Drew Boylhart   2/09

Rashad Jennings   RB   Liberty         

STRENGTHS

Rashard has excellent size and strength to play his position.  On film, he shows good feet and the ability to change directions in the hole; however, he is mostly a north-south runner.  Rashard has the physical and mental stamina to get stronger as the game goes on.  He looks to me like he is a fourth quarter type of RB.  By that I mean his ability to gain yards in a game will more than likely be in the fourth quarter when his opponents are wearing down.  Rashard has the ability to be an impact RB for the team that drafts him.  

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Rashard has the ability to be an impact RB, but he has a long way to go.  He runs high, which means he might not be good around the goal line in spite of his size.  He really needs better coaching and will have to work hard on all of his RB skills.  He is not ready for the NFL skill-wise, but with hard work and good coaching, he could become the same style of RB as Brandon Jacob (RB Giants) in time. 

  

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

I would suspect that Rashard will be drafted a little earlier than I have rated his talent.  But remember this, Brandon Jacobs and Marion Barber were not drafted until the 4th round in the 2005 draft!  They both were much further along in their RB skills than Rashard is right now.  In that draft, I had a 2nd TBR grade on the both of them.  Rashard will take some time to develop and although he looks to be a good kid and teammate, learning the RB position in the pros is a very tricky thing to do.  There are the little things that need to be addressed plus the difference in the talent of his opponents.  He will have to step up his game both mentally and physically.  Taking this kid too early and throwing him out on to the field might be disaster.  I know it looks like this kid is going to be a red zone RB, but right now he does not explode into the hole and is too upright to gain the advantage.  In the open field, he has to learn how to turn the corner on a sweep because he has good speed -- not blazing speed.  His techniques are very raw at this point.  I'm not sure how good his hands are and as far as picking up a blitz and reading defense in the passing game, you have to know that he is far behind the average RB coming out in the draft.  Not to mention the average RB in a big program in most cases has to learn those skills also.  So yes, he has talent and yes, you might have to pick him earlier than you should, but remember this.  Rashard will take some time to become the RB his talent suggests he can be with some work.  Add to that a year where he just might be injured and you can see what I mean.  He is a project.  A project that I would suspect most teams will be tempted to draft too early.