Ben Tate  RB Auburn   

TALENT BOARD

 Round 3


 

STRENGTHS

Ben is a strong running back who looks and plays bigger than his height and weight would suggest.  He is a smart player who understands and reads defenses; he has the lateral agility to pick up the blitz and protect his QB.  He can catch the ball out of the backfield and shows an excellent burst to the hole and in the open field.  Ben is a strong runner and hits the hole at top speed.  He looks to be an excellent teammate and shows some leadership skills in his play on the field.  In my opinion, this kid is a bit of a sleeper running back to be drafted by a team that uses a zone blocking scheme for its running game. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Ben is not your shifty, vision in the hole, cut-on-a-dime running back.  That means that with a good offensive line, and in the right system, he will impact.  He is a one-cut-and-go type of running back.  If you are going to draft him and expect him to carry the load, make his own yards, cut and look for holes, you are barking up the wrong tree. The best way to use Ben so that he impacts is to pair him up with a running back who is a cut on the dime, vision in the hole style of back who can make his own yards.  This will make it hard for a defense to adjust to the different style of backs and drive them nuts.

    

BOTTOM LINE

Ben can impact right away as a third down back because he is so adept at reading the blitz and catching the ball out of the backfield. He will impact right away in a zone blocking scheme, but he is a one system type of back, which limits all of the teams being interested in him and therefore drops his value.  Ben is a "ready to use" third down back and that makes him a potential back that should be drafted somewhere in the first three rounds. I like this kid's game because his intelligence and blocking skills are far ahead of the average back coming out in the draft.  He has an excellent burst, great straight line speed and is a tough kid.  All of these ingredients lend themselves to a running back that should be pretty successful at the NFL level. Ben reminds me of Kenneth Davis, a running back who was paired up with Thurman Thomasin Buffalo.  Thurman was the cut on a dime, vision in the hole type of running back that could make his own yards and Kenneth was the straight ahead speed, change up back that would break big plays because the defense was hesitating to catch Thurman and could not adjust quickly enough to Kenneth's style of running.  That hesitation was enough for Kenneth to make impact plays when he came on the field to rest Thurman.  Early in Thurman's career, he was a bit of a fumbler and Kenneth was brought in to run inside the red zone.  Ben should be an excellent red zone running back because of his all around abilities, most especially his blocking skills.  Ben should become a core player for his team and a fan favorite.  

 

Drew Boylhart  1/10