Todd Gurley may be the best running back prospect coming out of college since Adrian Peterson. He is a dominant back with a rare combination of speed and power. He can run through, around or over defenders. If not for a torn ACL this past season, Gurley could be a top-10 prospect heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, which is rare for running backs in today’s NFL. He has also had an off-field incident in 2013. He was suspended during his sophomore campaign for violating NCAA rules in an occurrence involving him profiting off of autographs. Nonetheless, even with the ACL and suspension, Gurley is too talented to fall out of the first round in my opinion. However, other scouts believe he could fall in to the second due to the devaluing of the NFL RB and health risks. Let’s break down the strengths and weaknesses that NFL GM’s will be looking at in this year’s NFL Draft:

Name: Todd Gurley
Position: RB
College: Georgia
Year: Junior
Height: 6’1
Weight: 226
Unofficial 40-yard dash: 4.49 (Projected)
Projected Round in NFL Draft: 1-2

2012 Statistics
Rushing: ATT:222 YDS:1,385 AVG:6.2 LNG:55 TD:17
Receiving: REC:16 YDS:117 AVG:7.3 LNG:23 TD: 0

2013 Statistics (suspended 3 games)
Rushing: ATT:165 YDS:989 AVG:6.0 LNG:75 TD:10
Receiving: REC:37 YDS:441 AVG:11.9 LNG:73 TD:6

2014 Statistics (played in 6 games)
Rushing: ATT:123 YDS:911 AVG:7.4 LNG:51 TD:9
Receiving: REC:12 YDS:57 AVG:4.8 LNG:15 TD:0

Strengths

  • Big, physical frame
  • Natural tendency to lower his pads
  • Great balance
  • Very powerful and able to break tackles
  • Good vision
  • Identifies, attacks and explodes through holes
  • Great acceleration in cuts
  • Excellent cutting ability and shiftiness
  • Long, smooth strides
  • Excellent hands, natural pass catcher
  • Solid in pass protection

Weaknesses

  • Health and durability questions coming off a torn ACL

Summary

The bottom line is, Gurley has superstar potential and somebody is going to take a risk on that knee. There have been two major questions raised about Gurley as of late though. The first is that Gurley would not allow team doctors to evaluate his knee at the combine. The second is, since Nick Chubb put up huge numbers in his absence, maybe they benefitted from the scheme or line. Nonetheless, he is a physical freak with rare talent. He has a bright future in the NFL assuming he can stay healthy. It is no longer rare that pro athletes bounce back and make a full recovery from ACL injuries.

Draft Range: Late First, Early Second

NFL Player Comparison: Marshawn Lynch

About The Author Mark Morales-Smith

Long time fantasy football and basketball player. Favorite sports teams include Dolphins, Hurricane Football, Cavs, Bearcats Bball, Devils, Braves.