On this week’s episode of the AP Laboratory, we discussed the offseason plans to replace Kareem Hunt.
We all agreed that any significant investment in a free agent isn’t something we’re particularly interested in. Apologies to the Le’Veon Bell fans out there. I just don’t see that happening.
Craig, Matt and I each wrote up a little bit about a running back we’re interested in.
Darrel Henderson, Memphis
Darrel Henderson is a no nonsense running back with good contact balance and promising vision all in a compact 5' 9" 200 lb frame. pic.twitter.com/svHYO6EHlU— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) December 5, 2018
Henderson is an home-run hitter that doesn’t run like he’s trying to hit a home run. He’s still pretty north-south and no nonsense as a runner. While his contact balance isn’t as special as Hunt, he still flashed an above average ability. Henderson is decisive and physical. He doesn’t have top-end speed but he keeps his legs running through contact. He has a compact 5-foot-9, 200-pound frame and is hard to bring down with a low center of gravity.
While not the most powerful runner, there’s still enough behind his pads for the next level. What you can see of his vision is solid. Henderson also provides enough to be viable in the passing game. In the clip above, he did a nice job on an outside zone to see the lane and make a subtle move to avoid the driving safety and get back up to speed quickly to finish for a touchdown. I see him currently as a guy who could slip into the end of day two or be an early day three selection. He’d be a nice addition to the roster. (- Kent Swanson)
Rodney Anderson has the prototypical size and speed to be a major contributor at the NFL level. His vision between the tackles allows him to make decisive cuts and get up to speed as he hits the second level. Major injury concerns loom, but if he's healthy, he's a steal. pic.twitter.com/JXvaEzhKz7— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) December 5, 2018
Rodney Anderson has the size, speed and football IQ to be a major contributor at the next level. A 6-foot-1, 220-pound back, he’s big enough to run between the tackles with loose hips that allow for quick changes of direction while running through traffic. He’s able to carry power into the second level and make would-be tacklers miss with stiff arms and good balance to keep his feet through tackle attempts. Anderson’s initial burst isn’t a strong suit, but he gets up to speed with long strides in space quickly. Exposure to gap, power and zone-read concepts that showcase his football intelligence and ability to fit in any system. He catches the ball extremely well and hides his release into the flat well to get more space in the passing game. He struggles with pass protection, a problem for most young running backs. His biggest knock is an extensive injury history, missing games his freshman year for a broken leg, a whole year for a neck injury,and an ACL tear that ended his redshirt junior season. (- Craig Stout)
Olamide Zaccheaus is an interesting prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft. Mostly used a slot WR in college, he still has ability as a runner when getting out in space. Most dangerous as a receiver but size limitations and RB experience could lead him into a productive receiving RB pic.twitter.com/VejODy9dW4— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) December 5, 2018
Olamide Zaccheaus has been used as a wide receiver at Virginia a lot more than he’s been used as a running back, to the tune of setting the record for most receptions in Virginia school history as well as the single-season reception record. The question then becomes why is he being included here as a running back prospect. Quite simply, it’s because of his size. Listed at 5-foot-8 by the school likely translates to him being a little short of that, making playing slot receiver even a stretch but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for “O” in the NFL.
Every year, there are a number of prospects that are more offensive weapons than specific positions and the hard part for teams is figuring out how to use them. Zaccheaus, a three-star recruit as a running back, is certainly an offensive weapon rather than a pure running back. He’s not going to be a bell-cow runner, and he may not even be a full-time second-fiddle back, but what he can do is provide that flexible player that can line up in the backfield and take five-plus carries in a game, as well as split out wide and run a full route tree. He’s extremely explosive in the open field with fantastic acceleration, flexible hips to change direction on a dime and has great hands. Zaccheaus has a solid frame that allows him to slide through would-be tacklers who are off balance as well as fight forward for a few extra yards. His vision between the tackles hasn’t been tested much since his freshman year, but in the open field, he sets up blockers and defenders well and each step he takes has a purpose to it.
Olamide Zaccheaus isn’t a replacement at running back and may not even be the featured backup running back, but as a chess piece that can throw off defensive personnel packages and matchups, he could offer a completely new dynamic to the Chiefs offense. (- Matt Lane)
We went more in depth on what we would do at the running back position and aired our grievances against Bob Sutton in this week’s episode of the AP Laboratory. If you can’t see the player below, click here.
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