RB Jeremy McNichols, Boise St.*

5’9” – 214 lbs. – 4.49

Got some offensive snaps and returned kicks in 2014, then became a major contributor for the next two seasons once Jay Ajayi went pro; declared for the draft rather than return for his senior season. Relatively short running back with a somewhat thick build; has proved that he’s able to handle a big workload over the past two seasons. Takes handoffs from both the shotgun and more pro-style formations, with a lot of his attempts coming between the tackles. Runs with a low center of gravity. Not a particularly explosive or powerful runner, but does a good job of finding lanes and navigating through tight spaces; more of a chunk runner than a home-run hitter. Lets blocks develop. Can recognize and hit cutback lanes and get upfield; limits short-yardage runs. Doesn’t bounce runs outside unnecessarily. Has some shake at the second level to make defenders miss. Able to squirt through holes and fall forward for extra yardage. Will deliver some shoulders to tacklers to finish runs, although he may need to work in a committee with more of a traditional power back; leg drive is just average and doesn’t break a lot of tackles or push the pile. Averaged four fumbles per year as a starter. A little bit limited in that he doesn’t create a ton of yardage for himself on the ground, but does a good job of consistently getting the most of what his blocking provides for him and his athleticism allows. Very versatile passing-game contributor; early-career snaps may very well come on third downs, especially as a receiver. Runs passing routes from all over the formation: will split out wide, will go in motion from the backfield, will line up as more of an H-Back, or will run routes from the backfield. Has soft, reliable hands and can pluck the ball away from his frame. Not just a short-area target; also runs wheel routes, seam patterns, and others further downfield. Fast enough to beat linebackers down the seams. Often retained as a blocker and does a good job of identifying his assignments and engaging opponents. Able to cut rushers or stand in the pocket and block them high. Some production as a block-and-release receiver. Also has experience as a kick returner. May never be a lead back, but is a well-rounded runner who combines vision and quickness as an inside runner with exceptional receiving ability and adequate blocking; consequently, could work his way into a running back rotation as a predominantly passing-game back who can also pick up some yardage between the tackles.

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