had 1,003 carries during his career so he might have a shorter career. He also has 15 fumbles which can be the death knell of a smaller back in the NFL.

Overall: In the East-West Shrine game he had an impressive run getting into a crowd and somehow popping out the backside for +12 yds, elite cut in backfield turning a 1-2 yd gainer into a 9 yarder by quickly changing directions, showed a solid burst but looked slower than I expected from his hype. He’s quicker than fast. I wanted to see him in more games but my final assessment is early 5th round as my #12 RB who will be a career change of pace type 2/27/14.

13. Jerick Mckinnon Georgia Southern 5’8 7/8 209 Sr.

Combine: He had the most reps of any RB (32) to go along with the 2nd best 40 (4.41-really the best as Dri Archer is a WR), the 2nd best vertical (40 ½) and the 2nd best broad (11’0). From a pure athlete standpoint the kid is a 1st round talent. He played QB, RB and CB in college and some think his best position is CB. He had a 1.46 10 yd split which tied Dri Archer for the fastest 10 yd split at ANY position! Great hands in post corner drill. Great hands in mini gauntlet drill. Very quick feet in weaving cone drill.   

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5087

209

30.25

8.63

4.41

32

40.5

1100

4.12

6.83

Strengths: He’s possibly the best athlete in the entire draft with his combination of speed (4.41 40), explosion (40 ½ vertical/11’0 broad jump) and quickness (4.12 shuttle/6.83 3 cone). He looked like a supreme athlete on film against Florida in 2013 and against NFL talent vs. North Dakota State as well. He is incredibly tough and fought his heart out despite being outmanned at times. He has elite versatility as he can play RB, WR, CB or be a team’s 3rd QB on game day (he was an option QB at Georgia Southern).

Weaknesses: Where do you play him? Each spot causes different challenges as if you play him at RB he’s knicked for having poor pad level and for having experience only in a triple option. If you play him at WR then he’s doing something he’s never done before. If you play him at CB then his short arms (30 ¼) suddenly are a huge draw back as they’d be the 8th shortest of the 59 DBs at the Combine. He’s a supreme athlete but unless he masters a position then he’ll just be a glorified special teamer.

Overall: Jerick is one of the more interesting players in this draft as I could see him go to a team like the Patriots and him be used like Julian Edelman was in 2011 and 2012 on both sides of the ball or I could see him go to an uncreative team and be pigeonholed as a RB where he probably would fail immediately. His versatility is what makes him attractive so hopefully the team that drafts him will have a plan of how to use him the most effectively as he loses a lot of his value if just put in one spot. I personally think he could be used like Georgia used Brandon Boykin in 2012 where he was a full time CB and a part time KR, PR and 3rd down back. Full time slot receiver would make some sense as well, though his build is more CB or RB (stocky) than WR (angular). No matter where he’s used though his calling card will be his elite athleticism as there is possibly no one with a better combination of speed, explosiveness and quickness in this draft. The only question is where to play him and how to use him. Early 5th round as my #13 RB 4/6/14.

14. Storm Johnson UCF #8 5’11 5/8 209 Jr.

Stats: C-USA

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

1139

5.3

14

30

260

3

2012

507

4.5

4

10

20

0

2011

119

13.2

1

1

9

0

Combine: Named Westleigh. He had a below average 40 (4.60) but an above average vertical and broad jump. Very quick feet in weaving cone drill. Good in mini gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5115

209

32

9.5

4.60

16

35.5

910

 

 

Strengths: A bigger, physical type back who likes to go N/S.

Weaknesses: He’s a fumbler with 2 against USF late in the 2013 season and 1 in the 1st half of their BCS bowl game vs. Baylor. He isn’t very shifty and is a N/S runner. He only had one productive season and it’s a little surprising he’s leaving school early.

Overall: He has NFL talent to him if he can stop his fumbling issues but lacks the speed or shiftiness to be anything more than an average starter. 5th round as my #14 RB 1/2/14.

