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.