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Broaddus: Productive Backs Available After First Day Of Draft
Continuing coverage of the upcoming draft, here are some running backs to take a look at toward the middle or late rounds:
- Montee Ball Wisconsin
Plays with quickness…will drive his legs on contact…has some lower body thickness…can turn the corner…works inside than out…will bounce off tackles….contact runner…is physical with the ball in his hands…likes to attack the hole…can plant, then make the cut…shows some balance when he gets bounced around…will spin to gain extra yards…zone, stretch type of runner….gets through the hole…will lower his shoulder to take on blockers…has a nose for the goal line…will work through the trash…thought his hands were serviceable…catches screens and underneath routes….did have a drop in the Nebraska game inside when he didn’t adjust to the ball well….will step up as a blocker…used to chip on certain schemes…will stay square and make contact but have seen him go low and try to cut…has the awareness to help in protection…of the running backs that I studied, he was the best of the group when it came to blocking…has some completeness to his game.
- Andre Ellington Clemson
On film was one of my favorite backs in the draft….plays with quickness and a wiggle…has some fluidness to his game…can make people miss in space…Don’t think he has home run or extended speed…uses his vision to make the cut back run…has the power to run through tackles…like the toughness that he shows with the ball in his hands…not afraid to take on tacklers…can get the ball to the edge…gets started quickly…really does a nice job of keep his head up when he runs…will make some really nice cuts because of his vision…most of his opportunities to catch the ball were underneath routes…puts pressure on the defense when he comes out of the backfield…catches the ball well enough….can make things happen in the open field…will need to work on his pass protection…will give plenty of effort and stays after his block but missed a blitz pickup badly that resulted in a sack against LSU….was bothered by and hamstring string injury during the season and it carried over to the Combine…might be something that will need to be watched as he goes forward…shows nice patience as a runner….
- Stepfan Taylor Stanford
Well-built with a thick, powerful lower half…is a straight ahead type of runner…commits quickly to the hole and possesses adequate initial burst to clear it before it collapses….Doesn't shy away from contact, and keeps his feet churning on impact…will spin in the hole to avoid tacklers…keeps his weight forward through the hole and on contact, and is able to grind out the extra half-yard falling down….shows toughness on the goal line to fight for that…Protects the ball well through traffic, didn’t see any problems here…although his skill set suits a one-cut running system, he does display some shiftiness and wiggle to make defenders miss in space…made Manti Te’o look bad and the USC safety as well…highly effective pass-catcher, consistently plucking the ball off his frame and looking it in before turning upfield….gives effort as a pass blocker…is shorter blocker but not afraid to take on defensive linemen…will chip or cut when he has to…is aware….not a burner with the ball in his hands but Stanford coach David Shaw is handing him the ball in the 4th quarter with the game on the line…
- Knile Davis Arkansas
Played in a scheme where quarterback was in the shot gun the majority of the snaps…can catch the ball out of the backfield…can make the first man miss…has the vision to find the hole then the quickness to get through it…tries to run the ball with some toughness….will try and get the ball outside but there were times with the way that the offensive line was playing that he couldn’t get the ball to the edge…just didn’t have much room to operate…didn’t feel like that he played with great balance overall but on a touchdown run against A&M he was able to keep his feet , shake the tackler and get the ball in the end zone…will step up for
the blitz pickup…used as a chip blocker as well….put the ball on the field against Alabama and A&M….showed some field awareness to get the first down against A&M…will catch the ball in the flat and take it up the field…did this against A&M where he was able to get up the sideline for a touchdown…there is some tightness and stiffness when you watch him run…not a fluid moving runner at all…workout numbers were off the chart but didn’t translate completely on film…