15. Rajion Neal Tennessee 5’11 220 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2013

1124

5.2

12

27

108

0

2012

708

4.5

5

19

149

4

2011

134

5.0

2

13

269

1

2010

197

4.3

0

7

100

0

Pro Day: One of the Combine snubs, his numbers below are from his pro day.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5110

220

 

 

4.58

 

38.0

911

 

 

Strengths: He beat out Marlin Lane for starting job for 2012 opener. I have all of the respect in the world for Lane so that was an impressive and surprising win. He showed great explosiveness and good quickness at his pro day. He has NFL athleticism to go with NFL size at 220 lbs.

Weaknesses: He’s a bit of a one speed runner and doesn’t have a great burst. His ypc was never higher than 5.2 and that’s pretty mediocre, especially considering his OL was full of NFL talent.

Overall: Rajion has been overlooked his entire career so I guess it’s not surprising that he was overlooked during the pre-draft festivities. He wasn’t invited to the Senior Bowl or the Combine and used it as motivation to impress at his pro day. Scouts saw a RB with elite explosiveness and above average quickness. On film he is by no means a burner but appears to have NFL athleticism and size. He looks like a career backup type with an outside chance at a starting job. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement but as a mid to late round guy he could give a team good value. Late 5th round as my #15 RB 4/6/14.

 

Late Round Types:

16. Henry Josey Missouri 5’8 1/8 194 Sr. Combine: With so few RBs running well he made himself some money today with a 4.43 40 to go along with above average numbers in the explosion and quickness drills. Good hands in quick out drill. Great hands in mini gauntlet drill-some of the best. He’s an explosive 3rd down back with enough power to get additional carries as a backup to the #1. He is a hard worker who overcame a devastating knee injury in 2011 and appears to be full strength. Late 5th round as my #16 RB 4/6/14.

17. Robert Godhigh Georgia Tech #25 5’6 5/8 190 Sr. P: He averaged an ungodly 10.1 yards per play. Due to his short stature he actually has good bulk and isn’t just a speed guy. He has a noticeable burst and with his small size he has great change of direction. In 2013 he had 14 plays of +30 yds (4th most). N: He literally looks like a midget. He’s more 5’3 than 5’7 and with his bulky frame he looks anything but NFL caliber. He was a walk on from HS and didn’t earn a scholarship until his Jr. year. He’s very un NFL like at under 5’7 but he has a good burst and was enormously productive. I liked his tape a lot and think he could be a steal in the late rounds. Early 6th round as my #17 RB 4/6/14.

18. Roy Finch Oklahoma Sr. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he impressed with elite quickness, good vision and playmaking skills. He was the best RB on either squad which surprised me as I had him as a camp invite at best but he opened my eyes and I think he’ll make it as a 3rd down specialist/change of pace type. Early 6th round as my #18 RB 4/6/14.

19. Kapri Bibbs Colorado St. #5 5’9 3/8 212 Soph He didn’t play football in 2011 and 2012 yet won the starting job in 2013. In the 2013 Washington St. game he wasn’t 100% due to turf toe but did show very good speed with a 75 yd TD run after breaking the tackle of Deone Bucannon. Combine: Kapri Bibbs-He had a bad Combine with a 4.67 40, ’29 vertical and 8’10 broad which were all on the lower end. He also skipped the quickness drills which worries me. He did do 24 reps and measured in a stocky 5’9 3/8 212 so he looks like a power back with limited athleticism. He failed to qualify academically out of HS. He has a ripped upper body. Good in weaving cone drill. He had a great season and has some good film but he entered the 2013 season as a backup RB at Colorado State and had a poor Combine. Those are two huge red flags that make me wonder if he was just in the right place at the right time or if he’s truly an NFL caliber talent. I could see a team taking him starting in the 4th round but to me the red flags are too obvious to take him anywhere earlier than the late rounds. 6th round as my #19 RB 4/6/14.

