Alvin Kamara RB TENN

Alvin Kamara RB TENN

Coming out of High School in 2013, Kamara was a 4 star recruit who originally committed to Alabama before transferring over to Tennessee. He signed at Bama and played his freshman season there but was suspended twice and did not travel with the team during the Sugar Bowl. He didn’t see any time on the field as a freshman on a team that had Derrick Henry, TJ Yeldon, Kenyon Drake, and recruited Altee Tenpenny the same season. After his freshman season at Bama he transferred to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas and played his 2014 there before his move to Tennessee.

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Kamara was ranked by ESPN as the #4 RB of the class and was their 32ND Overall prospect coming out of Norcross High School in Georgia. He was listed at 5’10” and 192pounds. His HS SPARQ test results list his at a 4.55 40 – Yard dash, a 4.28 20 – Yard shuttle, 39.1 inch Vertical and a 116.13 SPARQ Score. A pretty phenomenal athlete coming out of High School. You know where in his senior season he posted 2,264 yards and 26 touchdowns while winning the Mr Football Award.

In that freshman season at Bama during training camp Kamara suffered a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. One of those suspensions that Kamara was punished with while recovering from injury was for a “behavior reason” according to Coach Saban. The second was during the Sugar Bowl but no reasons seem to have been given for that. On Feb 16TH 2014, while he was in his hometown, Kamara was arrested for driving on a suspended license and spent a short time in jail. Checking through the internet it appears that after Hutchinson, Kamara kept himself out of trouble and seems to have turned himself around.

Kamara played 9 games for Hutchinson Community College where on 172 carries he put up 1253 total rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He put up a 7.3 Yards Per Carry average with a longest run of 71 yards. He also caught 18 passes for a total of 224 yards and 3 TDs. In 2015 Kamara carried 107 times for 698 yards and 7 TDs with a 6.5YPC average. He also caught 34 passes for 291 yards and put in another 3 TDs through the air.  His 2016 season at Tennessee he carried 103 times for 596 yards and 9 TDs while catching another 40 passes for 392 yards and 4 more scores. Kamara did have an injured left knee which was reported to have been a sprain involving the LCL and meniscus during the 2016 season. Two knee injuries in his college isn’t anything major but keep an eye on draft capital and how it might impact where he is selected during the NFL draft.

Combine info – Kamara showed up at the combine and measured in at 5’10” and 214 lbs. He has massive arm length at the RB position with 32 ¾inch arms which are in the 94 percentile at the position. In the 40 Yard Dash he ran a 4.56s which while not great isn’t terrible. In the vertical jump he posted a very strong 39.5 inches while also leaping to a 131 inch broad jump. It’s impressive that Kamara put on a solid 20 lbs to his frame coming out of HS and maintained his speed and explosive profile. He hit a solid 15 reps on his bench press. A number you’d like to see a little higher but nothing that should impact his draft stock. When you take a look at his measureables on Player Profiler you see a 99 speed score which is 55TH percentile and a monster 132.7 burst score; which measures a player’s explosiveness with the vertical and broad jump. That score put Kamara in the 94TH percentile for burst.

Things to like – Kamara has that size and speed you would like to see in a NFL RB. He’s a competitive runner who rarely wastes energy needlessly stretching out plays looking for the homerun TD. Takes the yards that are available without stretching out the play horizontally. Kamara shows great flexibility and superior lower body balance. With his talent as a pass catcher he can play on all three downs. Shows an ability to be on the field on third down in pass protection and can square up on blitzers. Flexed out at a WR and caught passes from different levels. Is able to create yards by changing his speed and uses that flexibility to get defenders off balance and the power to take advantage of it. That powerful lower body is on display as he can flip to top speed quickly when the lane develops.

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Cons – Coming out of Tennessee in the 6 clips that I was able to watch of him everything is out of shotgun. I don’t think I once saw him line up in a traditional NFL formation, however, this isn’t truly a con as many NFL teams are running more shotgun. His game against Virginia Tech was a bit of a poor showing. He does bring a nice receiving TD during this game but that is more of the defender losing track as he collided with another defender leaving Kamara the check down wide open. Kamara did make a nice move into the end zone on that play. On the 2ND and 3RD level at times for as good as he looks at setting up blocks he will needlessly run into the tackle or takes a poor angle. Again the two knee injuries could be a red flag but not overly worried as he had a low number of carries. He also had two phenomenal games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt with the knee brace on after the sprain.

