Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State

Falcons, Round 4. Was a junior. He went as the eighth running back overall when I had him as the 9th, expected to go a round later. But he lands in a place where nobody’s obviously ahead of him, and he could either replace (or back up) either Steven Jackson or Jacquizz Rodgers as the workhorse or third-down back. For the most part, I like his combination of speed, quickness, and tough running. But his lack of size doesn’t combine well with his running style, and he seems like an injury risk to me. He has some Ray Rice in him, though, but I’m not sure if he has enough.

Positives: though his height and weight are low, he is compactly built. Above-average hand size. Runs with above-average speed, quickness, and change-of-direction ability. Adequate burst and vision for cutback lanes. Runs with good balance, agility, body lean and high knees – even when his body is getting low to the ground. Above-average balance after contact and isn’t knocked off of his feet easily. While making moves, he keeps his shoulders squared, letting him make balanced cuts and keep moving forward. Adequate ball-security technique and protects the ball while going through the line. Above-average hands, and is able to extend and adjust for off-target passes fairly well. Adequate track speed for the position.

Negatives: Short for the position, with slightly below-average bulk. Indecisive at times and will dance behind the line too much. Below-average pass blocker who looks uncomfortable doing so. Below-average vertical leap. Poor upper-body strength. Below average track speed for his size.

Projection: Expect immediate RB3 numbers with a potential of RB2 numbers. Draft in the second round of dynasty rookie drafts.

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