LeGarrette is a powerful back with the strength and quickness to be a franchise back. He is a cut-and-go type of back that is a perfect fit for a zone blocking scheme. He has decent vision in the hole to make a cut and has a good burst after he cuts to make a player miss him. He is a big back and if you let him get up a head of steam and get into the secondary, it will be difficult for safeties to take him down alone without teammate assistance. LeGarrette is a tough, physical runner who will punish you when you go to tackle him. He runs with anger and if you don't match that anger when you go to tackle him, you won't be able to bring him down. If you team this kid up with a break-away back early in his career and allow him to grow emotionally on the field and off the field, he has the potential to be a Michael Turner (RB Falcons) style of running back. Here is the catch...he also has the potential to be the next Maurice Clarett (former Ohio St RB drafted in the 2005 draft by Mike Shanahan for the Denver Broncos in the 3rd round!)
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
LeGarrette may have the potential to be a franchise back, but right now is not close to that potential. He does not pick up the blitz or block very well. Oregon never threw him the ball, so no one knows if he has the ability to catch a ball out of the backfield with a 250-lb linebacker ready to take his head off. He does not show any patience to follow blockers when running and I'm not sure of his football intelligence or how much of a team oriented player he is at this point. Right now, LeGarrette does not understand the big picture. He is very immature on and off the field. He shows it in his play on the field and his actions off the field. But there is one thing about LeGarrette that might change him around. He runs with fear -- the fear of not being a great running back. Playing football is the only thing that gives him pride in himself and hopefully it will be the one thing that makes him become a better person.
I feel for this kid...it doesn't make me want to draft him, but I do feel for him and hope he can turn himself around. He has struggled for a long time with authority figures and that struggle is ruining his career. It stops him from really learning about life in general and the running back position. He seems to be a smart kid as far as intelligence, but his emotions are taking over every part of his life on and off the field. I would suspect that after the first three rounds somebody is going to take a flyer on this kid. The talent is there to impact in the NFL. That alone will give some team enough of an excuse to draft LeGarrette in one of the lower rounds. If that happens, it sends a signal to me that someone thinks they can turn him around or they think they will use him for as long as he behaves and when he causes trouble, the expense will not affect the team in an adverse way and throw him back on that emotional roller coaster he has been on all of his life. The best thing that could happen to LeGarrette is for him not to be drafted. Then he could see what teams really want him in free agency. Those teams will be the teams that will have nothing invested in LeGarrette and will not be in a situation where they will have to justify drafting LeGarrette to the public and an owner. LeGarrette can enter the NFL with all of the responsibility for his own success or failure directly on his shoulders. He will owe no coach anything. He will only owe himself the effort, work ethic and his will to be the best that he can be in all phases of the game. I suspect that part of LeGarrette's anger comes from the expectations of others that he thinks he owes. I think LeGarrette has this fear that he might not be able to live up to those expectations. In my experience, people who have anger problems feel they have no control over their lives and anger is the only thing that gives them that control. In a lot of cases, it's the fear of failure that drives them to this anger. It's a fear of disappointing the people they respect and have given them a chance. So, for me personally, I would take LeGarrette off my draft board. Then after the draft is over I would look at him in rookie free agency and make him an offer (with no guarantee money attached) to come into camp. It will be all up to LeGarrette to accept and come into camp and start his life over. It he chooses to go to a team that offers him guaranteed money to sign, then I'm afraid the cycle will not be broken. He will rush to prove himself once again and when he starts to struggle on the field, frustration and anger will once again come back to haunt him. This kid needs time to take control of his own life emotionally before he can reach his potential as a football player in the NFL. (The doctor has left the house!)
Drew Boylhart 2/10