A Prospect A Day: Running Backs, Alex Collins Scouting Report

Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas

5’11 215 lbs

Collins

 

Collins has quicker feet than most running backs ever will. His change of direction ability is automatic and his stop-and-start movement jumps off tape.

He is quick, agile, has adequate burst for longer plays and brilliant vision to set up his blockers. He benefited from running behind an exceptional Arkansas offensive line headlined by top-NFL-prospect Guard Sebastian Tretola.

Still, when it came to contact, Collins seeks it out and hits with a ton of power and aggression. When he really gets going, he lowers his shoulders and plows through contact with the best of them. This is especially impressive considering his relatively low weight.

He’ll probably have to bulk up a bit for the NFL but it’s all well-distributed.

Speed: 3 out of 5

Collins can get around the edge or downhill quickly and with speed, but he can get chased down by linebackers or slower safeties from schools with more talent. He had his most special games against lesser competition for the most part.

Power: 5 out of 5

He’s a guy that seems to love getting hit and delivering it right back. While he has nifty feet, once he chooses his direction, he’s like a runaway freight train.

Field Vision: 15 out of 15

Collins’ field vision was consistently a defining characteristic on his successful gains, he would weave in and out of several lanes using the entire field at his disposal like few others can. He has traits of both a north-south and lateral runner and can do both effectively, often in the same run.

Balance: 9 out of 10

Has some absolutely insane moments in this regard, a few times against Tennessee he was forced parallel to the ground with all of his weight forward and still managed five extra yards and a first down. Shows this same impressive ability when stopping and starting as his momentum doesn’t carry him forward and he’s able to get going immediately rather than lumbering.

Break Tackle: 8 out of 10

Collins shows impressive ability in this area of his game, he can carry several tacklers several yards if they don’t hit him with good form. He’s stronger with good pad level and as a result, when he’s deep in the secondary, he’s easier to bring down since he runs a little too high.

Moves: 5 out of 5

Everything is utilized in Collins’ game, and with the expertise of a wily vet. His feet are so quick that his spin is almost as quick as his juke and he uses the hurdle against opponents’ tendencies to try to chop his legs in the open field since he’s such a tough runner to bring down.

Run blocking: 3 out of 5

He wasn’t asked to do this much at Arkansas but if his pass blocking skills are any indication, he should at least be adequate.

RECEIVING

Route running: 3 out of 5

Collins runs the screen well, but that’s about it. Still, most NFL teams probably won’t ask much more of him, and even if they do, he has the traits to develop well in this aspect (quick feet)

Hands: 6 out of 10

He had 13 catches in his senior season, so there’s just not enough data to make a solid determination. I have it somewhat low because I saw a drop on the only pass that went his way in the tape I watched, though it was well-covered.

Run after catch: 2 out of 5

His 13 catches in his senior season went for only 95 yards, that’s an average of 7.3 yards per catch which was the highest of his college career by almost two yards. He has the traits to be explosive but it just didn’t show up while he was at Arkansas.

Blocking: 3 out of 5

He didn’t run very many routes, but when he did, he was active and effective in attempting to give his receivers running lanes.

PASS PROTECTION

Technique: 5 out of 5

Collins uses his compact frame to be very stout at the point of attack and rebounds most rushers with ease. He shows good recognition skills and rarely gets out leveraged.

Effectiveness: 5 out of 5

There were no issues with his pass protection on tape.

Potential: 10 out of 10

He shows the ability to use his slight lack of size to his advantage and should continue to be stout on the next level.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 82/100

NFL Comparison: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Steelers

DeAngelo WilliamsCollins 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runs with a great mix of brute strength and nifty movement skills. Possesses the necessary burst to pull away from defenders in the open field and balance to stretch gains far beyond expectation. Williams is a more accomplished pass catcher, but everything that makes him effective in that role, Collins seems to possess.

A Prospect A Day: Running Backs, Ezekiel Elliott Scouting Report

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

6’0 225 lbs

Tape Viewed: 2014 vs. Michigan, 2014 vs. Wisconsin, 2015 vs. Virginia Tech, 2015 vs. Oregon

Elliott

Ohio State plays Indiana at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, November 22, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.

OVERVIEW

Elliott possesses rare burst through the crease. He shoots through the line like a rocket into the secondary and can change direction laterally without losing speed. Benefited from running out of a spread, he’s an excellent run blocker that was used often in this capacity and also has the ability to receive out of the backfield.

