Slimms's 2018 Runningbacks (Seniors)

Discussion in 'NFL Draft Forum' started by TedSlimmJr, May 2, 2017.

  1. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    1. Nick Chubb / Georgia / 5'11", 227 [#30 overall]

    2. Sony Michel / Georgia / 5'11", 214 [#35 overall]

    3. Rashaad Penny / San Diego St. / 5'11", 220 [#41 overall]

    4. Kalen Ballage / Arizona St. / 6'1", 228 [#78 overall]

    5. Royce Freeman / Oregon / 5'11", 229 [#80 overall]

    6. Jaylen Samuels / N.C. State / 5'11", 225 [#81 overall]

    7. Akrum Wadley / Iowa / 5'10", 194 [#95 overall]

    8. Justin Jackson / Northwestern / 6'0", 193 [#96 overall]

    9. Jordan Wilkins / Ole Miss / 6'1", 216 [#167 overall]

    10. Keith Ford / Texas A&M / 5'10", 215 [#168 overall]

    11. Jarvion Franklin / W. Michigan / 5'11", 225 [#210 overall]

    12. Jordan Huff / N. Illinois / 5'11", 218 [#233 overall]

    13. Darrel Williams / LSU / 6'0", 229 [#234 overall]

    14. Mark Thompson / Florida / 6'2", 237 [#242 overall]

    15. Ito Smith / S. Miss / 5'9", 201 [#243 overall]

    16. Phillip Lindsay / Colorado / 5'7", 185 [#244 overall]

    17. Justin Crawford / W. Virginia / 5'11", 202 [#261 overall]

    18. Jeffery Wilson / N. Texas / 5'11", 210 [#262 overall]

    19. D'Ernest Johnson / S. Florida / 5'11", 204 [#263 overall]

    20. Jordan Chunn / Troy / 5'11", 234 [#266 overall]

    21. Diocemy St. Juste / Hawaii / 5'8", 200 [#268 overall]

    22. Ralph Webb / Vanderbilt / 5'9", 200 [#269 overall]

    23. Mike Boone / Cincinnati / 5'10", 205 [#279 overall]

    24. Demario Richard / Arizona St. / 5'9", 218 [UDFA]

    25. Dalyn Dawkins / Colorado St. / 5'9", 185 [UDFA]

    26. Kani Benoit / Oregon / 6'0", 210 [UDFA]

    27. Dorolan Dorceus / Memphis / 5'10", 215 [UDFA]

    28. Lavon Coleman / Washington / 5'11", 223 [UDFA]

    29. Shaun Wilson / Duke / 5'8", 185 [UDFA]

    30. Dontrell Hilliard / Tulane / 6'0", 205 [UDFA]

    31. Larry Rose / New Mexico St. / 5'11", 190 [UDFA]

    32. Vic Enwere / California / 6'1", 240 [UDFA]













    Fullback:

    1. Dimitri Flowers / Oklahoma / 6'2", 248 [UDFA]

    2. Austin Ramesh / Wisconsin / 6'1", 251 [UDFA]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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  2. Tannenbombs

    Tannenbombs FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    Why so low on Ballage?
     
  3. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    Ballage has a unique skillset. I like his size and athleticism, along with being one of the better backs in the country at catching passes out of the backfield.

    However, I don't see how anybody could be exceptionally high on him. What the hell are they basing it on? He doesn't produce consistently.

    He's not even the most productive back in his own backfield. Sun Devils like to do it by committee at RB and Ballage only gets about 10 carries a game on average. Demario Richard is built like a fire hydrant and has that low center of gravity that tends to bode well for RB's. They've used Ballage almost like a specialty player in my opinion.

    I think too much was made out of the 7 rushing TD game he had last year vs. Texas Tech, besides the fact it's a defense that doesn't tackle at all and has no culture on the defensive side of the ball. It's just not important in Lubbock.

    I need to see Ballage be consistent. Go out and produce week in and week out to merit moving up my list....to where he SHOULD be. I've been waiting 3 years to see it. I can't just give it to him in good conscience.
     
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  4. Tannenbombs

    Tannenbombs FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    All fair points, I acknowledge them but still put a late 2 on him. I love his pro physical potential.

    I didn't like Richard at all..
     
  5. next-year

    next-year MostHated

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    Justin Crawford is probably the best RB i've seen at WVU since Slaton. He was criminally underused at times last season,.WVU has a pretty talented backfield this season so he might not get as many touches as he should. If they decide to play more of a workhorse role he'll have a top 5 season.
     
  6. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    Most people continue to watch RB D'Ernest Johnson from the South Florida backfield and I agree that he's attractive because of his combination of physical talent and his pass catching skills.

