RB Bryce Love, Stanford

5’9” – 200 lbs. – N/A
Carried the ball just twenty-nine times as a freshman, then went 111-783-3 behind Christian McCaffrey the following year. Took over the feature back role as a junior, posting a staggering 263-2,118-19 en route to second place in Heisman voting, then, after surprisingly deciding not to declare for the draft, ran for 166-739-6 in an injury-plagued senior season before tearing his ACL. Smaller than your typical workhorse back, with borderline height (just under 5’9”) and below-average bulk. Possesses excellent feel as a pure runner, with all of the skills teams look for. Equally capable of finding space between the tackles or carrying the ball on off-tackle attempts. Has some explosiveness and speed in a straight line, but his success is in greater part the attributable to his excellent vision, quickness, and balance. Able to identify rushing lanes, slip through them, and make defenders miss once he gets into the open field. Takes his time hitting the hole, shuffling his feet and making nice cuts to locate open lanes. Very difficult to tackle one-on-one in space; slips through arm tackles and can bob and weave past second-level defenders with ease. Gets low to the ground, utilizes head-fakes and stutter-steps, and maximizes what’s available. Given his frame, is obviously not the type of back who’s going to steamroll front-seven defenders, but makes himself a small target, can stay upright if opponents don’t square him up, and demonstrates good competitiveness and leg drive to fight for additional yardage once he’s been engaged. Ball security is solid, with five career fumbles on over six hundred offensive touches. Wasn’t utilized that frequently as a receiver; caught just forty-nine passes over four years, with a single-season high of twenty this past year. Was more frequently retained in pass protection; alert in scanning for targets, with the lateral quickness to put himself in position, although obviously his below-average size may inhibit his ability to obstruct bigger pass-rushers at the next level. Often tends to throw a shoulder instead of engaging with his arms/hands. Was generally considered likely to be one of the first running backs selected had he declared last season, but didn’t enjoy the same type of success this past year, dealing with injuries and eventually tearing his ACL. Medical evaluations will be important to his stock, but looks likely to be at least a mid-round pick as teams try to acquire a potential steal at a bargain price.

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