Laurence Maroney   RB   Minnesota

Strengths

Laurence is a slash-type runner that you do not want to meet in the open field.  He is a strong, flashy tailback that runs on the perimeter, but will get you the tough yards at the important points of a game.  He is smart and understands situational football.  This kid is a match up nightmare and doesn't have to be on the field that much to impact.  

 

Needs to Improve

I donít know how good his hands are out of the backfield because they just didnít throw the ball to him too much.  He is not interested in blocking, but will have to be if he wants to be an impact NFL tailback.  Of course, he's on the small side and you always have to worry about the injury factor on these guys; however, that is not a reason to not draft him. 

 

Talent Board Round   1

It would be hard to catch this kid if the two of you were in a phone booth together -- he is that quick and fast.  If you need a game breaker, you have to pick a kid like this and hope for the best.  I hope that he can catch the ball so that the team that drafts him can use him out of the backfield and maybe in the slot.  You have to think that on special teams he is going to impact right away.  There are some questions to Laurenceís game, but not enough to raise a red or yellow flag.  But there are enough question marks for the team that drafts him to go slow with his NFL education.  He is a junior, which is another reason to go slow with this kid.  Laurence strikes me as the type of kid that likes the attention and is motivated by money.  This is not a bad thing at all, but if the attention that comes to him is not positive, Iím not sure how he will react.  Remember, a 1st round pick has a lot of pressure on him to perform and if things aren't working out the way they did in college, sometimes they go into a shell and never come out.  They canít handle not being liked.  So this package has "handle with care" attached to it.  Laurence has 1st round talent and if you need a breakaway threat, you had better pick him right away.  He will not last long in this draft.  He's a very talented kid and going slow with him should allow him a long and impacting career in the NFL.  I call him Laurence (Mo-Money) Maroney because if he is treated and handled just right, he's going to make even more money in the future.
by Drew Boylhart

THR

January 2006