Draftfreak's top-20 RBs (1 Viewer)

draftfreak

Dreamer of Dreams
VIP Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
4,587
Reaction score
4,234
Location
Chauvin, LA
Offline
This will get updated after the combine and again in early April. I am working on the FBs, and WRs now (QBs are already posted). Should have them out soon. Then comes TEs and the O-line. Defense comes last.

RBs: This isn’t a super top heavy class, but it does have excellent depth. I could see as many as 6 to 8 of these guys eventually becoming starters or part-time starters.

1. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, 5’10 208lbs – JR –4.45est. Bernard is extremely explosive with his first step and can really shoot through gaps, but balance – amazing balance – is the name if his game. He always seems to have his feet under him and can cut and juke while in the weirdest of positions. He is extremely quick to hit the hole and accelerates to the second level of the defense in an instant – if he times faster than 4.40 in the Spring, he could jump into serious first round consideration. In 2012, he averaged an impressive 6.7 yards per carry for 1,228 yards rushing and scored 12 TDs. Bernard also had 47 receptions for 490 yards and five scores – he shows very soft hands. He's also an extremely accomplished punt returner who was one of the more lethal return men in the country. He lhas special wiggle and niftiness in open spaces and has a rare burst of speed. And, at the line, he is the quickest RB in this class. In the open field, Bernard is lethal with is super quickness and top end speed, but he’s more than just an edge runner. He has massive thighs and has surprising power at the LOS. He can move piles despite his size despite his smallish stature. He is very difficult to tackle with his elusiveness and natural lower body strength and is an ideal guy to attack the edges with his speed and quickness. Out of the backfield, he shows pretty soft hands and he’s extremely shifty – he makes people miss in a phone booth. Bernard has great cutting ability to dodge tacklers – he occasionally shows some Barry Sanders type cuts, but he not quite that elusive. He also is extremely fast and can take any touch the distance. Bernard is slightly undersized, but he runs tougher than one would expect. He can break arm tackles and picks up yards after contact – he scraps for extra yards. He has a thick lower body that helps him to get through tackles. Bernard runs fairly good routes and will present many mismatches against NFL linebackers on routes out of the backfield – he will need some polish in his routes though. Pass blocking in the pros will be his drawback, but he seems willing. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 20 to 40, and he could move up.

2. Eddie Lacy, Alabama, 5’10 222lbs – rJR – 4.58est. He showed off all the qualities that makes him such an enticing back in the National Championship Game. He has natural power, decent gap acceleration, good to very good hands out of the backfield, and surprising elusiveness. His overall foot quickness is what surprises me most when watching his film – he has the feet of a much smaller – niftier back. He is a gifted athlete in a pretty big body. Lacy always played in a 2 man rushing attack and was never asked to carry the load, so he didn’t get beaten down despite playing in a run first offense. Lacy has only recorded 355 career collegiate carries (what some backs carry in a single season). Eddie has a good to very good overall skill set in terms of run instincts and awareness and knows how to run around or over a would-be-tackler. He’ll churn out tough yards and be as efficient as you could ask on the edge. Before the Championship game, I had him ranked high, but that one game really pushed him up in my charts. Is he a one game wonder? He had lingering injuries throughout the year and didn’t look as special throughout the season. He seemed a touch slower and less athletic. At times he looked heavy footed and somewhat slowish. However, if a team can capture his true talents, he’ll be special. He may not break off as many long runs in the league as he did in college, but his subtle agility and elusiveness combined with his natural power will be enough to consistently move the sticks. He should start in the league for many years if he keeps his head right and he stays healthy. He plays smart and he is a lot more athletic than I originally thought. However, he lacks the true explosion, power, and experience to truly push him into the 1st round –more than likely. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 28 to 45, but he too could slightly move up if a team falls in love with his championship game tape.

