Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina – 2015

Junior who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft.

Positives: Though he is shorter than your typical NFL running back, he has a compact, strong build with adequate bulk. He runs with above-average speed and burst, with quick feet to get through traffic at the line. He can also run tough and decisively, with good power. He churns well through contact for extra yards, and is very effective in goal line and short-yardage situations. He runs angry and doesn’t give up on runs – always reaching for extra yards. He shows good vision for small creases and can find running room in small areas and lower his head to tunnel through the line. Though a very solid inside runner, he can also reverse field and take the ball outside. Good balance after contact.  Protects the ball well through the line.  He has adequate hands. He is also generally an above-average pass blocker.

Negatives: Though he is well built, he has below-average height for a typical running back. Though his game speed was better, he ran with below-average track speed in pre-draft workouts. Has a fairly long injury history. Though he is a fair pass blocker, he tends to go low on defenders instead of trying to maintain his feet and use technique to maintain blocks. He is less effective as a blocker when he is supposed to rise up and meet the defender, and the defender will get right past him. Rib and ankle injuries slowed him first half of 2014 season. Reportedly had issues with conditioning at Pro Day.

Projection: Round 3. Reminds me of Devonta Freeman, and can be either a large part of a committee approach or a workhorse back (though his running style and injury history might keep him more of a RBBC back). His ceiling is probably Warrick Dunn.

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