Josh Jacobs: One of the Many Options for RB1

Josh Jacobs (5’10”, 220) Running Back, Alabama
18.5 Aggregate Score (3.5 Star Prospect)

Josh Jacobs has risen to the top of a running back class that lacked a stud type of guy. Jacobs has had an interesting road but has risen to the top of the Alabama RB depth chart which means he certainly has NFL level talent. A smooth runner and a hands catcher, there is a lot to like in Jacobs physical and film profile. His stats remain a red flag, but there are many points that can explain the issues that many have there. Jacobs will remain polarizing until he is drafted in the first or second round of the NFL draft which seems to be the consensus on his value.  A first round draft pedigree would make it hard to argue against Jacobs as the first running back off the board in your rookie drafts.

College Production

As I alluded to, Jacobs college production left something to be desired. With only 887 total yards in his junior season and only 640 of those on the ground, he didn’t show much to say he can be a workhorse. He never put up big numbers across an entire season. He didn’t even put up many hundred yard games. Was it due to scheme, competition, game script? It was most likely a combination of reasons, but it remains a valid concern especially since we didn’t see many big plays from him throughout his college career.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Jacobs is plenty fast despite a 4.6 40 at his pro day. He looks significantly faster than that on tape and I am not concerned about his long speed as that is not what his game is predicated on. Jacobs running style is very smooth and his ability to make defenders miss in space is a plus trait as well.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Jacobs caught well over 1 ball a game in college which is plenty to show his receiving chops in an Alabama offense that is historically run heavy. Even with Tua last year, Jacobs had to compete with Jerry Jeudy and a bevy of other talented pass catchers for those targets. He was also more efficient after the catch than he was on the ground.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3.5 (Personal Score: 3)

I do not feel this is a major strength for Jacobs. Afforded a lot of big holes by one of the best offensive lines in the country and working in conjunction with the newly revitalized passing game that kept defenses as honest as they’ve had to be against Bama in 25 years or more, he still did not find a way to create high efficiency yardage with his touches.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Not a strength of any lead backs game, but he can hold his own in pass protection. Will he succeed against NFL pass rushers? No. But he can chip and block in play action just fine.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Jacobs isn’t the strongest back in this class, but he runs low and strong. He is more likely to hit you than to put forth a lot of effort to make you miss. He would rather go through than around. He does keep his balance well and can bounce off tacklers in the open and around the line of scrimmage.

Conclusion: Early to Mid 1st Round Pick

Jacobs is a talented player, there is no doubt about that. Whether he can be a three down workhorse at the NFL level is the question for me. Is Jacobs a high risk pick?  No, especially not in a draft class with less running back talent than normal. My ideal landing spot for Jacobs though, would be somewhere with a veteran running back that can help take some of that load early in the season and really make way for him to shine down the stretch. He could be absolutely explosive in an Alvin Kamara-Mark Ingram type situation. Pre-draft he sits around the 1.07 or 1.08 for me. Landing spot could bring him into the top 3 or 4, but it is more likely I will be targeting him in the middle of the first.

Darrell Henderson: 4 Star Prospect with Explosive Potential

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Darrell Henderson (5’8”, 208), Running Back, Memphis

19 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

At 5’8 Darrell Henderson may be considered small for a running back, but don’t let the size fool you. Henderson is very good and considered by most to be in the top 5 for RBs this year. He has the complete package when it comes to the CMC/Cohen “super hybrid” backs. What that means is he won’t necessarily bowl anyone over (similar to a downhill back), but that’s not his game anyway. Henderson can operate in space, between the tackles and has good hands, so that already spells success for him at the next level.

College Production

It’s very surprising that Henderson had the success he did given the skill of the backfield. Tony Pollard (fellow 2019 draft classmate) and Patrick Taylor Jr (2020 draft class) are both NFL caliber RBs and I expect to see both drafted to NFL rosters in the 19′ and 20′ classes.

Memphis backfield production:

Patrick Taylor Jr.: 208 carries and 17 receptions for 1319 yards from scrimmage (36th in the nation in rushing yards).