Buzz on Kamara has been building and I even heard mention that he could be the first running back off the board during the NFL Draft. I still think that Fournette or Cook are going 1-2 off the board but after watching Kamara I think he has the ability and talent to step up. His vision and elusiveness combined with lower body flexibility and power make him one of the better backs this year. Kamara has the chance to make a huge difference on your fantasy roster this year and you need to be plugged in to where he goes and how the summer plays out for him.

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Dynasty RB Paul Perkins UCLA

Paul Perkins RB UCLA

Coming out of High School in 2012, Perkins was a 3 star recruit out of Arizona and was listed at 5’10” 180 pounds. The 2012 class has some talent as I talked about in my Jonathan Williams article. Perkins isn’t likely to be a twenty carry a game type back. I doubt his body could handle that workload but he could be a good tandem back if he lands on the right team.

Perkins put up decent numbers his two years as a starter in 2015 and 2014. In 2014 he had 1575 yards on 251 attempts for a 6.3 yard per carry while in 2015 he put up 1343 yards on 237 carries for a 5.7ypc. In 2014 he had 9 touchdowns and in 2015 he had 14. His first year getting playing time in 2013 Perkins posted 573 yards on 134 carries. I will talk about Perkins lack of breakaway speed, but in 2014 he had a long run of 92 yards and in 2015 he had one of 82 yards. He also showed skills in the receiving game each year posting around 25 caught balls and about 250 yards through the air.

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Combine info – Perkins measured in at 5103 or about 5’10” weighing in at 208lbs. So he packed on about 30 pounds of mass during his time at UCLA. That shows work ethic and dedication. It’s also not easy to put on that size and maintain speed and agility. Arm length measured in at 31 5/8” and he had 9” hands. He ran a 4.54 40 yard dash with a 1.62 10 yard. It was odd that he did not perform in the short shuttle or the 3 cone. His agility should be one of his strengths on tape but maybe wasn’t testing well. Perkins had a 32 inch vertical and a 124 inch broad jump. So he shows some explosion in the broad jump that didn’t translate into the vertical. Perkins did 19 reps on the bench press.

Things to like – Perkins shows some really good hands as a receiver. He is not a body catcher and does a nice job focusing in on the ball. Shows ability to catch balls thrown behind him and those that are placed high/low. In the bowl game against Nebraska you see his ability to really watch the ball in during a screen where he ends up getting blown up as he receives the ball. Never takes his eyes off. He will do well in swings and screen passes at the NFL level. His lower body strength and agility allows him to get through the trash at the line and his initial burst gets him past that first level of defense. He shows great lateral quickness when he needs to break a run outside or when cutting back to find a running lane. His Stanford run shows all of this as at the initial point of attack a Stanford LB is there to meet him. Perkins quickly sidesteps him goes over another defender at the line, cuts back and bounces it out and up the field. His plus Vision, balance and agility all flash on that play. Shows a good stutter step and change of direction with quick footwork. He does a very nice job setting up defenders in the open field and juking them.

Cons – Needs to play behind his pads in pass pro. He shows a willingness to take on defenders but gets knocked down when doing so, though he still slows the pass rush. Needs to learn to chop defenders low as blocker at his size. I didn’t notice any fumbles but he gets an arm swing that puts the ball away from his body at times. He lacks breakaway speed. Perkins game tape looks a lot slower than the 4.54 forty that he put on display at the NFL combine. He is a lot quicker than he is fast. It’s not a bad thing but it’s going to limit his ability to create at the next level. This also affects his ability to create separation in pass routes.

Perkins is going to be best suited to go to teams with Gap and Zone run schemes. He is a patient runner who lets blocks forms and has great vision to find primary or cut back lanes. His lateral agility and initial burst allows him to make the first defender miss though a lack of a second gear to breakaway in the open field limits big play potential. This also limits his ability to separate from defenders when running routes. Look for Perkins likely to be a day 3 pick. I doubt he becomes an every down back but in the Running Back By Committee world of the NFL he has a place as a good running back option.

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