20. Tim Flanders Sam Houston State 5’8 5/8 207 Sr. 2011 Southland Conference POY. In the 2011 Montana game he had a 69 yd TD on inside run that started with him spinning off one defender, breaking a diving ankle tackle of another, and then putting on the jets beating even the safety with the angle (6:01 1st), good speed on 20 yd run showing nice vision on cutback run, good vision seeing cutback hole and taking it 35 yds-is by far the fastest player on the field, solid 5 yd run using small jump cut, great juke of CB Trumaine Johnson (drafteable grade by some scouts) in the open space showing some nice wiggle (0:10 2nd), 20 yd run that was a shoe string tackle away from another +60 yd TD, great quick feet on inside run jumping over a downed defender and dancing his way to 5 when there was nothing there (3:41 4th). He’s only a Soph but he has NFL talent and right now I would say he is a 5th rounder so will definitely look out for him in the future 12/17/11. 2x Southland POY. Ended his career as the team and conference all time rushing leader. At the East-West Shrine game practices he flashed some explosiveness and would have made an even bigger buzz if not for Zachary Bauman. At the East-West Shrine game he had a 15 yd gain showing his impressive speed as he beat the angle on the LB and then on the CB for the gainer, nice catch on out jumping around when ball was on his wrong shoulder. Combine: He flies on film which made it shocking when he only ran a 4.75 40. He was a fringe prospect and now looks likely to go undrafted because of this. Good in mini gauntlet drill. He impressed me on film as a scat back type that has the pure speed to take it all the way and I think there is a place in the NFL for him. Unfortunately he had a terrible Combine and likely will go undrafted but I still give him a late round grade off his film. 6th round as my #20 RB 4/6/14.

21. Franklyn Quiteh Bloomsburg #28 5’10 206 Sr. 2013 Harlon Hill Award Winner (Div II POY). First Div 2 player with three 2,000 rushing yards. 2nd most career rushing yards in D2 history. He had two fumbles in his final collegiate game. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he had a fumble. In the 2013 NFLPA game he had a nice 20 yd TD getting outside and juking a LB in space to then just coast in. Late 6th round as my #21 RB 4/6/14.

22. Alfred Blue LSU 6’2 3/8 223 Jr. P: He has great NFL size (6’2 222) to go with a noticeable burst. He had an impressive yards per carry average in 2012 (6.8) and 2011 (6.9). He played in the best conference in the nation. N: He never outright won the starting job at LSU and was always in a committee of backs. He’s been injury prone during his career and in 2012 when he looked to be the lead back he was hurt causing him to miss his one shot at having a big year. His career high of 539 yards for a season is alarming as is the fact that he never had more than 78 carries in a season. O: Only a few colleges are talented enough to have even their bench players drafted but LSU is one of them. I’ve had my eye on Blue for years now as in 2011 I considered him their best RB and in 2012 I was disappointed to find out he got hurt as I expected a +1,000 yard season from him. He’s got obvious NFL talent as his frame, burst, vision and underrated quickness jump out at you but the fact is that he never made much of an impact in college and now will be going up in competition. He’s the ultimate gamble as a team is betting solely on upside and has no real track record to go off of but to me he looks like a sleeper and I think he’ll develop into a very productive #2 RB. Combine: At 6’2 3/8 223 he’s a tall, big back and it showed as he had poor quickness drills (4.50 shuttle was 2nd worst among 38 RBs) and a below average 40 (4.63). He did have solid explosion numbers (vertical and broad) yet overall it wasn’t a great day for him. Dropped ball in flare out drill. Dropped ball in mini gauntlet drill. Late 6th round as my #22 RB 4/6/14.

23. Antonio Andrews Western Kentucky #5 6’0 210 Sr. 1st team Sun Belt in 2012. In the 2012 Central Michigan game he runs with poor body lean going too upright, is a long strider, solid speed on 39 yd run up sideline-4.5 speed, fumbled on dump off in flat-recovered. He was average at most things and I didn’t like his run style. He had 1,684 yd on 5.5 ypc in 2012 outshining Bobby Rainey’s back to back 1,600 yd as Rainey’s two seasons were under 5.0 ypc.Combine: He had a terrible Combine with a 4.82 40, 29 ½ vertical and 8’10 broad all of which were near the bottom among the 38 RBs. Very tight in passing drills. He looked like a mid round guy on tape but his Combine was atrocious so he drops to the late rounds. Early 7th round as my #23 RB 4/6/14.