Tony Pollard: 78 carries and 39 receptions for 1010 yards from scrimmage.

Darrell Henderson: 214 carries and 19 receptions for a whopping 2204 yards from scrimmage which was good for 2nd in the nation in both yards from scrimmage and rushing yards.

Henderson definitely maximized his share of the offense almost mirroring Patrick Taylor in carries and receptions. He out-shined the talent in his own backfield in a major way without so much extra chances. This is what makes him stick out as a prospect and rise up my draft board. My knock against him is that in his productive seasons (so & jr) he only played 4 top 50 defenses against the run and 8 in the top 100. The rest of his games (13) were played against defenses that were ranked 100+.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 5 (Personal Score: 5)

The only running back who ended up with a score of five in our evaluations, Darrell Henderson is one of the fastest in this draft at the position. Giving him a sliver of run room will be a mistake and he will immediately be “gone with the wind”. His change of direction is the best in this class (yes over David Montgomery) and combining that with his speed will be dangerous.

Receiving: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

I don’t think his receiving chops are bad, but when you factor in how many receptions Pollard and Taylor had (53) vs his own (19), you can see how little room he had to showcase this. I still believe he can be just fine as a pass catcher in the NFL, I just gave him this score based on his lack of chance there. It may just have been that Pollard (RB/WR sleeper) was the more efficient pass catcher given that he had 40% of the receptions.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 4.6 (Personal Score: 5)

Only surpassed by David Montgomery in this metric (by 0.4 points), Darrell Henderson has vision that A LOT of these RBs in this class don’t have. Combining that with his ability to shift and burst out of the backfield , it makes him a tantalizing prospect and one worthy of being ranked in the top 3 at the position. Here’s an example of that combo that he utilizes so well:

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 2 (Personal Score: 2)

There nothing special to see here. He’s not terrible and he’s not amazing, he does his job and won’t put his playing time in jeopardy. He could use some work, but I think this skill will be elevated sooner rather than later in preparation for the draft and again once he gets drafted.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

He has good strength for a running back but, again, it’s not his calling card. What is specifically special about his strength comes in the area of his ball carrying. He keeps a great “5 points of contact” which is considered the best way to become almost impervious to fumbles. It worked well for him and I think that’s where his strength really matters, keeping that ball to his body.

Conclusion: 1st Round

It’s obviously based on roster construction but I don’t believe he should fall outside of the first round in rookie drafts. He’s one of the best backs in this class and I firmly believe he will stay that way unless he gets drafted behind Todd Gurley or someone of that nature.

Justice Hill: Building Hype After An Electric Combine

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Justice Hill (5’10”, 190), Running Back, Oklahoma State

15.3 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Justice Hill is a very intriguing prospect.  He has been hanging around in that second tier of running backs most of the pre-draft process.  That all changed when he had one of the best performances for a running back at the 2019 NFL Combine.  Hill ranked first amongst running backs in the 40-yard dash (4.40), broad jump (10’10”) and vertical jump (40’).  Since then, Hill has been gaining hype and rising up rookie draft boards.

Out of Booker T. Washington High School in Oklahoma, Hill was a 3-star recruit, based on 247Sports Composite.  His senior year, Hill was an all-state selection and the 6A-II offensive player of the year.  After receiving offers from Houston, Kansas and Louisville, Hill decided to commit to Oklahoma State.

College Production

Hill was very productive while at Oklahoma State.  As a true freshman, Hill had 206 carries for 1,142 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. His performance earned him Second-Team All-Big 12 honors and broke the OSU freshman rushing record.  As a sophomore, Hill had his best season at OSU with 268 carries for 1,467 yards and 15 touchdowns.  Hill also added 31 receptions for 190 yards and 1 touchdown.  Hill earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors and was a Doak Walker Award Semifinalist.  In 10 games as a junior, Hill had 158 carries for 930 yards and 9 touchdowns.