    But the guy with the higher likelihood of becoming a successful ball carrier at the next level is RB Darius Tice.

    It's been a pleasure to watch Darius Tice make incremental progress on his body and his physical abilities each of the five years since he was recruited, because you know how hard a guy has to work for that. You can see his work in his body and in his physical abilities.

    And when he gets to testing date, don't be surprised if he shows off better test results than D'Ernest Johnson after all. In the Temple game, Tice broke into the open and flat out-ran a defender that I know ran in the high 4.5's coming out of high school. I would assume the Temple kid is even faster now than he was back then, too.

    Between Darius Tice and Dee Johnson, kind of a classic tortoise and hare situation.

    The thing that makes Tice so attractive to me is what he's had over Dee Johnson and even over Marlon Mack since he was recruited. That's his vision. This player has naturally great vision for a running back. He sees the defense's movement before he even gets the hand-off, and by the time he has secured the hand-off, he already has his affairs in order. It's a small difference, a matter of fractions of a second, but it can be a big factor. And he's had that going for him CONSISTENTLY in a way that not even Marlon Mack had (and Marlon Mack's vision is very good) since high school.



    The thing that D'Ernest Johnson is going to have over Darius Tice is that in 2014 & 2015, he caught 53 balls and looked like a natural pass catcher. But Dee has only caught 4 balls in 2017, and I wouldn't say he's looked remarkable doing it (think there's a drop or two in there if I recall).

    But D'Ernest Johnson has never looked to me like a natural ball carrier. That's why on a college offense (and conference) that has been consistently producing big runs, Dee has been stuck in the 4-5 yards per carry range in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Darius Tice has been 5+ each of those years. Marlon Mack was in the 6's in 2015 & 2016.
     
  7. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    Very impressed with Kalen Ballage.

    Have always been impressed by Royce Freeman. So violent.

    Surprised that I like Sony Michel more than Nick Chubb. But I think Michel is just that compelling.
     
  8. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    Jarvion Franklin is going to make some hay in the NFL. He's a big guy, definitely lives up to his 230 pound listing, playing with the power and tackle breaking ability you expect to come with that size. Keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage full time, even when cutting and making defenders miss.

    I don't think anyone will confuse him for being a fast guy, but if you've got enough speed to outrun all of the defenders on the open field against some of these Group of Five schools, then it's not as if you can be so slow that it's a deal-breaker at the next level. He's just not fast.

    But the things that I think will make him stand out are the way he blocks, and the intelligence with which he plays in the passing game. He's not a prolific pass catcher but when you watch him run the routes, he makes himself available to the quarterback very quickly, and keeps himself very in-tune with what is happening in the backfield and makes great decisions about what he can do to help. Sometimes that will mean cutting into the open zone, or cutting into a free passing lane. Sometimes it'll mean turning around and bee-lining vertically to drag a man defender with him so that the QB can scramble for yardage. Sometimes it means turning around and blocking once the QB crosses the line of scrimmage. He does all of that and is very conscientious about it.

    As for blocking, you can see him tracking the free pass rushers and setting himself up in anticipation of the block. He gets low, gets powerful, and keeps his feet moving. He's got the natural size to be effective and even at the college level he's already got the hang of it. He'll stick his nose in on big defensive linemen to double-team with an offensive lineman, and before you know it he's got control of the DL and frees the OL up to go help someone else.

    He has a high IQ about everything he does, while also having desirable physical traits in terms of size and power, with just enough speed to make it at the next level. That's why he'll be coveted.
     
  9. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    It feels like more of the small (sub-200) RB's are draftable this year. Guys like Ito Smith, Wadley, Lindsay, Dawkins, and Rose are slick, patient runners (not just always trying to get the edge), and they range from solid, to very-good receivers out of the backfield. Some can even block. I have all of them as 5th-7th guys or priority FA's. Do you think Rose has already worn down a little? He's a pretty slight guy, and he broke a lot of tackles early in his career at New Mexico St. I'm concerned that his best days are behind him, which is sad, because he was, and still is a lot of fun to watch.
     
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  10. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    Yeah it could be that Rose is worn down. Last 2 years he's been nicked up dealing with injuries...trying to recover from a sports hernia.

    Dalyn Dawkins is a kid that I'm really intrigued by. He's been on fire lately. Against Alabama he looked like one of the quickest and best athletes on the field...for either team. No joke.
     
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  11. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I like Jordan Huff of Northern Illinois. He's got enough size to make it, with a good lower body build. He's got some good speed to bounce it outside, and man does he run behind his pads. Upper echelon blocking abilities, though not a true standout there. Can do things in the passing game. Has averaged a high yards per carry for years.
     