3. Le’Veon Bell, Michigan St., 6’2 242lbs – JR – 4.60est. He is an old school back who reminds me of how the NFL was played when I was growing up. This guy is fun to watch if you love power football. Despite his size, he has amazing athletic gifts – he’s very nimble and has surprisingly quick feet and quickness – he too (like Bernard) has very rare balance and keeps his feet under him while moving his body. He’s a natural receiver and is the only RB in this class, after the first two, who wouldn’t surprise me if he were snagged somewhere at the end of the 1st round. He’s a workhorse back whom will rise on boards as draft day gets closer because he can play all three downs and is an excellent pass protector. He’ll like make power running teams fall in love with him, but he’d fit in almost any offense including a spread option type team. However, he’s ideal for an I-formation pro-style offense. Despite his impressive size and natural power, he is very nifty and athletic. He can attack a hole and charge through arm tackles. He has a powerful base and maybe the best natural run instincts of any RB in this class. He simply sees the lanes before they open up. He can really accelerate out of his cut-step into the hole – he can attack the edge and overpower smaller DBs too – or he can push piles with special power. If he runs in the 4.4 range at the combine or in workouts, he could quickly move up boards. He’s never had any real injury history and didn’t even start playing football ‘til his 10th grade year in high school. He can make people miss with great hip turn and is surprisingly elusive. If it were 20 years ago, or even 15, he’d be a top 10 pick. He was heavily used as a Junior – he was Michigan State’s only real offensive weapon, and that’s the only scary part about him. He rushed 382 times for almost 5 yards per carry and despite being focused on, he never had a bad game, but after taking on a heavy load for two straight years, does he still have 6 to 8 years of tread left on him? I think he does. He has a light finesse to his style of running that makes him often seem like he’s gliding – Hershal Walker-esque. With his talent, and if he isn’t beat up and overly used too quickly, he should have a standout career and many pro bowls. My only real fear with him is his overuse – will he get worn down in 3 or 4 years of pounding? I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 30 to 50 before he runs his 40 – with stellar speed, he could move up some.

4. Montee Ball, Wisconsin, 5’11 216lbs – SR – 4.55est. Ball is a patient runner that can catch the ball, run the ball inside and outside, and has developed an improved open-field game and can gain some yards on his own through natural skills. Ball started off his career more of a power back with excellent vision and then trimmed down heavily into a more all-around RB who can do pretty much anything asked of him. He is a solid 3 down type back who reminds me a lot of Alfred Morris from the Redskins. His athletic numbers won’t impress you much, but his game tape does. Ball has few to zero negatives in terms of vision and awareness. He sees the play unfold in front of him and usually makes solid to great decisions. He really attacks gaps and sometimes seems to have eyes in the back of his head. He just feels tacklers coming in at him. He rarely takes unnecessary steps – he goes after the crease and he gets yardage after contact. He has powerful thighs and calves and can break through many arm tackles – plus he has very quick feet in traffic – not the quickest, but pretty quick. His vision and natural run instincts are very, very rare – Emmett Smith-like, but he isn’t the super athlete other RBs are. He lacks a special burst and is caught from behind far too often. He will have some issues as an edge rusher. He seems to have tight hips and isn’t terribly nifty after more than one move. He isn’t super fast or super quick or super athletic – he’s just good in all of those categories, but he has special awareness and instincts that allow him to make runs many other backs simply can’t make. He has power and solid quickness and is a decent receiver out of the backfield who gives 100% every play of every game. He will need refinement in his pass protection skills though. If he were a slightly better athlete, he’d go much higher. He should’ve played at the Senior Bowl. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 40 to 60.

