RB BRANDEN OLIVER, BUFFALO

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5’8” – 208 lbs. – 4.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 102 – 298 – 0 (2.9)
2011: 306 – 1,395 – 13 (4.6), 38 – 365 – 0 receiving (9.6)
2012: 148 – 821 – 5 (5.5)
2013: 310 – 1,535 – 15 (5.0), 25 – 173 – 1 receiving (6.9)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then contributed in a reserve capacity in 2010. Led the team in rushing as a full-time starter in 2011, earning first-team All-MAC honors after breaking Buffalo’s school record for rushing yards and all-purpose yards. Missed five games and the majority of four others as a junior but still led the team in rushing. Bounced back in 2013, assuming a full load once again. Cousin is Roscoe Parrish.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate with three productive seasons under his belt, including two great years.
•    Has the type of short, compact build which has seemingly been in vogue as of late.
•    Small enough to squirt through holes which bigger runners may not be able to hit.
•    Agile player who can make jump-cuts and make the first man miss with some regularity.
•    Gets up to his top speed in a hurry, turn on the burners once he gets into the open.
•    Has been retained in pass protection a bit more than many college running backs have.
•    Catches the ball pretty well, was a productive receiving option in 2011 and in 2013.
•    Does a nice job of getting low before contact, effectively limiting big hits by defenders.
•    Not afraid of contact, can gain a little bit after contact, run through arm tackle attempts.
•    Rebounded from an injury-plagued 2012 season to post his most productive campaign.

NEGATIVES:

•    Statistics are somewhat inflated from having played in a middling collegiate conference.
•    Has been able to work against some six-or-seven-man boxes regularly due to scheme.
•    Not ideally physically suited to pounding the ball up the middle regularly as a pro.
•    Not one of the most direct runners, consequently ends up with negative-yardage runs.
•    Wasn’t healthy for much of 2012, missing five games and most of four others while hurt.

SUMMARY:

Oliver is one of the most well-rounded backs in the class, successfully contributing as a runner, receiver, and blocker during his time at Buffalo. He possesses the type of squat, muscular build players such as Ray Rice also possess. His overall movement skills, primarily his agility and burst, are impressive, and he is a bit more powerful than his size would seem to indicate. May end up being underdrafted due to his conference/2012 injury issues.

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