  12. mfish41

    mfish41 It is what it is Donator

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    I've seen Chunn play a few times this year. I wouldn't be upset if the Dolphins took him in the middle rounds.
     
  13. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I guess I never got the chance to write this in here, but there will be an active discussion about whether to move QB Quinton Flowers to WR or RB and I would favor RB.

    And quite frankly, color me totally unsurprised if he's the best RB in the senior class.

    And that's not because I am generally a little disappointed with this senior RB class. Well, maybe a little.

    Quinton Flowers is Dalvin Cook if the Seminoles had asked Dalvin to play QB for them instead of RB. His feet and elusiveness are ludicrous.

    I've not seen another scrambling QB with this kind of feet maybe since Michael Vick. Lamar Jackson doesn't compare. Robert Griffin didn't compare. Russell Wilson was closer, in terms of pure elusiveness, but still not there. Denard Robinson...OK getting warmer, but Denard was purely FASTER, didn't necessarily have better feet or elusiveness. Tyrod Taylor at Virginia Tech was closer, but I'd still say not quite there. I remember Reggie McNeal at Texas A&M back in the day. He was impressive, but his feet/elusiveness not the same as Flowers. Pat White wasn't this elusive or this good of a pure ball carrier.

    If I knew whether Flowers had any skill in catching the football, that would help inform this decision about where he's going to go at the next level. He's maybe an inch shorter and 5 lbs lighter than Anquan Boldin was coming out, and they move similarly, though Flowers is purely faster. But the fact of the matter is we don't know anything about Flowers' hands, yet we have plenty of tape of him executing designed runs; zone-reads, lead draws, etc.

    He finished his final regular season game at USF with over 500 yards passing and 100 yards rushing against the #15 team in the country. He's not a quarterback...but my goodness he is SOMETHING, and with those feet the answer looks clear to me.

     
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  14. Stills&Landry

    Stills&Landry A True Fan

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    Who would you rather as a power back who can catch and block? Kalen Ballage or Jaylen Samuels? They both run behind zbs olines and would have no problem adjusting. Ballage is bigger and faster but Samuels looks more natural at what they do than Ballage. Ballage would have been a bad *** weakside lb.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  15. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    So right on Rashad Penny. Think you may even have him a bit underrated.
     
  16. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    I'll actually probably end up bumping him down a spot or two. He was getting popped at the Senior Bowl...fumbling...and couldn't catch the ball out of the backfield.

    Jordan Wilkins is the kid I'm tempted to move up even more. I believe he's significantly underrated and always was. I'm much higher on him than anybody else probably.
     
  17. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I don't think one bad week of practices, especially as it may boil down to a few bad practice reps, outweighs the body of work for Rashad Penny. He dominated the game itself. That's more meaningful to me than practices because to me a running back's performance has to be judged in a full tackling, live fire situation.

    Jordan Wilkins looks a lot like Kenyan Drake. Not as fast though.
     
  18. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    When Tre Williams hit his *** it was a full tackling live fire situation. The practice reps are more important than the game.
     
  19. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    The practice reps are not more important than the game reps.

    They're typically more plentiful, which is why the media narrative began forming that NFL evaluators don't care about the game reps.

    The practices span an entire week. The game is a few hours, and you're splitting reps up so many ways in so many different directions, it's hard to get a solid foundation of evaluation from the few reps in the game. Darrel Williams for example got all of six touches in the game itself. DaeSean Hamilton got one catch. Neither affords a solid foundation of evaluation based on the event alone.

    Alone is the key word though. The game reps should always be seen within the context of the practice rep, AND VICE VERSA. In the case of Rashad Penny, he had 43 snaps during the practice week in team drills. Only one of those was pass protection.

    He got six snaps the entire week in 1-on-1 drills in pass protection. Having seen those drills year after year up close at Shrine practices, I can safely say the halfbacks get their *** handed to them on those drills 80% of the time. And that's probably a generous estimate. That's the same rate you saw with Penny as he only won one of the six reps.

    This is a personal opinion. I don't trust practice reps even when they're supposed to be full go. Game reps always matter more. Practice reps may be more plentiful, and that's part of what makes practice so valuable, but on a rep for rep comparative basis for the purpose of evaluation, game reps ALWAYS matter more to me. Always. Especially at certain positions (particularly, running back and linebacker).
     
  20. Birdmond

    Birdmond A True Fan Donator

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    I just love this running back class. It’s kind of why the idea of signing a free agent running back really annoys me.
     
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  21. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    This has to do with All Star events in general and their place within the evaluation.