5. Mike Gillislee, Florida, 5’11 209lbs – SR – 4.45est. This guy is super enticing from an athletic standpoint and to the way he played in 2012, but he is only a one year starter – and that’s a bit scary. With his unique balance, toughness to attack and push piles at the LOS, and leg drive to run through arm tacklers and pick up yardage after first contact, he is rising up boards already. He is additionally consistent in his ability to string sharp, sudden cuts in succession without loss off speed. He is a gifted athlete who loses little to no speed when making his cuts and therefore can really attack holes and gaps. Gillislee consistently hits the second level at top speed and has the lateral quickness and agility to make tacklers miss in close spaces. Rarely missing a cutback or bounce opportunity, he exhibits outstanding vision, instincts, and feel for the position. He is a prime example of the depth at RB in this draft – although rated #5 in the class, he has long-term starting ability. He shows a lot of burst in the hole and although he lacks special power to really drive tacklers back, he does possess special cut and spin ability. He rarely takes on big hits and has enough power to break through arm tackles. He has rare short area quickness and lateral cutting ability and he often comes out of group and into the open field. Having said that, I was surprised at his listed weight – he doesn’t play that big and gets tackled by one guy too easily if he gets his hands on him. He has okay power, but must get stronger. He lacks the body build to get much bigger though – he’s pretty maxed out. Also, he wasn’t used in the passing game as much as his skill set would suggest and lacks a lot of experience running routes. He seems to have okay hands as a receiver but he’ll have to show they are consistent to be a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick. He tries hard in pass protection but gets overpowered too much. He looked, prior to the Senior Bowl, to be 195 pound type back and with his already chizzled body, I just don’t see any room for functional growth. He has good upside and has a lot of miles left on his tires. If he can show good hands and better pass protection skills to go along with his natural run skills, I could see him sliding up boards. He’s a gifted athlete with just a bit of use, so he needs experience, but he has the skills. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 50 to 70.

6. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, 5’10 204lbs – rSR – 4.48est. Franklin is a good athlete and a versatile player who can stay on the field for all 3 downs, but he lacks any real special qualities. He’s very good all across the board, but he’s not unique or special at anything. He has very good top-end speed, okay to good edge quickness, and okay to good gap acceleration to make a play any time he touches the ball. My one real concern with his overall quickness is that he takes 2 or 3 steps for him to build to top speed and he doesn’t make lateral cuts at full speed. However, I was impressed with how he made many plays running inside the tackles. He shows a great ability to read blocks and to anticipate holes opening on the inside. He uses his instincts football smarts to read defenses very well. He didn’t need much of a lane to scoot through and he will use his solid lower body strength to power through arm tackles. I like his foot movement skills – they aren’t awesome, but they’re good. He showed good vision and cutback ability once he got into the second level as well. His top end speed is very good and he has solid athleticism and lateral movement skills – enough to make him dangerous in the open field. An area that he struggles in is pass protection. He must learn to square up better and use his lower body strength. Also, on occasion, he dances and jukes a bit too much in the hole. He overthinks himself and tries to do too much. However, most of the time, he heads north- south and then looks to use his very good vision, solid athleticism, and cutback ability to break a big play. He does try to hit the home-run too much instead of just getting that needed 2 or 3 extra yards. He also runs a bit straight and takes on too many hits. Overall though, he is very good running inside and outside as well as in the passing game. He has solid hands and runs solid routes. I’d love to see him reach out and just snag the ball more, but he drops very few passes. He projects to be a change of pace back at the next level by many because of his pass protection skills, but he could increase his workload by improving in blocking. He should perform pretty well in the off-season speed and agility tests but he’ll never leave people in awe of his overall skills. He is a very good runner with good instincts and a very good receiver with solid instincts. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 60 to 80.

7. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, 5’9 217lbs – SR – 4.55est. As a runner, Taylor is very similar to Jon Franklin. He’s very good in terms of instincts, run skills, athleticism, and quickness; however, he has more power than Franklin (and maybe slight better short area quickness) while being slower. His lack of top end speed is what hurts him in this draft. He was a workhorse in college who is a an excellent pass protector with very good run skills, but I’d be extremely surprised to see him run faster than a 4.55 – and that might be a reach. He doesn’t play super fast or quick either. Although I love his overall instincts and awareness – and I love his passion and heart – he plays with somewhat heavy feet and will never be an edge rusher. He does have a lot of Alfred Morris in him too – he won’t wow anyone with his numbers, but he’ll always do his job well and with passion. He is extremely Well-built with a thick, powerful lower half. He can literally run over defenders if they don’t square up. He really tries to attack the hole and possesses adequate initial burst to clear it before it collapses. He makes defenders pay a price when trying to tackle him. He can be nasty and mean when carrying the ball. He never shies away from contact and keeps his feet plowing forward on impact – he isn’t a home run threat but he will fight for extra yards. He keeps his weight forward through the hole and on contact and rarely takes on big hits. He protects the ball well through traffic, and he rarely ever comes close to fumbling. He has strong forearms. Although he lacks a quick-twitch and top-end speed, he’s nifty enough in space to make the first defender miss. He is a highly effective receiver out of the backfield who consistently grabs the ball off of the air. He instinctually gets his eyes upfield quickly after the catch and wastes little motion in transition. He seems to know his athletic limitations and is smart enough to have built his game around them. This is a very good running back who gives his all on every play. He has solid vision and awareness, but he will miss occasional holes and cutback lanes. He is good in pass protection but he tries to break off blocks to quickly at times. I love his heart and he will be a solid player for some team, and maybe a starter in the right scheme. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 70 to 95.

8. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska, 5’11 213lbs – SR – 4.50est. A slight knee injury as a senior has really pushed him down on many boards. He could be one of the top backs in this draft if he had stayed healthy though. Rex is a gritty, tough as nails guy who also has excellent overall athleticism and special run skills. He has awesome explosion in the hole, great vision, and he got a lot stronger after his junior season. Before 2012, my one big question about him was his lower body strength and his ability to break through leg tackles, and despite limited playing time in 2012, he definitely showed more strength in his legs and more explosion in his long speed. He is a compactly-built 212 pounds with excellent balance who can really carry an offense and wear down a defense. He reminds me a lot of a Mark Ingram type back with a little more explosion. He runs close to the ground and with a head of steam – making himself hard to tackle. He dishes out punishment as a runner and will dive into a defenders body when going down. He has bit of a nasty streak. He has shown a unique ability to see the cut back lane and attack it – he has very good lateral movement skills and can make cuts at full speed. He finishes every run and pops right back after a big hit while showing the downhill patience and vision to follow his blocks. He plays smart and has the persistence and power to really wear a defense down. He isn't a super explosive athlete and his first step is just good – not special, but he has very quick and light feet to sidestep defenders and make the first guy miss. Because he white, many seem to want to compare him to Danny Woodhead – which isn’t an apt comparison. Rex is much more akin to Mark Ingram. Burkhead is an energetic, workhorse runner who takes pride in his craft and runs hard with conviction and determination. He will fight for that extra yard but is also explosive and athletic enough to be dangerous in space. He’s one of the top pass protectors in this class, but he lets up on his blocks to quickly at times. As a receiver, he has shown soft hands and in open space he has a lot of wiggle. He isn’t and never will be fancy, but he has a lot of really good to very good qualities. His top-end speed is good but not great; however, if his knee checks out as fine and he has good workouts, he could shoot as high as the early 3rd round – maybe even the late 2nd if a team falls in love with him. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 80 to 100.

9. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma St., 6’0 203lbs – JR – 4.40est. Randle has a leaner-than-ideal frame and there are some questions about his ability to carry the load, but he works well through traffic and shows the balance to stay on his feet after first contact - usually. He has excellent acceleration and wastes little time hitting his second gear through the hole, using his outstanding vision to find room to run both as a rusher and receiver. He lead the Big 12 in 2012 with 1,417 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. He truly had a dominating season and in some games he couldn’t be stopped (Texas – Iowa St.), but in some games he looked quite average (Kansas St.). Randle’s abilities are tightly connected to OSUs odd spread offense in that he explodes to the edge 90% of the time or on delays – he was rarely asked to push a pile or attack the LOS. He never played in any tradition pro-set and he needs a lot of refinement. He excels both as a blocker (because he’s smart and studies film) and as a pass catcher, maybe the best at both in this class. There are times when he leaves scouts in awe and his amazing speed and athleticism are rare. He truly reminds me of a poor man’s version of Reggie Bush, but he totally lacks Bush’s experience running various offenses and is no where near the route runner Bush was coming out of USC. But in a way, he also reminds me of Jerious Norwood – who was an excellent 3rd down back, but little more. He has awesome acceleration and speed though – he is a gifted athlete who is also very smart – he is the best receiver of the RBs in this class and could line up as a WR; however, he lacks bulk and power in a traditional running attack. He gets stalemated far too often and cannot push piles easily. He has special skills in the open field but lacks experience running anything other than a zone read. He isn’t as physically gifted as Bush and he lacks some of Bush’s niftiness. He looks to be an excellent 3rd down back type of guy to me – and little more at this point. He brings extra value as a return man and with his blocking ability though. Also, with work in the weight room and some seasoning on the field, he could progress into a sold RB – maybe becoming more than just another Jerious Norwood. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 95 to 120.

