Jay Ajayi   RB   Boise St


Jay reminds me a lot of the Buffalo Billsí CJ Spiller. He doesnít have Spillerís pure speed, but he does have his long strides, fluidity, balance, change of direction skills and a burst to reach his max speed quickly. He is excellent at catching the ball, which will allow the team that selects him to move him all over the offense and not just stick him in the backfield to carry the load. He is very smart and his college team uses him in many different formations including two-back sets, pistol offense, the spread and even some option plays. Jay is a winner and shows leadership skills through his play on the field. He was the offense on his college team and carried or caught the ball when everyone in the stadium knew he was going to get the ball. He is fast, quick, can catch the ball down the field like a receiver, is strong for his body type and does not shy away from contact. He has solid football intelligence and understands down and distance. Jay runs hard and will take it straight up the cut when he sees the opening, which, for a player with his body type, is unusual. Teams looking for the type of back that can embarrass a defense in the open field should be looking hard at selecting Jay.

Jay has to learn to secure the ball better in the open field. He is also a very poor blocker so asking him to be your third down back and expecting him to block big fast linebackers is just not going to happen. He has the length, but he lacks the bulk and techniques. Although Jay was the main weapon and running back for his college team, his body type doesnít lend itself to him becoming the main cog in your running game at the next level; however, that doesnít mean he canít be an impact player. There are some issues off the field that teams will need to address, but I donít think they are anything that a team truly has to worry about.

You donít draft Jay, stick him in your backfield and expect him to run 30 times a game, but you do want him to touch the ball at least fifteen to twenty times a game as a running back and or receiver in passing situations. The game that impresses me the most in watching Jay was a game he played in 8 degree weather late in the season against San Diego St. Jay brought his team back from a 20-point deficit carrying the ball 31 times and gaining 134 yards, scoring 3 TDís and adding 4 catches for 23 yards. Now Iím not a guy that is big on stats being the primary way to profile players because stats just donít really tell you the whole story, but I will tell you this: 8 degrees tells me a lot. Most of the time, players who are what I would consider finesse backs or third down backs or backs who I donít think will carry the game plan at the next level because of a lack of bulk, usually disappear when the weather gets real cold and show up in the warmer weather games. Jay is not like that and this proved it; it told me a lot about this kidís competitive spirit and character because the temp never moved off the 8 degree mark all night and Jay got better as the game went on. Thatís impressive. Eliminate the fumbles and Jay could be an impact player for the team that selects him.

Drew Boylhart