Comps – Low/Medium/High
D’Ernest Johnson (Low) – Troymaine Pope (Medium) – Jalen Richard (High)
Ability to Create Yardage
Not a hard slicer with his cuts, instead relying on lateral movements and jump cuts to make most guys miss. Won’t turn water to wine with his runs, but can create for himself when backfield penetration arrives. Lacking in balance and recovery ability, which is understandable given his size. Not a dynamic open-field runner with the capability of finding success outside of his blocking assistance. Unable to effectively navigate through small openings; can’t get skinny and work through a muddy spot. Plays with enough tenacity to power over defensive backs. Struggles to elude disciplined tacklers. Attempts to minimize his contact area from defenders usually fail. Agility is nothing to write home about. Chunk yardage is going to be a rarity. Committee back ceiling.
Gas pedal around the corner seems below average for pro game, but he can get past most linebackers in a rush upfield. Acceleration isn’t instant but comes on towards the end of the first eight to ten yards. Stride isn’t long but builds up. Foot speed is decent but nothing special. Doesn’t have much burst out of changes of direction. Rarely reaches a good speed heading out of the backfield and into traffic; must become more comfortable letting loose instead of pacing through the hole. Got run down from behind against Virginia by Bryce Hall because he took his foot off the gas early. No turbo to rely on when he gets into a straight up race for the end zone. Not a feasible east-west runner unless his play speed takes a leap forward. Natural athletic gifts are an unknown commodity.
Refuses to go down when he gets into a pile pushing scrum; legs keep moving and he tries to get an extra yard out of it. Tries to drop his pads and play with power, although he may end up being overwhelmed by NFL strength. Isn’t steered off course by arm tackles and poorly angled attempts. Rarely stays standing through a clean shot, especially a wrap up tackle. Doesn’t not run hard enough to drag defenders with him. Short yardage work should not be a staple for his game. Momentum not mass when he falls forward; likely to get stonewalled in head to head matchups as a pro. Frame is unlikely to support much more weight without hindering his athleticism. Tries to run angular but gets stood up by most contact. Finishes his runs strong rather than going gently out of bounds; tough running mentality is obvious.
Glides down the line smoothly in search of openings as a runner; willing to ride the wave to space. Decisions don’t take long to make; breaks runs outside without overthinking bad interior lanes. Good reactiveness to what’s directly in front of him; won’t hit his own guys or get tripped up in the crowd. Vision is always focused on what’s straight ahead rather than setting up second level defenders; misses big play opportunities with short-sighted approach. Lacking in peripheral awareness; takes lanes that lead to trouble by blindly working away from linebackers. Bounces runs outside prematurely. Would rather go for the unknown than just take the yardage earning hit. Uncomfortable working in tight areas and going between the tackles. Instinctiveness will draw questions; timing is an unpredictable factor.
Pass Blocking & Receiving
Puts his weight into pass protection and drops down to get leverage. Will get overpowered by a legitimate NFL bull rush, but can hold his own against linebackers. Would do well to bring his hands into the mix more with his first contact. Effort is there to match up, even if he isn’t the biggest guy. Has experience operating out of the slot, although he isn’t particularly refined as a receiver off the line. Has the change of direction necessary to make route breaks and throw defensive backs off his trail. Won’t reveal his route prematurely and tip off where he’s heading. Awareness in pass protection is hit or miss. Engages with bigger guys without hesitation. Has a nasty side blocking; finds work if necessary. Overcommits early; out of control.