NFL Draft Spotlight: Joe McKnight, RB, USC

by Cory J. Bonini on March 15, 2010 @ 14:03:57 PDT

 


The latest tailback from Southern California to declare for the NFL Draft is junior Joe McKnight. He capped off his collegiate career with a 1,014-yard, eight-touchdown season.

Strengths

  • Versatile: McKnight catches well and is a fairly experienced punt returner. He can be flexed out as a slot receiver, too.
  • Quick to the edge - his best trait
  • Above-average speed - 4.47-second 40-yard dash
  • Capable, willing blocker
  • Impressive acceleration and burst through the hole
  • Elusive in short area - can juke defenders with relative ease
  • Pro-style offense experience
  • Runs NFL routes

Weaknesses

  • Inconsistent
  • Oft-injured in 2008 (hyperextended elbow, chipped bone in finger, sprained toe)
  • Lack of toughness between the tackles
  • Average balance - knocked down easily by big hits
  • Inability to break tackles
  • Can't sustain a block for long
  • Runs too upright at times
  • Questionable ball security
  • Character concerns following a scandal involving his girlfriend's improper use of an automobile

Expected draft placement

It's understandable why McKnight entered the draft, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's ready for the next level. Any team considering him will be looking at a situational player - a change of pace to a more powerful rusher. We feel McKnight will come off the board in third round, but he may sneak into the late second if everything falls into place for him.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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