RB #24 Paul Perkins, UCLA*

5’11” – 210 lbs. – 4.60e

Has NFL bloodlines; father and uncle both spent time in pro backfields. Redshirted in 2012, then started four games the following season, appearing in all thirteen contests. Eventually usurped the starting role the following year, which he retained into his redshirt junior season before declaring. Has a tall, relatively thick frame for his position, but will get low and challenge opponents for favorable leverage. Plays in a scheme which features the quarterback generally working out of the shotgun; could take advantage of his size to get upfield a little bit quicker. Something of a one-cut, east-west runner who does a lot of his work on sweeps. Looks a little bit deliberate prior to getting to the hole, but works a stutter-step and a jump-cut into his game and is capable of making the first man miss; very agile in space. Exhibits good footwork in congested areas. Speed-wise, looks more likely to pick up chunks of yardage than to hit home-runs. Often runs through attempted arm-tackles. Will put his head down and take on opposing defenders to grind out an extra yard; rarely goes down on first contact, demonstrates impressive leg drive, and has a tendency to fall forward at the end of his attempts. Regularly uses a stiff-arm with success when he’s near the sidelines. On passing downs, is held in to block from time to time but doesn’t look particularly talented in that capacity; despite being willing to stick his nose in, struggles to position himself and place his hands consistently. Also tends to lower his head into contact. More effective when he’s allowed to leak out into the flat on a delayed release as a safety valve, although he’s not extensively worked into the passing game with regular targets or particularly sophisticated routes; only lines up as a “joker” on rare occasions, often on screens. However, does have pretty reliable hands when quarterbacks look his way. Sustained a minor knee injury which will require further examination from team doctors. Won’t blow anyone away with his speed or burst, but has pretty good natural rushing skills and a combination of agility and power which should be attractive to teams seeking upgrades in their backfield. Despite his production, may be better suited to playing in a more straightforward power-rushing attack as a pro, as working in a scheme which resembles what he was working in as a Bruin may not take advantage of his skillset particularly well. Could potentially carry the load for a team, but probably won’t be asked to take many snaps on passing downs early on because of his poor blocking.

Games watched: Arizona (’15), California (’15), Stanford (’15)

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