24. Andre Williams Boston College 5’11 3/8 230 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2013

2177

6.1

18

0

0

0

2012

584

4.5

4

4

34

0

2011

517

4.2

4

2

11

0

2010

461

4.9

2

4

15

0

Combine: I hate this guy’s tape and think he’s one of the most overrated prospects in the draft but he made himself a lot of money with a 4.44 40 at 230 lbs. He maybe had the best Combine of any RB with a ’38 vertical and 10’9 broad as well. It pains me to admit it but he looked great. Not agile in bag cut drill. 0 catches in his final season. Poor hands in arrow route drill-all body catches. Dropped ball and ran poor route in post corner drill. Dropped ball and didn’t look fluid on out and up drill-worst hands of any RB at the Combine.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5113

230

33.5

9

4.45

 

38

1009

4.06

7.27

Strengths: 1st Team ACC in 2013. He had the best Combine of any RB and looked like a big, explosive athlete. He was the most productive running back in the nation in 2013. He was 3rd in the Heisman voting. His size/speed ratio is elite. He is as N-S of a runner as you will ever find. He battles on every carry and has a ferocity to him that I like.

Weaknesses: Despite playing 4 seasons he only has 10 career receptions (0 as a senior) and is probably the least experienced pass catcher in this year’s draft. His senior season can definitely be considered the anomaly as in his three previous seasons he never gained more than 584 yards and never had a ypc above 4.9 yet suddenly he goes off for 2,177 yards on a 6.1 ypc clip? I absolutely hated his Arizona film (2013 bowl game) as he ran the ball like a fullback with both hands on it. He showed no quickness, no vision and it made me think he wasn’t even worth a late round draft pick. He had 704 carries in his career so he might have a shorter career in the NFL due to the wear and tear (Ray Rice had the same concerns coming out of Rutgers and it appears to possibly be happening with him right now). He has poor lateral quickness and will either outrun you or run into you. He had a terrible yards per carry average for his career going into his senior season.

Overall: In my opinion Andre Williams is neck and neck with Timmy Jernigan for the most overrated player in this draft. While I at least think Jernigan has enough talent to be a future starter in the NFL I am even more confused by Williams as I honestly don’t even think he will be a #2 RB in the NFL. His “highlights” are some of the most boring, mediocre clips I’ve ever seen. He has an elite size/speed ratio yet he has no lateral quickness, below average vision and he goes down extremely easily early in a run. He does have some good film when he’s 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage as he has a head of steam and is good at breaking tackles at that point. Unfortunately I don’t think this will happen too often in the NFL as he was given incredible blocking by his Boston College OL and his yardage totals were inflated due to this impressive blocking. Essentially I see a back with an elite size/speed ratio who was force fed the ball by an offense with little talent at other skill positions and it resulted in a historic year. I can be impressed by the stats yet stay unimpressed by the prospect and that is where I’m at with Andre. Due to his size/speed ratio he gets a draftable grade but I don’t expect much from this overrated player. 7th round as my #24 RB 5/3/14.

25. George Atkinson Notre Dame 6’1 3/8 218 Jr. Combine: He had a great overall set of numbers as his 40 (4.48), vertical (’38) and broad (10’1) were all near the top. His dad works for the Raiders and formerly played for them. He is a great kickoff returner. Not good in weaving cone drill. Ran a 10.36 100 meters which was 2nd fastest Irish ever (Rocket Ismael 10.34). In the 2012 Michigan St. game he showed his speed with 31 yd gain looking almost like a PR due to how fast he was going immediately and how much space he had. In the 2012 USC game he was invisible (not sure if he even played). #14 on Bruce Feldman’s freak athlete list for 2013 due to running a 10.36 100 meter dash at 2013 Big East track championships. In the 2013 Oklahoma game he showed his elite speed with a 80 yd TD run (12:35 3rd). At one time he looked like a potential early round guy but he was consistently beat out by other runners and goes into the NFL as nothing more than a glorified kick returner. He has elite athleticism so there’s a chance someone takes him as a kick returner and over time he becomes a quality #2 RB but I have my doubts. He seems to lack the toughness or vision to be an NFL caliber running back. 7th round as my #25 RB 4/6/14.

