Giants, Round 4. He went a little later than I expected, but he lands in an obviously great situation — the Giants — for any running back, even though he’s behind Rashad Jennings and Peyton Hillis (and maybe David Wilson). And his lack of receiving experience probably won’t hurt him on the team – Brandon Jacobs used to be a workhorse that hardly ever caught the ball. Reminds me slightly of a larger Alfred Morris, so he may have some success in the NFL. But even with the optimal situation, I don’t love his skills. To me, he’s more like a late-round RB, but it sounds like NFL people like him a lot more than that.
All-Star Games: Invited to Senior Bowl but withdrew due to shoulder injury suffered in bowl game.
Positives: good height and bulk for the position – big enough to be a fullback. Adequate track speed – but very good for his size. Adequate hand size. Adequate track speed for the position, but above-average for his size. Very good vertical leap for his size. Very explosive in Combine drills. Runs with good power, and is hard to bring down once he gets a head of steam. Pretty strong and fights for extra yards and churns well. Adequate burst and decisiveness. Runs with good body lean and low to the ground and has above-average balance after contact. Adequate cutback vision. Is a willing run blocker. Protects the ball well through the line in short yardage. Patient, and waits for blockers to get into position for making cuts. Though he has no receiving experience, he reportedly looked good catching passes at his pro day.
Negatives: Not a dynamic runner, and he doesn’t even try to be elusive. Below-average change-of-direction ability. Though his cutback vision is usually okay, he does miss some cutback opportunities for big yardage. Is not hard to bring down when he doesn’t have his momentum going. Has almost no receiving experience, and was unused in college as a pass-catcher. Though he is a willing blocker, he doesn’t use his body well and lunges consistently – going for the legs when he should try to box out defenders. As a pass blocker, he often seems to block the wrong person.
Projection: Worth a 2nd round pick in rookie dynasty drafts if only because he’ll probably get a good chance to contribute on a team that would like to run the ball even though it hasn’t done it well for a while.