Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State – 2015

Redshirt junior who has declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Positives: Great height and good bulk for the position. Built like a fullback, with fullback strengths, but also has some of the athleticism of a smaller back. Above-average cutback vision – is patient on runs between the tackles and will pick his way through traffic well. When an inside run is covered, he has enough speed and quickness to bounce runs outside. Has above-average long speed and adequate quickness, but above-average for his size. Runs with pretty good balance and keeps himself squared while making moves to keep his direction options open. Also runs with good power, and churns through contact. Gives good second effort and has a very effective stiff arm that can knock defensive backs down. Is seldom arm tackled, and gives good effort for extra yards and when he has to dive for the pylon. Above-average hands and can extend well. Pretty good body control when trying to bring in off-target passes. Adequate in pass protection.

Negatives: Though his speed is adequate for his size, he isn’t a burner, and he also doesn’t have a lot of burst or decisiveness behind the line. Sometimes seems much too willing to bounce plays outside when he should just go off-tackle. Also misses some opportunities to cut back outside. Runs with inconsistent body lean, and will get caught upright and be driven back. Is slower when moving laterally, and his lack of lateral momentum makes him easier to bring down when he’s going east-west. Below-average ability to change directions. Is a little lax with ball security while fighting for yards. Tore his ACL in 2011. Was also arrested for stealing sweatpants in 2011.

Projection: Round 3. Looks destined to be either a low-tier starter or the power portion of a committee approach. If he can be coached to be more decisive and rely more on his power, he can be a solid RB2.

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