FanPost

MrKumbi's Late Round Gems: Buffalo RB Branden Oliver

Today's late round gem is Buffalo running back Branden Oliver.

Here are the numbers from his pro day as reported by NFLDraftScout.

Height: 5'6"
Weight: 208lbs

40-yard dash: 4.62s
Short shuttle: 4.22Ss
3-cone drill: 7.04s
Bench: 26 reps
Vertical: 33.5"
Broad jump: 9'9"

Strengths: Oliver is a strong, compact runner with excellent balance and agility.. He shows the discipline to allow his blocking to set-up and exhibits great vision and decisiveness to find the hole and immediately get upfield. He is a much better inside runner than his size might suggest. He presses the hole and can slip through small cracks in the defense thanks to his short stature. He shows excellent short-area quickness and can make tacklers miss both in the hole and in the open field. He does not shy away from contact and is a willing and capable blocker despite his size. He has some upside as a receiver although he does need to get better at catching the ball away from his body. He was extremely productive in college gaining a total of 4,049 rushing yards on 866 attempts with 33 touchdowns and 75 receptions for 655 yards and a touchdown. His best season was 2013 when he eclipsed 1,500 yards and notched 15 touchdowns.

Weaknesses: He does not have the size of a typical NFL running back and durability may be a concern as a result. He does not have breakaway speed which will limit him in the pros. He will have to break his habit of lowering his head and leading with the crown of his helmet to avoid both penalties and injury. He sometimes dances in the backfield looking for a big play instead of taking what is available. He failed to be productive against top opponents at Buffalo. He averaged less than 3 yards per carry against Ohio State and Baylor in 2013 and less than 4 yards per carry against Georgia and Tennessee in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

Falcons Fit: Oliver looks like a slightly bigger version of Jacquizz Rodgers. While Rodgers has been a productive player for the Falcons there typically are not many roster spots open for change-of-pace running backs. He is likely to go undrafted so it would not represent much of an investment to bring him in to compete for a roster spot in camp. He is reportedly a humble, hard working player and has enough upside to make it a hard on the coaches to cut him. At the worst he would be candidate for the practice squad.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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