26. LaDarius Perkins Mississippi St. #27 5’7 3/8 195 Sr. In the ’10 Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi St. had an 82 yd catch on a simple dump off when he made 1 defender miss, broke one poor tackle, and then outran nearly everyone else. Also had a 51 yd run vs. UAB and 71 yd catch vs. Ole Miss showing his NFL speed. In the 2012 Texas A&M game he had good spin move in hold for +8 yds, he was replaced late in game with Josh Robinson who looked more effective. Has a low center of gravity and is a solid inside runner despite the lack of girth but is a late round pick at best 11/3/12. In the 2012 Alabama game he looked slow on outside run for no gain, he was shut down in the game and didn’t look impressive at all. In the 2012 Arkansas game he had a few good runs yet rarely gets YAC and doesn’t have a great burst so I’m still less than impressed. He did have a 24 yd TD on wheel route showing good hands to catch it over his shoulder yet overall he looked night and day inferior to Dennis Johnson as a pro prospect 11/17/12.In the 2012 Northwestern game he again didn’t impress me. Free Agent 1/2/13. Combine: I hate his tape but he had a very good Combine with a great 40 (4.46) that drops to only being good due to his size (195). He also did above average in the explosion and quickness drills. He had a good Combine and could make it as a change of pace backup type. Late 7th round as my #26 RB 4/6/14.

 

Free Agents:

Tyler Gaffney Stanford 5’11 ½ 220 Sr.

Comparison: Peyton Hillis

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

2013

1717

5.2

21

15

86

1

2012

RS

 

 

 

 

 

2011

449

6.1

7

12

79

1

2010

255

4.3

4

3

60

2

2009

84

3.8

1

2

39

0

Combine: Played in the Pirates minor league system in 2012 missing the entire season. I was shocked to see his numbers as he never looked athletic on tape but came in as one of the best athletes in the RB group with a 4.49 40, 4.18 shuttle and 6.78 3 cone showing he’s quick and fast. It’s even more impressive at 5’11 ½ 220. He has prototypical size and speed. He is one of the few backs with lots of tape as a pass blocker. Good hands in post corner drill. He’s tight hipped and isn’t very agile but has good explosion.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5114

220

30.25

9

4.49

 

36.5

908

4.18

6.78

Strengths: 2nd Team Pac-12 in 2013. He had an elite Combine as he tested out fast and explosive for a guy his size (220 lbs).

Weaknesses: He’s a very stiff athlete and runs/is built more like a FB than a RB.

Overall: Gaffney is what I like to call a “blood and guts runner” as he’s all effort and power. He will go as fast as he can and ram into defensive backs like his body is made of steel. It’s a physical style of play and it can be quite effective as it’ll wear down a defense quickly yet it will also cause him to have a lower ypc, due to the fact he will rarely break the long run, and it will cause him to be injury prone. When I watch Gaffney I don’t see a lot of talent and I think he’ll have a career similar to Peyton Hillis where he’s the #3 RB most of his career but could be a workhorse back for a short period of time if there is a spate of injuries to the more talented players ahead of him. I don’t expect him to ever be a long term starter for a NFL team but in a pinch he could provide great toughness and power for a team. Free Agent 5/3/14.

Damien Williams Oklahoma Sr. Combine: He looked big (222 lbs) and fast (4.43). He has an NFL body and it will make a lot of teams go back to the tape to see why he didn’t produce more during his career. Very quick in bag cut drill. Nice extended hands catch in post corner drill. He had a good 2012 (947 yards 5.4 ypc 11 TDs) yet it dipped in 2013 (553 yards 4.9 ypc 7 TDs) and he was beat out for a starting job. He has speed, quickness and NFL size but doesn’t deserve anything more than an undrafted free agent grade due to his poor production. Free Agent 4/6/14.

