Johnathan Franklin   RB   UCLA

TALENT BOARD ROUND  4

 

STRENGTHS

Johnathan is a scary player for defenses to see on the field.  He is fast and quick and has excellent vision to make tacklers miss him in the open field.  Johnathan is the type of player who doesnít need a lot of touches to make an impact in a game. He is fearless and in spite of his size, will take the ball between the tackles and hit the hole with the aggressiveness that a lot of other running backs seem to lack.  Johnathan has the ability to make his own yards.  He plays in a spread offense that attacks defenses east and west in the middle of the field, which is a perfect fit for Johnathanís talents and an excellent offensive system for him to be successful.  Johnathan looks on film to be an excellent teammate and shows leadership skills through his play on the field.  He wants the ball and doesnít shy away from trying to make the yardage needed to move the chains. 

   

CONCERNS

In the NFL, Johnathan will be considered by most teams as a specialty player or third down back because of his size and lack of bulk.  The problem for me, and I expect for most teams, is that Johnathan has a lot to prove that he CAN be a specialty player. He has to prove in a game, that he has the hands to catch the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.  Then he has to show teams in a game, that he is a much better blocker at picking up the blitz and reading defenses than he does right now.  He doesnít play in the slot and isnít used as a punt returner or kick returner and that makes you wonder if he can catch the ball securely.  All of these concerns bring into question Johnathanís ability to be used for more than one position at the next level.  Add to all of those concerns the fact that Johnathan has had a history of fumbling at the college level and it has to make you wonder in spite of his speed and quickness, can he truly be an impact player at the NFL level?     

 

BOTTOM LINE

Johnathan was an explosive college player, who may or may not have had the hands to catch the ball down the field like a receiver.  He is not stout enough to be used as an every down back and his third down back skills are questionable because he doesnít do a very good job blocking.  He wasnít used as a punt returner or kickoff returner, which once again, brings into question his ability to judge the ball in the air and catch the ball securely.  Jonathan has a lot to prove for teams in the NFL and he wonít be able to prove it until he plays in the NFL.  Workouts will not answer anything.  However, if he proves to be as fast and quick as anticipated and, if he can continue to outrun everyone at the NFL level as he has been in college, you just might have a pretty good situational player. I just think playing at the NFL level is more than playing with speed.

  

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Apr/2013