NFL Draft Profile – RB, Montee BallBall - image courtesy of ngngsports
NFL Draft Profile
- Wisconsin RB, Montee Ball – 5-11, 210 pounds
2012 stats – 356 carries, 1830 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns. 10 receptions, 72 yards.
Career stats – 924 carries, 5140 yards, 77 touchdowns.
Montee Ball was considered the heir apparent to mammoth John Clay, but after losing weight, Ball gained explosiveness and pushed Clay out of the starting gig and tore up the record books in his wake. Ball has an NCAA record 83 career touchdowns (which is absolutely ridiculous and the case and point why he is so special), to go along with his lofty yardage totals. I believe that along with quickness and speed is a skill that is commonly overlooked, a nose for the end zone. No matter how large Brandon Jacobs of the Giants was, he was always terrible at getting in the end zone because he couldn’t find small seems and didn’t have a quick burst of movement to find a way over the line. Ball is the complete opposite. Although Montee Ball isn’t going to win many races (he’ll probably run a 4.55), he has amazing field vision and the ability to cut upfield in a hurry and go from 0-to-60 as fast as anyone. His 60 isn’t Chris Johnson blazing, but he has adequate top speed to be a danger in an NFL backfield.
Ball has operated behind some of the greatest lines in college football but hasn’t needed a huge hole to do his damage. Wisconsin backs are sometimes hard to project because of their immense advantages at the college level, especially the past few years in a down Big Ten, but Ball still seems like a kid that has enough elite qualities that his style will translate. At 212 pounds Ball has a lot of Thomas Jones in his game. He isn’t going to run over NFL linebackers but he uses a little wiggle to create a bad tackling angle and has enough lower body strength to pull through sloppy or half-hearted tackles. His transition period will be mainly blocking since he was used as a feature back and a decoy when not directly involved. Ball had a nice year in 2011 out of the backfield, 306 receiving yards and six touchdowns, but wasn’t utilized as much in the passing game after offensive coordinator Paul Chryst departed to take over at Pitt. But Ball has proved he is an adequate to plus receiver out of the backfield.
NFL Comparison – Priest Holmes
Draft Prediction – 3-4th round (Should be, 2nd round).
BeyondU Sports - Best College Sports Blog Site