Devonta Freeman Florida State 5’8 ¼ 206 Jr. He had a below average 40 (4.58) which is surprising as he showed a good burst on film. He missed a cone but still impressed with a good burst in weaving cone drill. Dropped ball and turned the wrong way twice in mini gauntlet drill. He had a good season in 2013 (1,016 yards 5.9 ypc 14 TDs) yet it’s his only season with 700 or more yards and I’m not a fan of his running style due to it’s upright nature. He has a great burst but I don’t know why he left school a year early and to me he’s not draft worthy. Free Agent 4/6/14.

James White Wisconsin 5’9 1/8 204 Sr. He blazes on film but his 40 (4.57) disappointed and continued his very mediocre postseason set of events he’s having. He dropped ball in post corner drill-one of only two to do it. 2nd Team Big 10 in 2013. In the 2012 Minnesota game he showed an elite burst on numerous runs, great cut in hole getting 12 yds instead of 5, 22 yd run taking inside run to sideline, 34 yd run untouched for TD, 48 yd TD untouched up middle. He seems to be a very hit or miss runner either being extremely ineffective or looking like an elite runner with his speed. This time the holes were there and he had a big day yet he’s still just a change of pace guy to me 10/20/12. White is a speedy change of pace type back that lacks the strength or toughness to be anything more than that. Those types are a dime a dozen and it makes this well known collegiate player a fringe prospect at best. Free Agent 4/6/14.

Timothy Cornett UNLV 6’0 ¼ 209 Sr. Combine: Terrible in weaving cone drill. 2nd Team MWC in 2013. Very tight in hips in flare out drill. One drop and two body catches in mini gauntlet drill-one of the worst. He had back to back +1,200 yard seasons yet neither were with a great yards per carry average (5.1 and 4.9) and didn’t look quick or explosive at the Combine. Free Agent 4/6/14

Silas Redd USC #25 5’9 ¾ 212 Sr. In the 2011 Alabama game he showed a good burst and pad level on 4 yd gain breaking an arm tackle (12:35 1st), showed a lack of strength unable to get the half yard needed on 3rd down getting pushed back easily (10:10 1st), great screen pass breaking two tackles and dragging another defender 3 yds for a 1st down on 3rd and 8-holding negated play (5:49 1st), good juke of DT in the backfield just to get 1 yd (9:22 2nd), good quick cut in hole against Hightower made him miss causing facemask penalty (14:50 4th), and a great 1 yd TD jumping over the pile and extending the ball for it even though he was hit back almost instantly (1:53 4th). Was replaced by backup RB Green vs. Nebraska who appeared to have a superior burst than him. Transferred to USC after scandal. In the 2012 Stanford game he had 2 yd TD run up middle-all him as was hit at LOS, good 8 yd run staying balanced for YAC after getting hit, fumbled on middle run for huge TO-fumbled vs. Hawaii. In the 2012 Arizona game he had weird 35 yd TD on Michael Dwyer type spin where he fell on a defender and then got up for final 30 yds-came back on review, fumbled on weak hit up middle. In the 2012 Oregon game he had a number of strong runs early in the game breaking tackles. Had an ankle injury late in the season but was healthy in the 2012 Notre Dame game and looked good with solid speed and good power. In the 2012 Georgia Tech game he had fumble on hit in backfield but recovered it himself, double caught dump off in flat then in stride dove for pylon-weird play but great agility, had two tough runs breaking numerous tackles on +20 yarders-is a tough runner.  I continue to be less than impressed with him and think he’s a late round type guy who will at best be a backup in the NFL. 6th-7th round 1/1/13. Combine: He looked very fit with not an ounce of fat on him. He had a bad 40 (4.70) but he had a great vertical (’37) and broad (10’2). He had a great season in 2011 at Penn State (1,241 yards 5.1 ypc  7 TDs) yet followed it up with 2 mediocre seasons at USC with the two seasons combining for fewer yards than in 2011. He has NFL size and power yet has no elusiveness and only a mediocre burst. He’s a well known player but is a fringe prospect at best. Free Agent 4/6/14.

