Thu, Nov 15, 2018
By Jim Nagy
Dexter Williams Ryquell Armstead Qadree Ollison Devine Ozigbo
NOTRE DAME RB TEMPLE RB PITT RB NEBRASKA RB
With the first round of invites going out and plenty of tape work left to do on remaining prospects, finding time to produce content here at Senior Bowl headquarters has been difficult this week.
There were so many impressive performances at the running back position last Saturday that we had trouble making up our minds which player to select. Instead of picking just one, we just went with a “quartet of the week” on offense.
Running back is traditionally one of the more difficult positions to find for all-star games because many talented runners tend to leave school as juniors. That said, there are under-the-radar players like former Toledo RB Kareem Hunt, who won NFL Rookie-of-the-Year last season with the Kansas City Chiefs, that improved his stock enough in Mobile to get drafted in the third round.
Here is a brief scouting breakdown of each of this week’s honorees:
Notre Dame RB Dexter Williams- Ran for 202 yards on 20 carries with 2 TD in a lopsided win against Florida State. From everything we are hearing from our NFL contacts, he is a rising prospect. He has good vision and patience and he can run both inside and outside effectively. He has enough power to run thru first contact and the speed to break off explosive runs. He catches the ball clean and can be mismatch out of backfield in space.
Temple RB Ryquell Armstead- Had 210 yards on 30 carries with 6 TD (yes, 6!) in a 59-49 win over Houston. Armstead is a very good running back and another guy that is gaining traction with NFL scouts as we work thru the fall scouting process. He is a thick, powerful runner that can wear down a defense. He is a load to bring down when he gets rolling. We even saw him playing some OLB on the Maryland tape and his disruptive blitz ability shows NFL teams he will be a good special teams player.
Pitt RB Qadree Ollison- Rushed for 235 yards and 3 TD on only 16 carries, including a highlight reel stiff-arm on a 97-yard score. He is a big momentum runner that is tough to bring down when he gets a head of steam and he has good deceptive long speed for someone his size. His pass pro and receiving skill-sets are good enough to contribute on all three downs. This is the type of big 225-lb back that NFL teams covet these days. He has also played some FB, which adds value.
Nebraska RB Devine Ozigbo- Carried the ball only 11 times for 162 yards and 3 TD and he also caught 3 passes for 36 yards. Ozigbo is another downhill back in the 225-230 lb. range and he looks the part physically. He is expected to be an explosive tester in the spring and he flashes legit burst on tape. He is tough to corral at the second-level when he has a point-of-entry and hits the hole. We also like his hands and acceleration after the catch.
There are a bunch of cool storylines in this year’s senior class and Utah’s Chase Hansen, who had 13 tackles, 3.5 TFL, and 1 sack in last week’s 32-25 win over Oregon, is one of them. He was a high school quarterback that transitioned to strong safety early in his time at Utah and now has developed into one of the best linebackers in the nation.
This year’s Senior Bowl eligible linebacker class is both talented and deep and Hansen was a guy that immediately popped out on tape for us. NFL scouts shouldn’t have to roll thru a bunch of tape to get a feel for linebackers because if they’re instinctive and active enough they consistently show up and Hansen catches your attention right away with his suddenness, urgency and range.
This first thing that stands out is his athleticism. He is a good all-around athlete that moves well in space and he has very good closing burst to make plays. NFL teams want linebackers that are athletic enough to matchup in coverage and stay on the field all three downs and Hansen is that guy.
The NFL scouts we have spoken with love Hansen’s scheme versatility and fourth-down value. While he projects primarily as a 4-3 or 3-4 Will, he is athletic enough to function as a drop-down SS for predominant cover-3 teams and special teams coaches are going to fight for him as a potential four-phase player in the kicking game.
|Jim Nagy is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He spent 18 years in the National Football League. In his time in the NFL, Nagy worked as an area scout in the West, Midwest, and Southeast regions, as well as in a national scouting capacity for four years with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a part of six Super Bowl teams and four Lombardi Trophy winning clubs (Green Bay Packers XXXI, New England Patriots XXXVIII and XXXIX and Seattle Seahawks XLVIII).|