10. Michael Hill, Missouri Western St., 5’11 208lbs – rSR – 4.50est. He rushed for an amazing 2,168 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior – which is special even if it was at the D-II level, and he has almost 5,000 career rushing yards. Despite the D-II, he shows the explosion, vision, and the athleticism to really explode into the NFL as well. He plays and looks like a much bigger back while also showing very good wiggle and niftiness – he is really explosive coming out of his cuts. There isn’t a back in this class that comes close to his ability to straight arm and bull through defenders in space. He will attack the LOS and make defenders go backwards – he a unique ability to really extend and get into a defenders body as he knocks them back. He has rare balance (he almost never gets his feet from out from under him) and he keeps his feet churning underneath him. He wasn’t recruited much out of high school and only received one full scholarship offer (Missouri Western) but ended up as the school’s all-time leading rusher and as a 3 year starter. There is nothing I don’t like about this kid’s game. He plays hard-nosed, tough football, but can also attack edges and gaps with deceptive looking speed. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him run faster than a 4.50 in workouts. He plays big though – ‘til I saw his listed weight, I thought he was a 220 pound type back. He isn’t afraid to hit and he can really push the pile. As a receiver, he ran limited routes in college, but he shows soft hands and the ability to pluck the ball out of the air. He’ll need polish in several areas but route running will be where he needs the most. He drops his butt and squares up nicely in pass protection – one of his strongest suits after running the ball. He likes to hit people. He isn’t a super wiggle guy and isn’t lethal in the open field (not a juking kind of player), but he has good speed and will knock DBs on their butts. I do wish his feet were just a hair quicker in traffic, but he powers through most arm tackles. Moving to the NFL will be a big leap forward in competition, but he has the skill set to do it very well. I doubt he gets drafted before the late 4th or the 5th round, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him starting for some team (or at least getting extensive playing time) in the very near future. If he played at a bigger school, he’d be a 2nd round prospect, or better, for sure. He needs a bit of polish, but has great tools. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 125 to 160.

11. Mike James, Miami, 5’11 222lbs – SR – 4.50est. Mike is similar to his brother in some respects but isn’t the special overall athlete his brother was. Mike was underutilized in Miami’s offense. He is an old fashion type of bruiser/power back who can pass protect, work to the edge, and power through arm tackles. He will never impress with his top-end speed, but he has light feet in the hole, can really attack gaps, and he isn’t afraid of contact. He is a perfect NFL back in that he is consistently good at most everything (he’s excellent in pass protection) and is a dependable hard worker who loves and wants to play the game. He shows solid awareness and good vision, but his best trait is his frame and tenacity. He attacks gaps, but can really drive piles and push defenders back. He has very good to great lower body strength and he is very instinctual running the ball inside and in using his natural power. He will never lead the league in rushing like his brother did (more than likely – anything is possible), but he’s a perfect fit for a team that likes hard-nosed consistent runners who fight for extra yards and are naturally powerful. He has very soft hands and generally grabs the ball out of the air. He has surprising niftiness in the open field and he can make people miss. He runs good routes and it very football smart – being NFL ready might be his best attribute. He played primarily in a pro-style offense and he knows reads and pick-ups. He can get to the edge and has enough quickness and acceleration to shoot gaps and come through the other side. He lacks the WOW factor of some other RBs but he is productive, consistent, durable, and very smart. In the open field, he uses his power pretty well, but I do wish he’d stay a little lower going into a defender. He isn’t a quick-shifty back in the open field who will make highlight reels, but he will get the yards he needs to get and punish defenders in the process. I can’t imagine there is team in the league who couldn’t use him often. He brings a lot of value because he can stay on the field on any down. He is solidly athletic. His vision to see holes and cut back lanes isn’t always great and he plows into 300 DTs a bit too much instead of shooting gaps, but overall he’s a very good RB who can do most everything well. He can play right away. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 150 to 190, but he could move up some because of his ability to step in right away and play.