Trey Watts Tulsa #22 Sr. 2nd in school history with 6,246 career all purpose yards. He’s a jack of all trades as a returner, running back and 3rd down specialist as he has great hands. In the 2013 NFLPA practice he stood out as the 2nd best skill position player on his squad (behind only Isaiah Burse). In the 2013 NFLPA game he had a fumble, good 15 yd run bouncing it outside and showing some jukes in space and showed a few nice moves but overall looked mediocre. Free Agent 1/20/14.

Roderick McDowell Clemson #25 5’9 195 Sr. In the 2013 North Carolina St. game he had a great spin move for +12 yds when only 3-4 were blocked for. Another one year wonder as his 2013 (1,025 5.4 ypc 5 TDs) was more than the rest of his 3 years COMBINED. He replaced Andre Ellington and had solid production but his film wasn’t nearly as impressive. Considering he had arguably the best set of skill position players around him (Boyd, Watkins, and Bryant) his mediocre stats and terrible pro day (4.69 40) make him just a free agent type. Free Agent 4/6/14.

Jeremy Smith Oklahoma St. #31 5’10 205 Sr. In the 2011 Oklahoma game he had a 37 yd TD breaking a LB tackle after 3 yds and then racing to the end zone showing good speed as S Tony Jefferson didn’t gain on him, great burst up the middle for 15 yds, nice burst on +10 yd run but ball shot out for fumble 20 yds downfield for TO in garbage time. In the 2011 Arizona game had a great 6 yd TD run being hit at the 4 yd line by two defenders breaking away from them and spinning off two others then diving and stretching the ball across the goal line! (12:34 4th), great strength and balance taking a hard hit from a DL and still staying up to get another 15 yards (8:05 4th), broke another DL tackle, not just an arm tackle but a full out hit, then dragged another defender 4 yards for a powerful and punishing 13 yd run (5:37 4th). In the 2011 Texas A&M game he had a good 10 yd run on wide open hole getting two more yards after S Trent Hunter shoe stringed him (6:00 1st), good 13 yd TD run lowering his shoulder against two safeties to get in (12:35 3rd), huge 15 yd run on 3rd and 1 breaking arm tackle in backfield getting them into FG range to make it a 2 score game (9:55 4th). In the 2011 Iowa St. game he had two easy drops on short passes in a 3 play span forcing a punt in 4th Q of their upset loss. In the 2012 Texas game he rarely played as Randle has clearly become the workhorse for the team, dropped a screen pass that was a little low but very catchable and would have gained +10 yds. He was expected to be the starter in 2013 yet was again beat out by a teammate and ended the year with 485 yards on only a 4.0 ypc. It’s the nail in the coffin for him as backup RBs aren’t drafted but I still like his size, strength and burst so he’s worth a camp invite 4/6/14.

Alonzo Harris UL-Lafayette #46 6’1 215 Jr. 1st team Sun Belt Conference in 2013. In the 2013 Tulane game he was overshadowed by teammate Elijah McGuire. Harris looks like a camp invite at best as he has good size at 215 lbs but no wiggle and only mediocre stats. Camp invite 12/21/13.

David Fluellen Toledo 5’11 1/9 224 Sr. He had a bad 40 (4.72) but a very good set of numbers in the vertical, broad and 3 cone. He had a good season in 2013 (1,121 yards 6.7 ypc) yet it was his only season of more than 600 yards and he had a poor Combine so he settles in as a camp invite 4/6/14.

Brennan Clay OU Sr. A blue chip prospect out of HS. Ranked #129 in ESPN 2010 HS Class. He never became a star but he did have a good senior season in 2013 (957 yards 5.5 ypc 6 TDs). He has NFL athleticism as seen at his pro day (4.64 40-bad, 21 reps-average, ’35 ½ vertical-above average, 9’11 broad-above average, 4.21 shuttle-average, and 7.06 3 cone-above average) yet looks like a camp invite at this point. Camp invite 4/6/14.        

