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Cheap Thrills: 3 Sleeper RBís.

TC : 2/12/2018 12:34 pm
Barkley and Guice are two exceptionally talented, well-rounded, and multi-purpose, feature RBís who do just about everything well and may likely go in the 1st round. And there are other fine RB prospects that will go early as well. THESE ARENíT THOSE GUYS! These are players who can either be had later in the draft, or as UDFAís.

I donít have access to film breakdowns, and donít rely upon anyoneís reviews or primarily on stats for my opinions. I watch what video I can find, both highlight reels and whole games such as those on Draft Breakdown, and form my own judgments. Itís easy to find the flaws in these prospects games, or identify their physical limitations. But if you focus solely on those and ignore what they CAN do well, and how those abilities MAY allow them to play specific roles in an NFL offense, you can miss a potentially valuable player. Players of this type come into NFL camps every summer. Many get weeded out, but some stick and become significant contributors.

These 3 RBís are among those whoíve caught my eye. The reason they interest me is because each can do SOME things very well. And the level at which they perform them may allow each to become a ROLE contributor in the NFL. If they can, the significance of their contribution depends on matching their abilities to the needs of the team and the role theyíre asked to play.

Two of these 3 RBís could be described as scat backs as theyíre smaller and quick. The other isnít either. One got a Combine invitation, and two didnít. I was a little surprised that those two didnít get an invitation as while they marginally qualify as sleepers, theyíre not unknown. But since the intent is to get a ďlookĒ at such players in camp, itís actually beneficial as it increases the possibility that theyíll be UDFAís.

Iíve seen that many posters are passionate about drafting this or that RB early. Disregarding whether thatís desirable, it doesnít preclude looking at any of these guys. Theyíre likely going to be role players if they get a shot in the NFL.

NYHEIM HINES, N.C. State Ė Listed at 5í9, 197. AKA, Rocket Man, and the sole Combine invitee. Hines is fast! Ran the 100 and 4X100 relay for his school. But heís not just a track star, heís also a football player. He runs, he catches and returns punts and kick offs. While smaller, heís not afraid to stick his nose in, plus heís elusive with excellent agility, vision and balance.

In 2017 he rushed for 1,112 yards and 12 touchdowns on 197 carries. He caught 26 passes for 152 yards, returned 11 punts for 135 yards and a score, and brought back 21 kickoffs for 469 yards.

ITO SMITH, Southern Mississippi Ė Listed at 5í9Ē, 195. AKA, Barry Sanders on a Budget. Smith was the featured RB for S. Miss., but will likely be best suited as a change of pace scat back in the NFL, though heís surprisingly complete for a smaller RB. He runs and he catches, but itís his sometimes spectacular running that deserves the most attention. Though heís also one of the most willing and surprisingly successful smaller RBís at picking up blitzers. Of course he can be overwhelmed by LBís, but will routinely stand up DBís.

While he has good speed, itís his instant burst thatís most noticeable. He has excellent vision and is very patient following blocks. But when he does see a crease, heís gone. He also has EXCEPTIONAL balance. And heís hard to get a hand on, with great lateral agility. A surprise is that heís surprisingly strong for his size, showing some power, and is entirely willing to stick his nose into contact and drive for what yards he can.

In 2017 he ran for 1,425 yards on 248 attempts averaging 5.7 yards a carry. And caught 40 passes for another 396 yards.

Barry Sanders heís not, but heís a surprisingly good little back for a smaller school. Watch his run at 2:20 on the video below -

JORDAN CHUNN, listed at 6í1Ē, 235. AKA, The Big Boy from Troy, AKA, Megachunn. Iíve long wanted the Giants to have a reliable short yardage RB. Perhaps Watson will fill the bill . . . donít know. I started looking at prospects to see if there was any help there. And Chunn looked like he might have potential in that role.

Iíve included his most often listed height and weight for each player, but there are differences. One has Chunn listed at 5í11Ē, and his listed weight of 230 is likely closer to his freshman weight. Iíd bet heís about 6í ĹĒ and somewhere between 235 and 240, though he may be dieting for his pro day. Heís thick bodied and long armed and may tend to carry a little extra weight.

Heís been a very successful feature RB for Troy. But I donít think heíll be able to play that role in the NFL. Some think he may become a FB, but I think his best role is as a short yardage RB. Though I think heís one that will occasionally deliver a bit more. The first few times I watched him I was about to dismiss him, but noticed he was consistently successful and began to study what he was doing more carefully.

Despite not having a quick initial burst, he gets to the hole quickly because he has excellent vision and is fluid with no wasted motion. Heís not going to dance or attempt to juke tacklers; he picks his line, hits the hole accelerating, and if a defender gets in front of him, thatís THEIR problem.

I was also troubled at first because he didnít look overly violent compared to some power backs. But what is happening on the other end is defenders having to give way, and sometimes being dragged along with him. You see, Jordan isnít a gym-body; heís what I know of as ďcountry strong.Ē And I noticed by the end of games some DBís would just sort of nod at him as he freight-trained by them. AND I LOVED IT!

If Iíve made him sound like some oaf, he isnít. Heís actually pretty athletic for a guy his size and body type. And he will stretch out and add speed after the first 10 yards, though I expect he wonít have a very good 40 because he doesnít fire out from a standstill. And like most, larger power backs that donít start fast, penetration can stop him before he gets started, but that true of almost all RBís.

Heís got natural, soft hands and is adept at catching check downs and swing passes. Heís a natural at picking up blitzes with the power to take on LBíS. But he could use some coaching on technique. Heís got the ability and willingness to be a good blockier. I think he could make a great 3rd and short back, and Iíve already had fantasies of him in a 2 TE set with Engram and Ellison. Thereís lot of stuff you could do from that trio.

In selecting a video to showcase him, Iím including the one which shows his touchdowns. I did this because I think it best highlights the role heís best suited for in the NFL.

Hinds Video - ( New Window )
Smith Video  
TC : 2/12/2018 12:35 pm : link
Video - ( New Window )
Chunn Video  
TC : 2/12/2018 12:36 pm : link
Video - ( New Window )
Chunn looks like a UDFA imo  
adamg : 2/12/2018 12:38 pm : link
He'd be a good pick up there.
I think if it's not a RB in the first round  
Bill L : 2/12/2018 12:39 pm : link
it shouldn't be a RB at all. That would be a wasted pick considering we already have 2 of those type guys on the team.
Good job  
idiotsavant : 2/12/2018 12:41 pm : link
+1 Ito S.
Chunn is a down hill runner and would be a good guy to have for short  
BLUATHRT : 2/12/2018 12:42 pm : link
yardage, or "set the tone" type runs.
Another candidate  
Nomad Crow on the Madison : 2/12/2018 9:03 pm : link
for a power RB is Ryan Nall, Oregon St. 6'2" 235. He has ability. Can catch the ball. Runs hard inside.
RE: I think if it's not a RB in the first round  
LakeGeorgeGiant : 2/13/2018 2:16 pm : link
In comment 13829903 Bill L said:
it shouldn't be a RB at all. That would be a wasted pick considering we already have 2 of those type guys on the team.

Imo there will be guys available with our second pick that would be an upgrade.
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