Zach Zenner   RB   South Dakota St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Zach is a complete running back with the straight line speed and vision to make plays inside and outside the tackles. He shows on film excellent hands to catch the ball down the field and although he plays in a pistol offense that runs the ball mainly through the tackles, Zach has the burst to take the ball outside the tackles as well. He shows just enough wiggle at the line to make players miss him and has the power to break tackles after he breaks the line of scrimmage. Zach is a workhorse back, but if you make a mistake at the line and are not a form tackler, he has good enough speed to take it to the house or at least get yardage in big chunks. Heís a good blocker on third downs and should be able to return kicks and punts as well as be used on coverage teams. Zach is smart; he is a complete running back, the type of running back I look for in the draft to carry my running offense and with the talent to become a feature back depending on the offense your team runs. He reminds me a lot of former Bronco Terrell Davis who was a 6th round pick in 1995. Terrell played for Georgia so guess in what round a player from SDST will be selected -- maybe not at all?

CONCERNS
In a zone blocking scheme, Zach will be a big time hit; however, in other styles of run blocking schemes he might not be as effective at first. Zach follows his blockers and can make those quick cuts (that I call stutter cuts), but he is a true one-cut type of runner who is very quick to the hole and sometimes in other blocking schemes that can be a problem unless he shows better vision. He can work the corners, but he is not the style of runner who will take it wide and make his own yardage. You have to have a good offensive line in front of Zach because fancy is not his style.

BOTTOM LINE
Before we go any further, the talent board grade (TBR) does not suggest what round I think Zach could be selected in. Look at Robís value board to find out that information. All I am trying to analyze is Zachís talent and the fact that I think in the right offense, Zach can be more than just a part time running back at the NFL level. Iím saying in the right offense this kid can carry your running game no matter what round you select him in. Heís not the style of running back that will blow people away with his change of direction skills, but he will gain yardage just about every time he touches the ball either in the running game or in the passing game. The problem is most NFL teams must disagree with me because I have been rating this type of running back high in every draft and the NFL refuses to put them on the field (smh)! In fact, when this type of running back gets on the field they produce, but for some reason teams pull them off and are always looking for that flashier running back. Those flashy running backs are not producing as much of an impact but a player like Zach will. You just have to believe it and let him run the ball and block for him. He will produce those 100 yards a game that everyone is looking for along with about 30 to 50 yards a game catching the ball and one or two touchdowns a game. Itís a fact that if you want to win in the NFL you must have the THREAT of a good running game in spite of what people are suggesting that this is a passing league. Zach is my style of running back. He has the bulk, size, speed and blocking skills along with the ability to catch the ball like a tight end and score in the red zone.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2015