This is great production for Hill, even if the majority of it came against Big 12 defenses.  The only thing I would have liked to see more from Hill is a bit more production in the receiving game.  He only had 49 receptions for 304 yards and 1 touchdown in three seasons.  It is better than nothing, but for a guy who projects best to be a third down back, I would have liked to have seen more out of him.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Hill is extremely quick.  He does a great job of accelerating to open space. Along with being fast, Hill does a great job of changing direction.  When he cuts or has to change direction, he is very fluid and accelerates forward very well. I wish Hill would have displayed more of his agility and elusiveness in open space to avoid/break some more teams.

Receiving: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

As I mentioned above, this is an area I expected to see more out of Hill.  In terms of running routes, Hill mainly ran swings and flats.  The promising thing is that Hill looks comfortable catching the ball and is great after the catch.  He uses his acceleration and vision to get to space and make plays.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 4)

This an area of Hill’s game that I seemed to like more than my fellow raters.  When looking at Hill’s vision, I think he does a great job of identifying when he needs to change direction or reverse the field.  He turned countless broken plays into positive plays just by changing direction and accelerating to space.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

I think the best way to describe Hill as a blocker is competent.  As a smaller back, he wasn’t asked to block a ton in college.  He was mainly used to chip defenders and then release to his route.  When he was asked to stay in to pass block, Hill showed willingness and aggression when going up against defenders.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

I really enjoy watching Hill run because he is aggressive and attacks defenders.  He does a great job of fighting for extra yards by being physical.  The only problem is that he doesn’t have the size to consistently overpower defenders and break tackles.  I really wish I could give him 25 extra pounds and watch him run over people.

Conclusion: Mid-Late 2nd round pick

Because of his combine performance, Hill has started catching more people’s attention.  So long are the days of thinking you could grab him late in the third round of rookie drafts. Hill has the skill set to be a reliable third down back that will definitely get his looks on early downs as well.  Again, my only issue with Hill is that since he projects to be primarily a receiving back, I would have liked to see more production in college.  Still, with big play upside, I would feel really comfortable with taking Hill in the middle of the 2nd round of rookie drafts.

Devin Singletary: Wildcard NFL Draft Prospect

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Devin Singletary (5’9”, 200), Running Back, Florida Atlantic:

Devin Singletary has a lot of buzz amongst the dynasty fantasy football community. He has tremendous college production and his tape leaves you drooling for his upside. He has flaws, and played questionable competition in his three years with the Owls but is currently projected to be a Day 2 NFL draft pick. Landing spot aside, Singletary has the opportunity to contribute to both the rushing and passing attack of an NFL offense.

15.6 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Singletary left a legendary legacy in Boca Raton. He ran for 4,287 yards on 714 attempts (6 yards/carry) for 66 touchdowns in just three seasons with Florida Atlantic. He also caught 51 receptions for 397 yards and a touchdown in his career. Singletary led the Central USA in rushing in both 2017 & 2018; he finished 7th in rushing yards in his freshmen year. In just 3 seasons, he has the 8th most career rushing touchdowns in NCAA history.

Singletary’s stats are impressive but the immediate reactions when talking about Central USA prospects in to question the level of competition he’s faced. While Singletary hasn’t faced the competition that prospects like Jacobs or Sanders have, he performed well in big games. He ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries while traveling to play Oklahoma in 2018. He also threw up 131 rushing yards on 25 attempts and 3 touchdowns against UCF. Against Old Dominion, who upset Virginia Tech in 2018, he ran for 168 yards on 19 carries (8.8 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns. Singletary showed up and played big when asked, which helps make him an intriguing sleeper prospect.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score 3.6 (Personal Score 4)

Singletary is quicker than he is fast. He moves very well laterally and keeps his feet moving at a high rate. He can accelerate but doesn’t have the highest breakaway speed in this class. Still, he’s elusive and bounces through holes with sharp cut moves. I understand why my fellow raters had him lower than me, but his quickness makes up for top end breakaway speed.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score 3.3 (Personal Score 3)

Singletary saw a sharp drop off in his passing game involvement his junior year (2018). He caught 39 receptions for 361 yards and a touchdown in his first two seasons with Florida Atlantic. In 2018 he caught just 6 balls for 36 yards. Although the drop off can be contributed to scheme change and improved quarterback play, it is still frustrating to not be able to see more of his receiving capability on tape. From what I did see, he has soft hands and has the ability to contribute to an NFL passing attack.

