Vick Ballard   RB   Mississippi St       

TALENT BOARD

 Round 4


STRENGTHS

Vick is a strong running back who gets stronger the more you give him the ball.  He has good speed and is a bit of a long striding running back.  He does a solid job catching the ball out of the backfield.  He is smart and when he runs outside, he is patient and waits for his blocks to make yardage.  He shows nice vision in the hole when running between the tackles and has enough of a wiggle to make cuts and break tackles.  He runs with good leverage and looks to be a leader through his play on the field.  Vick is a workhorse type of running back.  He is most effective running between the tackles and catching the ball out of the back field.  He has excellent potential to be a third down back and reminds me a lot of Sammy Morris (RB, Buffalo Bills) who was a 5th round selection in 2000.  

 

CONCERNS

Vick is a long striding running back with good vision.  That's not necessarily a good combination because, with his long stride, he struggles to make the cuts he sees quickly.  This makes him lose balance and makes it easy to take him down.  If he runs between the tackles and makes a short cut, then continues to go north and south, he can be very explosive.  When he makes cuts and goes lateral, he loses his ability to impact.  He must get smarter about his own talents.  Vick has to remember that he is not a tail back, he is a running back.  As a running back, he needs to make his cut and go up the field; if he makes another cut, he needs to continue to go up the field.  He also needs to improve his blocking for the blitz and reading defenses.  Vick does a good job on sweeps as long as he waits for his blockers, makes one cut and goes.  He will impact in a zone blocking scheme.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Vick is not a fancy running back.  He gains yardage and can make first downs; out of the backfield catching the ball, he will gain yardage in chunks.  But he is not going to make much yardage on his own.  He needs good blocking to be successful and a good running back coach to make sure Vick goes north and south as much as possible.  Vick will be effective in a zone blocking scheme.  He is a good solid running back who will make first downs and does not fumble the ball.  He can have a good career if he understands his limitations and stops trying to be a fancy tailback.  I like his effort on every play and I like the way he falls forward after contact and doesn't seem to take the big hits other running backs in this draft seem to take.  

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart  April/12