What makes Elliott special is his mix of speed, field vision and balance, he uses these three traits to get to the secondary, and bust through arm tackles to finish for touchdowns more often than most.

Elliott has some strange lapses in concentration on tape, resulting in fumbles but they show up rarely and are likely the result of youth and slight inexperience. He is a very impressive prospect with a compact frame that could maybe stand to add a little bit of muscle weight in his legs.

Already a brilliant prospect in 2014, he upped nearly every facet of his game this past season and put an exclamation point on it by rushing for 149 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame.

 

 

RUSHING

Speed: 5 out of 5

Elliott may not put up a blazing 40 time, but his burst is rare and he has the speed to run away from defensive backs, while never losing it when moving laterally.

 

Elliott Burst speed

Outrunning the highly talented and athletic Alabama defense is nothing to sniff at. Elliott really burst onto the national scene with this dominating performance on the big stage.

 

Power: 3 out of 5

He rarely lowers his shoulders for trucking moves, but he’s definitely a load to bring down and runs with a physical presence.

 

Field Vision: 14 out of 15

Perhaps the best aspect of Elliott’s game, he works off excellent blocking from his lineman but rarely fails to find the crease when it’s there. On his long touchdown runs, this ability really shows as he dances through lanes deep into the secondary, easily transitioning from lateral to vertical movement.

 

Elliott burst, field vision, elusiveness

Giv via SB Nation. Elliott shows his graceful dance through Oregon’s secondary for a long touchdown. He sets up the block by WR Michael Thomas (3) and uses burst to get through the crease.

 

Balance: 10 out of 10

Had some brilliant moments on tape, including maintaining balance to burst for 2 more yards and a touchdown against Michigan, he shows rare ability in this aspect.

Elliott balance

After being tripped up, Elliott regains his balance almost immediately to burst up-field, turning a loss into a gain.

 

Break Tackle: 7 out of 10

Rarely goes down on first contact, but can get blown up one-on-one.

 

Elliott Break Tackle

Gif via SB Nation. Busts right through the tackle to walk into the end-zone, despite the tackler squaring up and getting low.

 

Moves: 3 out of 5

Has a nice juke and hurdle but rarely, if ever, uses a spin or truck.

 

Run blocking: 5 out of 5

Really nice lead block to spring QB Cardale Jones for a TD against Oregon. He has very good awareness of how a play develops and uses that mixed with tenacity to be a force in the run game even without the ball.

 

RECEIVING

Route running: 4 out of 5

There isn’t a lot of data here, but he looks to be a fine route runner who could develop at the next level.

 

Hands: 8 out of 10

One drop on tape. As long as he’s focused, he’s reliable as a receiver out of the backfield.

 

Run after catch: 3 out of 5

A natural athlete in the open field, can make a play when there’s cushion, but lacks elite wiggle to get away when the defense is a little tighter.

 

Elliott hands

Elliott runs a nice little swing, creating the necessary cushion, completes the catch and gets up-field for the touchdown, bursting through a tackle and finishing forward.

 

Blocking: 4 out of 5

Much like his ability in the run game, when asked to block for receiver’s downfield, he’s willing and able. Came back from ten yards downfield to spring WR Braxton Miller for a touchdown against Virginia Tech

 

PASS PROTECTION

Technique: 4 out of 5

Squares up well and has solid pad level but can get lazy with his feet causing him to lose balance when someone comes at him with a bull rush.

 

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

Bowled over by current-Packers linebacker Jake Ryan, nearly gives up safety to Oregon DE Gus Cumberlander. Other than that, Elliot is very stout in pass protection, he did not give up a sack on tape.

 

Elliot pass blocking

Elliott helps pick up the rusher as he bursts by the blocking tight end on Jones’ blindside. It’s not always pretty, but Elliott gets the job done in pass protection.

 

Potential: 8 out of 10

Looks like this could be a strength to his game at the next level, I don’t think he’ll be elite but neither do I think he’ll ever be a detriment in this area.

 

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 82/100

NFL Comparison: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

BellElliott 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No real weak points in their respective games. Elliott and Bell share incredible burst to pull away from defenders and the field vision to find those lanes and creases. Bell is a more accomplished pass catcher but Elliott has shown all the ability to develop in that role. Both are three-down backs that should never come off the field.

 

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