12. Andre Ellington, Clemson, 5’10 199lbs – rSR – 4.45est. This guy is sort of an enigma. Ellington brings a lot to the table in terms of his explosiveness and his ability to turn any run into a touchdown. He can truly fly and is lethal in the open field. At times, he looks polished and smart but most of the time he looks like he’s never studied game film or got any coaching – he just runs the way he wants and misses blocks and gets out of position. So, other than his speed and agility, he leaves a lot to be desired. He often shows poor vision and patience in terms of waiting for his blocks, he doesn’t run with much power (he gets tackled too easily and cannot push a pile), and he cannot be trusted as a pass protector at this point in time. He is truly explosive in space though and at times he looks like a natural cut back runner who can fly through gaps. He shows great edge and hole acceleration, he can make an instant cutback, and can change direction on a dime. His athletic skills are rare. He has good overall playing speed. Yet, he struggles at times in short yardage situations and in tight spaces – he looks confused as to who to block and where he should be. He doesn’t break down well when blocking. He can break a tackle in the hole on occasion (he is a gifted athlete) but does not consistently gain significant yards after first contact. He shows pretty good vision, balance, and cutback ability, but he needs to get and stay focused to be consistent. As a receiver, he needs polish. He shows solid hands but makes silly drops on occasion. He too seems to be purely a 3rd down type back at this point, but his lack of pass protection skills hurts him. I’d love to see him get some good coaching and spend a year in an NFL weight-room. I rate him right now as a solid pick anywhere from 175 to 215.

13. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina, 6’0 218lbs – JR – 4.45 before injury. He would be a top-5 pick if it weren’t for his knee injuries. He was the most special runner I’ve seen at the college level at least since Adrian Peterson – maybe before. If healthy, and truly given time to get healthy, he could be a future pro-bowler who is simply special. He has a grace and power to his style of running that is impossible to find – he has a mixture of Hershall Walker, Bo Jackson, and Trent Richardson in him. He has huge hands and is a great natural receiver out of the backfield. He’ll likely go somewhere on the 3rd day and hopefully will be given a redshirt year to get completely healthy. If given a year to heal, he could be the steal of the draft.

Other RBs who could/should get drafted:
14. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers, 5’8 195lbs – rSO – 4.50est. He’s not Ray Rice and he doesn’t stand out to me like he does to some others. I do like his overall athleticism though and he will be drafted – maybe as high as the 3rd according to some people – he is quick and shows some solid vision and some wiggle. He has good hands and run solid routes, but needs a ton of work in pass protection. He’s not the natural runner some are making him out to be. He could be a good return man. I see him more as a 6th or 7th round pick.

15. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt, 5’8 217lbs – SR – 4.58est. He’s a great college RB (3 year starter in the SEC) with some solid skills but lacks any special qualities – he gives all he has on every play. He plays smart, can attack holes, and will fight for extra yards. He is okay to good at everything and is very solid in pass protection. He is Vandy’s all-time leading rusher and scorer. He makes plays and he is truly relentless. He lacks speed and explosion though and that hurts his chances. He isn’t a return man.

16. Cierre Wood, Notre Dame, 6’0 218lbs – rJR – 4.60est. He really should’ve stayed in school. He has very solid all-around skills, but never really showed them with any consistency and was a back-up in college – for the most art. He is big and powerful and has a gliding type of running style. Somebody will love his skills and numbers and draft him late though. If he times great, he could even move as high as the 4th round, but he’s a project who will need a lot of polish in most every aspect of his game. He does have excellent leg drive at times though.

17. Kenjon Barner, Oregon, 5’8 188lbs – rSR – 4.35est. He’s not LaMichael James and has severe limitations to his overall game (he’s terrible in pass protection, goes down too easily on first contact, and spent his career attacking the edge – has no power or strength inside) – he’s purely a 3rd down back and an absolutely lethal return. He’s a gifted athlete though with super speed who should be drafted late – if only for his return abilities.