    I look at All Star weeks generally as events that can HELP a player...but generally not events that can hurt a player. Sometimes. But it's really hard to draw conclusions from an event that bears very little semblance to the reality of life in the NFL. In the NFL your timeline isn't a few days, it's a few years. Judging off a few bad reps in an All Star practice would be like throwing out a guy you just signed via free agency or just drafted because his first three practices sucked. It doesn't make sense.

    It's easy to LOSE in those practices, and have the losses not really end up meaning much in the long run. But you know what? The opposite isn't true. It's kind of hard to win unless the guy opposite you is just screwing up all over the place. So when you WIN in that setting, I think it's meaningful.
     
  22. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    Well, here's the deal....All Star games are nothing more than scrimmages. The week of practice prior to the game is more important for evaluators. The majority of scouts and personnel people have already left by the time the game is played. What they want to see are the practice reps.

    The one-on-one drills and practice reps are what evaluators are more concerned with because they want to see how kids react to hard coaching. How quickly they correct mistakes. This is where you really learn about how kids compete.

    The game itself is too restricted and resembles very little to a real game. No motions no shifts. No unbalanced formations. No blitzes or stunts or twists. No blocks below the waist. No specialty personnel packages at all.

    You're even limited in the coverages you can employ. You can't even play C1 in an All Star setting... running backs are running against bland 7 man fronts.

    No evaluator that takes their job seriously is going to put more into the game than what he saw during the week of practices.
     
  23. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    I might subscribe to that in theory, but the fact is kids can hurt themselves simply by not helping themselves. Particularly if others at the same position did help themselves. It may not always be enough to surpass, but that's independent to the evaluator and how they had the players rated to begin with.

    First of all, Rashaad Penny is a nice back and he'll play in the NFL. Let's get that out of the way....but he needs work. I wouldn't say that he was overmatched by the talent at the Senior Bowl, but I don't think he could stand out as much as he did playing against the MWC every week. It was a step up a few notches for him, and he needs to improve some things. I wouldn't ever drop a player too much for any single data point...or even two. I tend not to overreact....if anything I probably have a tendency to underreact. Because I know how hard it would be for somebody to have watched more of a kid than I have if he's playing college football. Penny's tape over the past few seasons matter also. It's why he was where he was at in my rankings to begin with. But I probably project a few better than him.
     
  24. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    For a little guy, Phillip Lindsay is extremely impressive in pass protection. He did it literally more often than any other back in the draft, and he excelled at it. He attacks the pass rusher and uses his feet and hands to keep in front of him. He also recognizes and anticipates blitzes, and you see him absolutely stone guys in the hole that are coming in red hot.

    Three time team captain, all time leading yard gainer at Colorado. Runs a 4.39.
     
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  25. TedSlimmJr

    TedSlimmJr Hartselle Tigers (15-0) 5-A State Champ

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    You have to add about .08 to these pro day times in order to get a real time. Lindsay is a 4.5 player. He's not a 4.3 player. Still quick though.

    Mike Boone annihilated his pro day. That's a kid whose freakish workout numbers are seen in spurts on tape. I've always liked him enough. He's always been here.
     
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  26. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    While I like some of the bigger, more traditional backs in the class, it probably makes the most sense for Miami to grab a RB who excels as a receiver out of the backfield, and they can probably grab one on Day 3.

    I'm a big fan of Wadley as a receiver (not a bad runner either), and he could be there in the 4th/5th - maybe later.

    Not a fan of Ballage as a runner, and he and Samuels probably go Day 2, but if either fell, they'd work very well.

    Lindsay and Ito Smith will almost certainly be there on Day 3, and I'd be happy with either of them, too.

    Nyheim Hines stands out among the UC who could fall a little. NE, NO, PHI, MIN, and PIT all heavily involve RB's in the passing game, and I think that's where the NFL is moving.
     
  27. jim1

    jim1 Pro Bowler

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    Best fits for the Fins imo are in order:

    1. Sony Michel
    2. Kalen Ballage
    3. Bo Scarborough

    If Nick Chubb gets back to his pre injury form then he's certainly in the mix, at or near the top. Ballage has speed and power, but Sony Michel looks to be the most explosive to me.
     
  28. Oraclepz

    Oraclepz Seasoned Veteran

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    I like Sony Michel in this draft. Hes probably exactly what we need to compliment Drake. I like Chubbs but his injury history worries me. Ballage would be a great fit, I was impressed how he moves and catches for a guy his size. as a late rounder D'Ernest Johnson would be a hell of a pick up, like him better than wadley. DJ wasn't a good fit for Strongs offense this year and it was supposed to be his season to shine. He would be a sneaky good pick 5th 6th rounds if he makes it that far.
     
