RB Michael Warren II, Cincinnati*

5’9” – 226 lbs.

Carried the ball for a line of 54-324-1 (6.0) as a freshman, also returning kicks, then took over lead-back duties the following year. Turned in two monster years, producing 244-1,329-19 (5.4) as a sophomore and 266-1,265-14 (4.8) as a junior before declaring for the draft, also adding 46 catches over the two seasons combined. Ball security is good; over 629 career touches, only coughed up three fumbles, none of which came last season. Shorter back with very solid bulk for a workhorse, and who proved that he could serve as a feature back over the past two seasons.

Took most of his snaps out of the shotgun, with a mix of between-the-tackles attempts, off-tackle runs, and pitches. Runs hard with a low center of gravity, good balance, and a violent style. Overall vision and cutting ability are pretty good; does a good job of identifying opportunities to cut back or bounce runs to the outside. Top end speed looks just adequate and doesn’t have a great deal of explosiveness or burst to his movements; relies on his strength and balance to run through and pinball off of would-back tacklers. Impossible to bring down without squaring him up; shakes off arm tackles with ease. Typically able to fall forward at the end of his runs for additional yardage. Isn’t one of the most elusive backs in this year’s class near the line of scrimmage, although he can make some second-level defenders miss when he gets into the open field. Gains a surprisingly high percentage of his yards off-tackle.

Served as a safety valve out of the backfield and, although he doesn’t present quarterbacks with a big target, flashes the ability to adjust to and snatch throws away from his frame; could have been even more productive as a receiver but his quarterback seemed to prefer lower-percentage shots downfield to checking down. Wasn’t retained as a blocker too often; looks willing to stick his nose in, although he had some trouble lining up opponents during the games reviewed. Works to find and engage opponents when blocking in space.

A little bit of a throwback player who offers a powerful build, a violent running style, and impressive contact balance, but who doesn’t have incredible speed or explosiveness. Should appeal to teams looking for a back who can protect the football and wear down defenses; looks like he’ll be more of a mid-to-late-round pick, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him carve out a power-back role in a team’s rotation.

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