18. Christine Michael, Texas A&M,5’10 225lbs – rSR – 4.60est. Some people are much higher on him than I am. He lacks explosion and has an injury history and barely played as a senior, but he has some power and he does have solid vision and cut-back ability. Every time I watch him, I keep wanting to see more. He needs polish and coaching. He should be drafted late because of his vision though.

19. Ray Graham, PITT, 5’9 196lbs – SR – 4.45 to 4.60. Prior to his knee injury at the end of 2011, he was a possible 2nd round prospect, but he was not even close to the same player in 2012. He showed spurts, but looked slow and awkward much of the time. If he can convince teams he’ll get back to 2011 form, he should get drafted. He is not a return man. In 2011, he showed a special wiggle and niftiness, but was never a power guy. He has good vision and can be relentless when healthy. He seemed scared and tentative most of 2012.

20. Sam McGuffie, Rice, 5’10 199lbs – rSR – 4.40est. He is a super athletic jack of all trades – master of none guy. This guy intrigues me. He spent his first 3 seasons as a RB (having a great 2010 season after transferring from Michigan) – his 2011 season was marred with minor nagging injuries and other backs moved into the starting role, so he was moved to WR as a senior – he can still play both spots well (by the end of 2012, he was running very good to great routes) and has rare explosion and athleticism. He’s also a lethal return man. I could easily see a team wanting to use his all-around talents. He has the skill set to be a dangerous 3rd down type back who can play on the edge as well. As a RB, he showed very good anticipation and vision to go along with his explosion and athleticism. In the open field, he is as dangerous as any player in this class – he should get drafted late.
 

SAINT__STEVEN

4morefor45
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
2,329
Reaction score
1,154
Location
Brew City
Online
Good info man! I watch all UW games as I am here in Wisco and Ball is going to be a steal for some team (maybe), the Morris comp is pretty solid but Ball is way more proficient at receiving out of the backfield as well as pass blocking. As you stated he, he's a complete 3 down type back...though I can see a middling 40 time coming and he's also ran behind really bruising lines up here at UW. His draft advisory board rating last year was mid 3rd round, for whatever that's worth?
 

Trey W.

Hall-of-Famer
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
4,231
Reaction score
3,050
Age
42
Location
West Monroe, La
Online
yes I'm a LSU homer but what do you think about Michael Ford and Spencer Ware. I know they don't have the stats like these others because they were lost in the shuffle of the platoon backfield LSU runs. Ford was one of my favorite RB's. He was probably the fastest of them all and showed really good vision, quickness, speed, and hands. While Ware isn't really fast, he is a power runner with great hands, good blocking, and just does not give up until he's on the ground.
 
OP
draftfreak

draftfreak

Dreamer of Dreams
VIP Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
4,587
Reaction score
4,234
Location
Chauvin, LA
Offline
yes I'm a LSU homer but what do you think about Michael Ford and Spencer Ware. I know they don't have the stats like these others because they were lost in the shuffle of the platoon backfield LSU runs. Ford was one of my favorite RB's. He was probably the fastest of them all and showed really good vision, quickness, speed, and hands. While Ware isn't really fast, he is a power runner with great hands, good blocking, and just does not give up until he's on the ground.
Ware has a possible late round grade. He has decent power and solid speed, but needs polish and isn't terribly nifty. He could go in the 7th rd to a team that wants to play with his talents. He has very good athleticism, but really needs to refine his skills - he didn't do much of that at LSU. His lack of vision scares me.

Ford will likely be an UDFA. Both should have stayed in school.
 

Mamba

SR is my life!
VIP Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
11,845
Reaction score
4,594
Age
39
Offline
10. Michael Hill, Missouri Western St., 5’11 208lbs – rSR – 4.50est.
Just curious how many Missouri Western State games you were able to watch this year. ;)
 
OP
draftfreak

draftfreak

Dreamer of Dreams
VIP Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
4,587
Reaction score
4,234
Location
Chauvin, LA
Offline
Just curious how many Missouri Western State games you were able to watch this year. ;)
LOL. why do I get that same question every year? I've watched 2 games of his from this past season plus his all star game - I also watched a big chunk of one of his junior games. Also, I've watched several clips of him in other games. If you don't like or agree with my analysis, I'm okay with that.