Ben Malena Texas A&M #1 Sr. In the 2012 Alabama game he was blown up in pass pro vs. LB CJ Mosley allowing sack and inches away from a safety. In the 2012 Arkansas game he showed good speed and power looking often like the best RB for the Aggies, had 11 yd TD catch from flat-well designed but good speed too. At the East-West Shrine game practices he was non-existent and didn’t make an impression (well except for his horrible fumble on his 2nd carry!). Camp invite 2/20/14.

James Sims Kansas #29 6’0 200 Sr. 2nd Team Big 12 in 2013. In the 2013 NFLPA game I saw nothing special as he didn’t seem overly fast and didn’t seem strong or have any clear “NFL traits.” Barely a camp invite 1/20/14.

Charles Ross Rice #12 6’1 235 Sr. 1st team C-USA in 2013. In the 2013 Mississippi St. game (bowl game) he didn’t impress me as he was a one speed runner with great size. Camp invite, barely 1/16/14.

Shontrelle Johnson Iowa St. 5’9 182 Jr. Showed flashes in ’10 backing up Alexander Robinson that he can be a playmaker down the road (218 2 TD 6.2 ypc). Out for the year with a neck injury. In the 2012 West Virginia game he showed good quickness on dump off in flat, was the starter over teammate James White, had a few good runs in the game and looks like a possible backup or 3rd down back. Late rounder 11/24/12. He never was the full time starter and is barely a camp invite 4/6/14.

Waymon James TCU #32 5’8 203 Sr. In the 2011 Baylor game had a solid 7 yd run showing good quickness to juke inside to freeze LBs and then go outside (7:45 1st), made first defender miss but still only got 3 yds against good D (14:15 2nd), chop block on DE (11:10 3rd), great 38 yd run turning the corner breaking one tackle, outrunning an attempted arm tackle and then off to the races cutting it inside to juke safety who barely was able to trip him up to save a TD (4:44 3rd). Had nearly the same # of carries as Sr. RB Ed Wesley but +200 yds due to his gaudy 7.7 ypc in regular season for 3rd in the nation. Reminds me of a stronger, less explosive Montee Ball. In the 2011 Louisiana Tech game he had an amazing run for +25 yds called back breaking DE tackle at LOS then making an elite cut and racing down the sidelines for the majority-most RBs get 0 yds with few getting more than 5-7 yds on that play (1:27 1st), hit viciously at end of 9 yd run but bounced up immediately, good KR to 45 yd line-doesn’t have great speed but solid and more importantly is the power with the speed which makes it an impressive size/speed ratio, good burst on 12 yd run with nice hole on option flip. Listed as the #68 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. He tore his ACL 3 games into the 2012 season (he had a 9.9 ypc average at the time of the injury!) and then returned as the backup RB for 2013. His career ended on an even worse note as he was suspended for the final 3 games for reasons Gary Patterson was unwilling to disclose. He participated at the pro day but had poor numbers (4.70 40, ’32 vertical, 9’3 broad, 4.50 shuttle and 7.59 3 cone). It’s a sad ending to what was potentially an impressive career. Undraftable 4/6/14.

Jerome Smith Syracuse Sr. He had a terrible 40 (4.84) as well as quickness drills (4.60 shuttle and 7.53 3 cone) with all three numbers being in the bottom 3 of the 39 RBs. Terrible in bag cut drill going outside the cones and showing no lateral quickness. Turned the wrong way in mini gauntlet drill-he isn’t very smart as  he has done every drill wrong. Undraftable 4/6/14.

Travis Green Bowling Green He came to school as a WR and moved to RB due to injuries. He’s a fast back with limited tackle breaking ability-he plays like a converted WR would. He lacks NFL size and doesn’t have the lateral quickness or jump cut ability you need at the next level. He either needs to move to slot receiver or won’t get drafted. Undraftable as a RB 12/27/13.

Jay Ajayi Boise St. #27 He’s a big, physical back with no noticeable burst. Not interested after seeing him 1 game. Undraftable 9/21/13.

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