2015 NFL Draft: A Scout's Eye View: Todd Gurley RB Georgia
Todd Gurley RB Georgia (Jr) 6'1 226
Combine Results: Did not participate due to injury
Scouting Notes: Maybe a little taller than ideal for a RB, but he has a muscular, physically imposing frame, has the body of an NFL lead back....The torn ACL to end his 2014 season is a bit of a concern, but not like in years past, all indications are that he's close to a full recovery and there shouldn't be any lasting issues...Off the field issues are minor, he was suspended for four games last year for accepting improper benefits from an autograph broker, maybe an indication of being somewhat irresponsible but nothing that should prevent anybody from selecting him...In the six games he played in 2014 he was arguably the most impressive running back in college football, rushing for 911 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per carry against some of the best competition in the collegiate game...Might be the most physically gifted and most exciting running back prospect to enter the league in the past five years or more, in a class with the likes of Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker and Adrian Peterson when it comes to pure God given talent, his package of size, speed, quickness, power, agility and vision is exceptionally rare, he'd likely be the first running back taken if it weren't for the knee injury, and still may be in the end...Outstanding acceleration, goes 0-60 very quickly gets to top speed very quickly for a big back and has excellent top end speed, explodes through the hole and has the speed to outrun defensive backs and take it the distance from anywhere on the field...Deceptive speed in the open field, he doesn't look like he's moving that fast but he eats up ground in the open field with his long strides...Worked mostly out of an I-formation at Georgia, reads the lead block quickly and correctly and explodes with conviction out of his cuts...Has a very strong plant foot, hits the hole decisively and with authority...Has rare agility for a bigger back, has quick nimble feet and excellent balance, could pick up his feet in the tackle box more consistently to avoid lower tackles more effectively....Has impressive leaping ability, doesn't leave his feet excessively, but picks his spots to do so in the open field and does so effectively...Does a great job of keeping his feet churning and driving after contact, runs with great forward lean and consistently runs through tackles and finishes going forward, lowers his shoulder and drives through tacklers with impressive leg drive at the point of attack, finishes runs with authority, lowers his shoulder and drives through the tackler, doesn't die easy, and won't go out of bounds on his own too often, always looks to turn it back inside rather than just head for the sideline...Makes up for his tall frame by making himself a smaller target between the tackles, running with a good low pad, doesn't have the upright running style that many taller faster backs have, he's able to keep a low pad level without losing speed, between the tackles he has a low and wide base giving him good natural balance...Has the size and strength to be a pure power runner between the tackles , but also has the pure speed to take it outside and win the corner consistently and has the vision and instincts to know when to take it outside...Excellent vision and instincts, reads the defensive front before the snap and diagnoses it well on the move, has a knack for consistently finding the cutback lanes, rarely makes a bad cut, he's a born running back with excellent instincts, strings together moves and cuts with impressive fluidity...Impressive body control for a big back, effectively puts his off-ball hand on the ground to stay upright...He's a three down back, very effective in the passing game with soft natural hands and the hand/eye coordination to bring in less than perfect throws away from his body and on the move without breaking stride...He's also very good in pass protection, more than willing to stick his nose in...He does a nice job of recoginizing the threat before the snap, eating up ground and picking up pass rushers away from the quarterback, setting a good wide powerful base and delivering a good strong initial punch, the only thing he needs to really improve upon is consistent hand placement, he lets his hands get a little too wide at times which could lead to holding penalties.... No surprise given his skill-set, he's a very explosive and effective kickoff returner...The biggest issue with Gurley is his long term durability, other than the ACL injury that ended last season he's also dealt with ankle issues in years past, given his height, his physical style of running, and his already checkered injury history there are concerns about his ability to stay on the field for 16 games as well as his overall longevity....When he's 100%, an argument can be made that this is the best overall offensive player in the 2015 NFL Draft, it's tough to find a weakness in his game other than if he has the durability to play it for very long and on a consistent week to week basis...If he's healthy, he could, in very short order, become one of the best running backs in football.
Draft Grade: Mid 1st Round