From here until the draft, I'll occasionally be taking a look at each position and giving a quick rundown on how badly we need to upgrade at that position and give a handful of prospects that we might be able to obtain that could help us at that position. This time, I'm looking for someone to complement Thunder and Thunder at running back.
It's no secret that we're in desperate need of some Greased Lightning to complement Thunder 1 and Thunder 2 at RB. While it's nice to have Double Thunder, it also leaves us with some predictability. Turner NEEEEEVER catches the ball outta the backfield (if only because he's Stone Hands McTurner sometimes) and Snelling is never used right, it seems. Norwood was nice when he wasn't broken, but that was pretty much never.
After the jump, let's take a look at where we might find some RB help.I've been on the DeAngelo Williams bandwagon for some time now, and now that he and Charles Johnson aren't being tagged by the Panthers, we could swoop in to turn two Cats into Birds.
That said, let's look at some young talent we might pluck in the upcoming draft.
First, Kentucky RB Derrick Locke. He certainly looks the part of a speedster and also has experience catching passes out of the backfield. Here is a highlight video from the bowl game Kentucky participated in this year. Locke looks fast, and the announcers said he runs a 4.21, but is he too small?
Next, OK St RB Kendall Hunter. He looks the part of a speedster, too. Looks a little less shifty than Locke, but looks to have more tackle breaking ability. I say more tackle breaking ability, but the difference in them is minute. I would expect Hunter to be able to take a beating better than Locke because Locke looks rather fragile. Hunter also looks to have a higher top-end speed than Locke, but I think that's because one plays behind Kentucky's OLine. Just saying. Highlight vid here.
Next, Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray. This guy is the product of moving a lot of weight in one direction. He's fast, but he doesn't look as fast as Locke or Hunter. His running form reminds me of Devin Hester. When he puts it to the floor, his head does not move at all. He doesn't seem to be much taller, but his strides are longer and he certainly has the top-end speed to pull away from defenders. He's a one cut kind of runner. I don't think he has the ability to shift his weight very fast, but he has a heavy, disgusting cut that could break ankles at the NFL level. He also appears to have a strong jumping ability. Highlight vid here.
Lastly, West Virginia RB Shane Vereen. Of the four, he's the slowest looking, though he appears to have the greatest catching ability. He runs routes just like a receiver and catch like one, too. Biggest weakness appears to be top-end speed. The gear is there, but his ability to get to that last gear quickly is not there. That can be corrected with some strength/agility training. He appears to have decent tackle breaking ability, which will help. Highlight vid here.
I'd be happy with any of the four aforementioned RBs here, though I'd say the preference is in that order. I really like the way Murray runs. It reminds me so much of Devin Hester that I'd almost say they were the same person.
What do you all think? As far as RB goes, who should we look out for? Should we try to snag DWilliams or should we go look for help in the draft?