Vision: Aggregate Score 2.6 (Personal Score 3)

Singletary’s vision is what holds him back from being a top 5 running back prospect for me. He is a home run hitter; he either finds the whole and bursts through it or runs right into the back of his offensive linemen. He is a patient runner, but that patience often led to him being wrapped up for a loss. I think this can be credited, in part, to the pressure he faced to create in Lane Kiffin’s offense. Still, vision is a harder thing to teach, and it makes Singletary very landing spot dependent.

Blocking: Aggregate Score 2.6 (Personal Score 3)

I’m surprised to see Singletary not rated higher by my fellow raters here. He impressed me with his strength and ability to pick up on blitzers; especially for someone who is 5’9”. I think NFL teams will appreciate that Singletary also can act as an effective lead blocker; it makes him versatile and expands the packages he can fit into,

Strength: Aggregate Score 3.6 (Personal Score 4)

This is what makes Singletary for me. He leverages his size well to stay under defenders and truck them when he’s accelerating downfield. He consistently swipes defenders off him and forces multiple guys to get to him before the play ends. He’s not afraid to put his head down and fight for extra yards, and his balance often allows him to pile up yards after contact.

Conclusion: Second Round Wildcard

I’ve seen Singletary go off the board just about everywhere in the dozen-plus mock drafts I have done so far this offseason. I think his ceiling is mid first-round, and if your league mates aren’t as keyed in he may fall to the 3rd round. Personally, I’m comfortable taking him in the second but if he lands behind a good offensive line then I’m willing to spend a late first rounder on him.

Mike Weber: 3 Star Fantasy Prospect

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

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Mike Weber (5’10”, 214) Running Back, Ohio State

14.3 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Mike Weber is not the most exciting player in this class. He is fairly average across the board, but he performs well enough in all the necessary facets of the game. Earning an aggregate score of 14.3 from our rankers and not a single 4 in any category from any of us does not inspire a great deal of confidence in Weber. Draft capital will tell a lot about how the NFL views Weber and will truly determine whether or not he is worthy of a roster spot in fantasy.

College Production

Weber has had an interesting college career.  He was very good during his redshirt freshman year in 2016, finishing the year with almost 1100 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. A big boost to these numbers came in the form of 23 receptions out of the backfield. About 2 catches a game isn’t super special, but as a redshirt freshman, that is plenty to show capable hands. Weber regressed some as JK Dobbins burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2017.  With his touches cut almost in half, the 6+ yards per carry efficiency remained, but the overall numbers dipped significantly. In 2018, he turned in a statline similar to his freshman year. However, with similar opportunity, you would hope for some improvement on those numbers. Weber is the lesser talent in the Ohio State backfield and that has become very clear as the touches shifted to Dobbins.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Weber looks fine behind a beefy Ohio State offensive line, but I don’t expect him to experience the same success at the NFL level. I expect the combine numbers to be lackluster especially in the 40 and 3 cone drill. He doesn’t show a whole lot of breakaway speed or great change of direction.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

While Weber hauled in over 20 receptions in both his redshirt freshman and junior seasons, he was not efficient once the ball was in his hands. Averaging less yards per reception than yards per carry in both years is an interesting stat to say the least. On the plus side, Ohio State trusted him enough to get him involved in the passing game. However, he was not very productive with the targets he received.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

This is another chance to mention a rock solid Ohio State offensive line. Weber is not bad in this category, but a lot of his efficiency can be explained by the play of the big boys up front. Not often able to make something out of nothing, but consistently able to take what is given to him.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

You may be sensing a theme here.  Weber can block, yes, but he is just alright at it. Usually able to find his assignment and solid at chipping to help his linemen, he did struggle against unhindered blitzers as almost any running back will.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

This is one my favorite aspects of Weber’s game, when it shines through. He shows great contact balance when he runs angry and he finishes runs in a big way.  The problem is this only seems to happen when he is involved in the game and can get fired up. I don’t see many opportunities to get involved that heavily in the NFL.

