Hidden Gems 2020 NFL Draft Sleepers Part 1 by Matt Anzio
Thought it would be fitting to start with Running Back because there are so many good ones going into their Senior campaigns. Here are 4 different backs with a variety of skill sets.
- Jacquez “Twister” Hall
- Iowa Wesleyan
- Height : 5’9
- Weight : 185 lbs
Twister is a perfect nickname for an explosive back that moves like a tornado through opposing defenses.
Sometimes it’s the prospects that introduce themselves the earliest that turn out to be some of the most exciting players at the end of the day. Hall supported the 2019 prospects I was featuring through the draft and even after became a favorite of mine. Patiently waiting for his opportunity for a well deserved look. I really liked what I saw when I turned on the tape. He is a compact, tough, and shifty back, who reminds me of lightning in a bottle.
Can help an offense in so many ways whether it is running quick tosses or in the pass game. He can return kicks and play special teams which is a huge asset. His vision to see the opening, is amazing. He has loose hips with excellent footwork, good knee bend and is smooth. He keeps a proper pad level not easy for would be tacklers to get their paws on. He is slippery as ice over an oil spill with the body movement skill set to be on dancing with the stars. No restrictions in his body movement, has very lucid hips, knees, and ankles. Cuts on a dime effortlessly & has great redirection. Good pass catcher who can make big plays after the grab. Running & Return star with good production in the run & in the slot as a receiver.
Summary: Hall can do many things! He is an exciting, fast, and elusive triple threat weapon. A player to watch closely in his SR year his journey has just begun.
- RB – Jordan Cronkrite
- Height : 5’11
- Weight : 207 lbs
Cronkrite runs with speed & grace is poised for a big Senior campaign.
Initial jab step is fire, exploding off the line with patience smooth lucid hips, knees, and amazing change of direction. Intuitive concentration, and vision to hit the hole. He runs right through arm tackles. Not going down without a fight & at almost 6 ft 210 lbs not the biggest but not the smallest either. Has almost 0 % body fat, tight skin, strong holds and the ball high & tight. Intelligent deciphering defenses and finding the weaknesses. He hits the hole with the intensity like Death Metal at your Grandma’s B day party. Can break a tackle or two then he is off to the races, with quick fee,t break away gusto with the ability to break off the a chunk play or TD at any given second.
Played in all 12 games had 184 carries for 1,121 yds 9 TD, 6.1 ypc & 1151 yds from scrimmage on the year. This year is primed to top even that impressive showing, I would keep a close eye on Cronkrite. He looks like a guy that could climb scouts big boards.
- RB – Shakif Seymour
- Height : 5’ 11
- Weight : 218
Seymour Started 8 Games last year and showed a preview of what’s to come this season.
In the games he started had 565 yds several TD’s & was a All-Mac nominee in 2018. Had 101 yds against Bowling Green alone but his Sophomore year was even better. Had 702 yds with 12 TD’s had 5 rush TD’s vs Bowling Green tieing a school record. In 2017, Seymour averaged 6.1 ypc which was 2nd best in the MAC Conference.
Out the gates he feels his way through the gaps his O-line creates and has a natural ability to avoid tackles. Not the fastest RB on earth but has the the quickness along with the instincts needed to be a dependable back. His balance and stability are durable, with a strong upper body and back. He has the concentration to find the narrowest of openings. Seymour is a downhill runner that doesn’t do a lot of cuts or fancy moves but has the physical power to bounce off tackles or stiff arm opponents. Big game ability the type of back that the more you feed him the ball the better the production.
- RB Darryn Jordan
- Height 5’10
- Weight 195 lbs
Marist had a WR get a shot could a RB like Jordan be next?
He is a decisive, quick footed back that keeps moving forward navigating around tackles keeping his eyes down field. I like his burst out the gates, he doesn’t lose much momentum on his breaks. He runs somewhere in the high 4.4 to 4.5 range in my best guesstimate. He does a nice job at finishing runs with some gusto. Keeps the ball out of harm’s way. My only complaint would be I would like to see him make the last tackler miss. Effort is high, no knock there just that extra something to win that last battle & score even more. Shows terrific hands in the pass game on swing passes or short throws seems to have a natural ability with the ball in his hands after the catch to find a path to the marker. Upside is as high as the Empire State building in the run & pass game.
Solid blocker not afraid to get in there block a blitzing LB or be good fit to help blocking on special teams. Nice frame to add some muscle weight while keeping his overall burst. Has the ability to stretch the field laterally, to elude, dash, and spin his way for extra yardage. Last year was just the beginning as he looks to be a heavily featured back as a Senior this coming fall.
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