Leonard Fournette   RB   LSU  


Leonard plays football like a runaway train careening through a town in an old western movie. He is a powerful runner with the speed, elusiveness and quick cutting feet to break tackles as well as making defenders flail in thin air trying tackling him. He shows excellent hands out of the backfield and after catching the ball it’s a struggle to bring him down in the open field because of his elusiveness. Leonard shows on film that he is a good blocker and can protect his quarterback and read the blitz. His ability to run with power and good pad level between the tackles as well as his ability to play in open space with the finesse of a smaller running back is unique and is what separates him from most backs coming out in a draft. Leonard is the type of back you have to stop behind the line of scrimmage or he will gain whatever yardage his team needs on any down and distance. He is the only player I have seen that has similar athletic talent to Bo Jackson on the football field.

Leonard has struggled with ankle problems that have kept him out of games this year. The question is are these serious ankle problems or was he just afraid he might get hurt? Leonard also has a bad habit of not giving consistent effort when blocking for his QB. This bothers me big time and sends “red flag” about maturity and mental laziness. Red Flags or not these concerns bother me but I’m not sure it would stop me from selecting him early in this draft.

In Drew’s Draft Rules #23 I state the following “Don’t believe that crap that this is a passing league. There are maybe 5 franchise QB’s in the league. The rest need the THREAT of a good running game to be effective”. Leonard Fournette gives you the threat of a good running game the day after you select him in the draft. I stated that Leonard’s size, strength to break tackles, hands to catch the ball, finesse in the open field and speed, reminded me of Bo Jackson. That doesn’t mean I’m convinced that he can be as impacting as Bo was because I have questions about mental toughness when a player chooses not play because they are not 100%. Great players play and impact when they are not 100%. I think Leonard may have to learn this. In spite of the potential red flags I have suggested, Leonard is one of the top players in this draft and I would not hesitate to select him early if I needed a running back that has the potential to be a franchise running back. I would select Leonard because of his Bo Jackson like talent and hope he matures to take on the responsibility of being a leader who plays and impacts when he is not 100%? Remember its best not to “over think” the draft process and select the obvious… a potential franchise running back.

Drew Boylhart  JAN.2017