I do this because I love it and enjoy it - I've been doing it for many, many years, and i don't expect I'll stop 'til I die. I get coaches film or game film or any film I can get my hands on and I watch. On any given day from early september 'til april, I'll watch 4 to 6 hours of football. Sometimes I take a day or two off, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I write about what I see, sometimes I don't.

The next inevitable question is: "where do you get the games?" Anywhere I can, but usually straight from the coaching staffs.
 

d3vanj

Hall-of-Famer
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
4,077
Reaction score
1,463
Location
US
Offline
I played HS football with Mike Gillislee in DeLand, FL!!!! We went to state together!
 

Mamba

SR is my life!
VIP Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
11,845
Reaction score
4,594
Age
39
Offline
LOL. why do I get that same question every year? I've watched 2 games of his from this past season plus his all star game - I also watched a big chunk of one of his junior games. Also, I've watched several clips of him in other games. If you don't like or agree with my analysis, I'm okay with that.

I do this because I love it and enjoy it - I've been doing it for many, many years, and i don't expect I'll stop 'til I die. I get coaches film or game film or any film I can get my hands on and I watch. On any given day from early september 'til april, I'll watch 4 to 6 hours of football. Sometimes I take a day or two off, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I write about what I see, sometimes I don't.

The next inevitable question is: "where do you get the games?" Anywhere I can, but usually straight from the coaching staffs.
Do you do it just for the enjoyment or is there some type of monetary incentive? That's a ton of time to spend on scouting players (4-6 hours a day). I'm just curious if it interferes with anything else (job, family) or if you're in the type of situation where you have more free time than most.

Also, how do you approach coaches to get film? Do they mail it to you? Do you pay them for it? How does it work?
 
OP
draftfreak

draftfreak

Dreamer of Dreams
VIP Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
4,587
Reaction score
4,234
Location
Chauvin, LA
Offline
Do you do it just for the enjoyment or is there some type of monetary incentive? That's a ton of time to spend on scouting players (4-6 hours a day). I'm just curious if it interferes with anything else (job, family) or if you're in the type of situation where you have more free time than most.

Also, how do you approach coaches to get film? Do they mail it to you? Do you pay them for it? How does it work?
I've been doing it for so long, people who know me have just learned to deal with it. I did it when I was still in high school and was playing. I couldn't do it very much in college when I was playing. I spent a couple years coaching in grad school and learned to do it even better. As for time, I work my way around it. I work my job and raise my daughter and spend time with my girlfriend (yes, she gets a little jealous at times), but I generally do it when other things aren't happening. I often don't get much sleep. From Dec. through March is when I'm most active.

As for game film, most schools will just give them to you if you tell them you're wanting to scout their players. You can contact the coaches directly or go through the sports director. Some will charge - most wont. Only a couple wont send you anything - very few.

As for monetary gain, not much. I've worked for three different draft sites over the years and they pay very little. Unless you're working for ESPN or NFL network, it's hard to make real money dong this. It can be done, but it's not easy. Some agents will pay on occasion, but make sure you get paid first - they're all creeps.
 
OP
draftfreak

draftfreak

Dreamer of Dreams
VIP Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
4,587
Reaction score
4,234
Location
Chauvin, LA
Offline
What if the faclowns get Eddie lacy?? All mock drafts I see him going to them.
Forecasting the destruction of the falcons would be my dream job, but I will say that the Falcons have bigger needs. They simply have no real pass rush outside of John Abraham. Gonzalez retired. The interior O-line needs help. Their secondary is a concern. Their defense was bad - I know ours was bad too, but they'll be looking defense early and often. Could they take Lacy, yes. He fits their scheme pretty well and would not have to be a full time starter immediately.

But, I'd say if a good pass rusher is still on the board, that's where they'll go. Or a TE to replace Gonz...
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)



Headlines

Top Bottom