Ronnie McGill   RB   North Carolina

 

STRENGTHS 

Ronnie is a very smart RB with great RB skills.  He has the size and quickness needed for this position.  He has excellent lateral agility in addition to possessing that one natural ability that all the very good backs seem to have -- the ability to make himself small and squirt through a hole that does not seem to be there.  Ronnie runs with his head on a swivel and understands how to set up his blocks.  He also knows how to use a straight arm to keep a tackler away from his body and that is a lost art to say the least.  He runs with good balance and is not easy to arm tackle.  Ronnie does a decent job catching the ball out of the backfield and is a pretty good blocker.  He has the potential to be a franchise back for the team that drafts him.

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Ronnie needs to get in better shape and concentrate more on his overall conditioning.  He has been hurt a lot.  He also does not have the speed to take it to the house, although great backs such as Thurman Thomas, Curtis Martin and Emmitt Smith did not have that true speed either.  Personally, Iím more concerned about his conditioning rather than his speed. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 3

Ronnie was a good RB on a bad team.  Iím not going to say that Ronnie is going to be a RB the quality of the above mentioned players, but I am going to tell you that when he runs, he has that same style and he does remind me of those players.  If Ronnie can get in better shape,he could be the real deal.  He has franchise potential because of his quickness, lateral agility, vision in the hole and the ability to slip tackles and find holes that others donít see.  He has franchise ability because of his size and bulk and the ability to read defenses and pick up blitzes.  I hope you all notice how I did not mention speed?  Did you know that the RBís I mentioned previously were all downgraded in their drafts for a lack of speed?  The reason was that because in the eyes of the scouts, they did not have enough speed to be true franchise RBís.  Emmitt Smith was the only RB out of that group that was taken in the first round. And he wasnít taken until the 17th pick of the 1990 draft.  At that time, there were only 25 teams picking.  Blair Thomas (RB Penn St) was the second pick in the first round by the Jets because he was faster.  Thurman Thomas had a bad knee, but he proved his last year of college that his knee was healthy.  He wore a brace and did not show big time speed he was downgraded.  Curtis Martin was taken in the third round and was downgraded for speed also.  The fact is that speed does not make a good RB and Ronnie does have the attributes that do make a good RB so it is totally up to him.  Iím giving him a third round talent grade because of lack of conditioning, injuries directly related to that and he has to improve catching the ball out of the back field.  If I was looking for a potential franchise RB (because I had an RB right now that might leave in free agency in a year or two), I would jump all over Ronnie especially if he drops to the second day of the draft.   He will be a better pro player than he was a college player because his offensive line will be better.  Itís just that simple!

Drew Boylhart

March/2007