Ryan has scary speed that includes quickness. He is fast and quick and does an excellent job blocking for a scrambling quarterback on passing downs. He runs out of a spread offense, which means running through the tackles is just a cut-and-go situation; however, when Ryan can, he will bounce the ball to the outside and that is when he is very dangerous. He looks on film to have great hands out of the backfield to catch swing passes and may become more than just an outlet option in the future. Ryan has as much talent as CJ Spiller (RB Buffalo Bills) and, if he can show that he can catch the ball down the field like a receiver and learn to run some routes, this kid would be a match-up problem for any opponent. He looks to be smart and understanding of situational football. He is a tough runner between the tackles and if you do not form tackle this kid, he will break away. Between the tackles, he is a one-cut-into-the-hole type of runner. Outside the tackles, he reminds me a lot of Barry Sanders (RB Detroit Lions) because he has those long strong strides when he makes his cuts that keep him low to the ground and makes it hard to get a good hit in the kid. This kid has a lot of talent.
Ryan played alongside a scrambling QB who tires a defense out. Ryan did more damage in the 3rd & 4th quarters than he did in the 1st half of a game...very much like Barry Sanders did. Not a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of. Also, because of such long strides, you typically have to worry about leg injuries, although Sanders never seem to have a problem with them. Ryan is a tough runner, but I think you have to use him as an impact player all over the offense, which means he has to prove in game conditions that he can run routes and catch the ball down the field. Ryan does have to learn to change gears to be effective at the next level, but that should come in time.
As I said, Ryan has as much talent as CJ Spiller did, but not the production because he has been hurt and is coming out early. If Ryan showed me on film some punt return talents and caught the ball down the field, I would have to give him a #1 Talent Board Rating. Ryan is a proud runner, a good blocker, runs tough between the tackles and has the speed and quickness to make a touchdown every time he touches the ball. He looks like a good kid and teammate who very much wants to be better than he is right now. I don't think you can ask for more than that from a player coming out early who lacks the production, but has excellent potential, talent and gives his all on every play.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March/11