RB JAMES WILDER JR., FLORIDA ST.*

Image

6’2” – 229 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: 35 – 160 – 1 (4.6)
2012: 110 – 635 – 11 (5.8)

OVERVIEW:

Five-star recruit who played sparingly over twelve games as a true freshman, primarily on special teams. Saw his role expand and became part of the Seminoles’ running-back committee in 2012, a role he reprised as a junior in 2013. Was arrested three times in a one-year span between 2012 and 2013. Son of former NFL running back James Wilder.

POSITIVES:

•    Has great bloodlines; is the son of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ all-time leading rusher.
•    Massive running back with an impressive combination of size and bulk for the position.
•    Lowers the shoulder into contact, usually ends up falling forward at the end of his runs.
•    Powerful and can singlehandedly push the pile from time to time, used on the goal-line.
•    Size and strength make him an effective pass protector; has some experience blocking.
•    Capable of gaining separation with an effective stiff-arm, employed on outside runs.
•    Faster than his size would seem to indicate, capable of beating defenders to the edge.
•    Smooth accelerator, receives lots of carries on outside runs from shotgun formations.
•    Lack of production as a receiver doesn’t seem to be because he lacks soft hands.
•    There is relatively little tread on his tires; had less than 300 combined touches in school.
•    Friendly and well-spoken in interviews, which should help allay character concerns.

NEGATIVES:

•    Never carried the full load in college, always worked as a member of a deep committee.
•    Height and upright running style could lead to injuries, needs to run behind pads more.
•    Needs to do a better job of protecting lower body from defenders who go low on him.
•    Benefited from outside runs in college but may see his usage modified at the next level.
•    Didn’t offer much as a receiving option; only one season of even modest contributions.
•    Multiple arrests mean teams will have to conduct plenty of research into his character.

SUMMARY:

Wilder is something of an unknown quantity at this point because of the depth of Florida St.’s running back rotation, but his size, bulk, power, smooth movement skills, and effective blocking make him a potential starting running back at the next level, with his protection skills likely putting him in a relatively advantageous position relative to other college backs who haven’t been asked to do much blitz pickup in school. Of course, whoever drafts Wilder will have to factor in all of the trouble he got into during college, as further arrests would not only lead to suspensions and potentially jeopardize his career, but also embarrass the team which overlooks them in order to draft him. He seems mature and well-spoken in interviews, which should help soften the negative impact his legal issues have on his stock.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s