RB #28 Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech

5’10” – 213 lbs. – 4.55e

Incredibly productive as a freshman, scoring twenty-seven touchdowns, a record for first-year players. Started eight of ten games the following season; worked through a knee injury early in the year and was eventually shut down because of a knee injury later. Ended up putting together two more productive seasons and was the NCAA’s all-time touchdown leader when he left school, although the record has since been surpassed. Has average height and weight for a pro back, with a somewhat thick build; might be a little bit smaller than teams like their primary backs to be. Gets a lot of his carries out of the shotgun or pistol. Not overwhelmingly fast or explosive, but is a smooth runner with the patience to wait for blocks to develop; has just enough speed to beat defenders to the corner, but isn’t much of a threat to break big runs. Hard runner who will lower his shoulder into contact and fight to gain yards after contact; more powerful than his size would indicate. Very competitive near the end zone; worked in some interesting formations, including one featuring three backs lined up shoulder-to-shoulder in three-point stances. Pretty elusive player with a nice stutter-step, regularly making the first man miss; works a nice spin into his repertoire which allows him to absorb hits without going down. Was often brought down in the backfield during the games reviewed, but that was mostly a consequence of poor offensive line play leading to multiple defenders penetrating quickly. Has quick feet when asked to stay back in pass protection; shuffles well and isn’t afraid to stick his nose in and engage a blocker. However, will leave his feet at times, occasionally clearing an easy path to his quarterback. Will also work out of the backfield as a receiving option, whether releasing into the flats or running wheel routes to challenge defenses downfield. Aligned in the slot from time to time as a joker, but wasn’t much more of a decoy in his team’s offense; lack of height and length also aren’t ideal for that type of role. Catches the ball pretty well, hauling on one pass for a long catch-and-run touchdown and being let down by a poor throw on another likely touchdown. A runner with a well-rounded skillset, reasonable build, and incredible collegiate production, his ability to run, block, and catch reasonably well should make him an attractive option for teams seeking a possible workhorse, although he’s more of a jack-of-all-trades than a truly dynamic runner. Could have been even more productive with a serviceable offensive line and passing game.

Games watched: Illinois (’14), Marshall (’14), Oklahoma (’14)

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