  29. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I don't think Dee Johnson was even the best RB prospect in his own backfield. I have a tough time taking him up as a prospect.

    I think Darius Tice has a much better feel, vision, patience. He's a tough guy, hard worker, and he's got some of the best pass pro efficiency metrics of any back in the draft (I believe he ranks like #2 out of 100+). He ran a 4.68, which is about right for him. He's never been the most athletically impressive guy. But he did 27 bench reps which is fantastic, and it shows who he is as a prospect, which is a WORK ETHIC guy. I've watched him since high school get better and better through hard work each year. The innate thing he's always had since high school though was the quick vision and instantaneous decision-making ability. His athletic prowess has been earned through hard work, but his vision was given.

    Dee Johnson on the other hand always struck me as an under performer. Given what he was coming out of high school, the kind of recruit he was, especially compared to Tice, nobody should have expected he would run 0.11 seconds SLOWER than Tice. But he did, and I think it's because he probably tried to "cram" for the pro day exam, whereas Tice has been earning it this whole time. Johnson has always been the more agile, athletic, speedster. Suddenly he's slower than some 300+ pound guys. It's telling.

    If you read up, I said back on September 26, 2017 not to be surprised if Darius Tice out-performed Dee Johnson in athletic testing. That's exactly what happened. Yet I can guarantee you, just about nobody watching USF football would've thought that to be the case just knowing their backgrounds and what kind of recruits they were, what kind of players they were at USF. It's a work ethic thing.
     
  30. Oraclepz

    Oraclepz Seasoned Veteran

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    I cant speak for work ethic because I don't know either of them but I did see Tice with out his shirt on and you don't get that type of body by dogging it in the gym.

    As far as DJ running the 40 slower than Tice I have not seen that anywhere. I saw he ran a sub 4.6 40. On tape and my 4 years of seeing them both I have to disagree with you CK. DJ to me is the better player and prospect. He's the type of player NE, KC ,NO would take and screen you with. Does he have work to do as a runner? Absolutely, but he had Mack in front of him for the first 3 years as you know and I don't think he was a good fit for Gilberts Dive offense. I think DJ will have a good career in the NFL. I hope Tice does too as I like all the BULLS but I have to be realistic here.

    I guess we will see down the road my friend.
    Go Bulls!
     
  31. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I got Dee Johnson's forty yard dash here.

    https://www.naplesnews.com/story/sp...nson-immokalee-show-skills-pro-day/459923002/

    The local writer seems to have gotten the official take home numbers and he lent credence to his numbers by also having the bench press, vertical, height, and weight numbers. Says Johnson ran 4.79, did 20 bench reps, 30.5" vertical. The vertical is consistent with the forty yard dash, and elsewhere I saw a 9'9" broad jump which is also consistent with a 4.79 forty.

    From what I gather, Darius Tice did 27 bench reps, 33" vertical, 9'11" broad jump, and a 4.68 forty. All of those numbers are consistent, as well as consistently better than Johnson's.

    I was just saying it doesn't surprise me Tice did better, despite as you have said D'Ernest Johnson being the guy that has always had the reputation for having more talent and athleticism. I think it's because Tice has been a hellish worker for years and maybe Dee tried to just start brushing up for his pro day over the last six weeks or so, trying to rely on his inherent athleticism to pull him through.

    I've seen that a lot before.

    The innate thing Dee has is ability in the passing game and that's valuable. But being a hard worker is also an innate talent, odd as that sounds. And I think Tice has him because he has that gene in addition to the gene for great vision and decisiveness in the backfield.

    In all likelihood, both will get no more than a cup of coffee in the NFL. I love them, but that's the truth.

    The guys to watch are Deatrick Nichols, Deadrin Senat, Quinton Flowers as a tailback, and MAYBE keep an eye out for Mike Love and Devin Abraham.
     
  32. Oraclepz

    Oraclepz Seasoned Veteran

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    CK.. thats gotta be a typo. When I see his tape I don't see a guy who runs a 4.79 at worst I think hes a low 4.6 guy and Dakotah Wilson of 247 said
    • "D'Ernest Johnson had a sub 4.6 40-yard dash and a 9'9" broad jump. Looked great catching balls out of the backfield."
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  33. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I don't trust the type of people you're quoting. Twitter personalities speaking vaguely and going off word of mouth rather than the take-home numbers.

    The source I quoted had the full set of take-home numbers, which they got specifically so that they could print them in a newspaper. That's your source.

    His broad jump and vertical numbers are far more consistent with a 4.79 athlete than they are with a "sub 4.6" athlete. Trust me.
     

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