Ben Malena, RB/PR, Texas A&M


Cowboys, UDFA. Signed by the Cowboys as UDFA but he injured his quadriceps in preseason and was placed on IR. He was one of many small, but quick, running backs in this draft. What sets him apart from many others like him is that he is a pretty solid blocker, so he may be able to step into a third-down back role on the Cowboys or some other team in 2015.

All-Star Games: Shrine Game.

Positives: Adequate hand size. Runs with adequate speed, but above-average quickness and good burst. Above-average track speed and adequate to his size. Shows above-average patience and vision for cutbacks. Has quick feet and is able to change directions well and quickly. Fair balance after contact. Slippery in the open field, and it is hard to get a good hit on him. Agile, with a nice spin move. Not easy to bring down despite his small size. Nimble on the sidelines and can tiptoe down the line and get both feet in on receptions. Is a very willing blocker, and is fairly physical and surprisingly effective at it, with good leverage. Above-average hands and can extend to catch passes away from his frame. Churns through contact. He was also the fullback on the punt team.

Negatives: Short for the position, with below-average bulk. Though his hands are generally reliable, they don’t seem strong enough in wet conditions. Though he churns through contact, he has overall below-average power. Suspect balance making cuts.

Projection: Draft and hope that he can be a big part of a committee approach.

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