Conclusion: 4th Round Flier

The problem I have with Weber is that he has nothing to hang his hat on. He is fine, solid, sometimes good at almost every aspect of the game, but he doesn’t have game breaking speed or strength. He doesn’t demand receiving work. He doesn’t show the consistency you need to see from someone who doesn’t have a high ceiling. I expect solid numbers at the combine which will keep him on NFL draft boards, but I don’t expect a long career or much fantasy relevance.

Damarea Crockett: 3 STAR Prospect & Late Round Dice Roll

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Damarea Crockett (5’11”, 225) Running Back, Missouri

15 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Crockett has had a bit of a roller coaster of a college career and his stock as a prospect has followed suit. He came out swinging in his freshman year putting up over 1000 yards (in just 11 games) at an efficient 6.9 yards per carry and finding the end zone 10 times. This had him flying up devy rankings to a point where he was getting top 5 prospect buzz. Since then, things have changed. Larry Roundtree III showed up on campus in Crockett’s sophomore year and took a big bite out of his production. He only managed 481 yards in 6 games in an injury-shortened year two. He bounced back slightly last year though he certainly did not return to form from his freshman year.

He managed to play in 11 of Missouri’s 12 games his final season but was out produced on the ground as Roundtree got 78 more carries than Crockett and was more efficient with those extra chances. Crockett has fallen significantly since bursting onto the scene. Is he still feeling the effect of the shoulder injury that sidelined him in his sophomore year? Is Roundtree just more talented? Probably a combination of both. Crockett presents an interesting evaluation now.

College Production

To summarize what I already told you above, Crockett produced at a very high level early and has since been hampered by injury and has seen his efficiency decrease dramatically since. He has not been a big time threat in the receiving game especially in an offense that passed more than they ran the ball. 21 career receptions does not impress me.

He did average 0.85 scores per game over his college career. He has shown some prowess in the short area of the field and has a nose for the end zone.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 4)

We will learn a lot about Crockett at the combine. He hasn’t been fully healthy since his freshman year. He looked like a high level athlete than and I am willing to take those flashes into account here when evaluating his explosiveness. He has the ability to test well and that could really help his stock.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Crockett is clearly a better receiver than Roundtree.  He didn’t put up huge numbers in that department in college, but Drew Lock is not a checkdown kinda fella. Crockett shows smooth enough hands and can create space on limited routes. It’s not a plus skill, but it is a tool in his toolbox.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Is it Crockett or this offense that caused his efficiency to tank as his college career rolled on? I think it is a little of both. My fellow rankers like his vision more than I do, but I am more willing to bet on Crockett the athlete than Crockett the running back. Another passable trait here.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 1.6 (Personal Score: 1)

When you are asked to block less and less, you might not be that great at it. I did not see much from Crockett in terms of blocking. He will need a lot of coaching to even be playable in this capacity at the highest level.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Crockett still has that athleticism and electricity, but he does not run as angry as he did earlier in his career. The shoulder injury likely had an effect on his confidence. He has not been able to create yards after contact like he did as a freshman. He can change the perception at the combine, but for now this just adds to the average label he seems to getting here.

Conclusion: 3rd Round Flier

Crockett was expected to be a great player and those expectations have changed, however, if we see some strong numbers at the combine, I believe he still has the ceiling to be a great player.  All you have to do is look at the South Carolina game from this past year to see what he is capable of. He put together 20 carries for 154 yards and a score. South Carolina was not a great defense but when Crockett was given more carries, he took the opportunity to shine. Overall, he has a reasonably high ceiling and pretty low floor.  Not worth investing in before the mid to late 3rd round.