NFL Draft Spotlight: Ben Tate, RB, Auburn

by Cory J. Bonini on April 13, 2010 @ 17:37:00 PDT

 


Auburn running back Ben Tate is coming off his best collegiate year in four seasons as a Tiger. This 2010 NFL Draft prospect averaged 5.2 yards per carry on his way to a 1,363-yard, 10-touchdown season in 2009.

Strengths

  • Quality size and thickness: 5-foot-11, 220 pounds
  • Tough inside runner
  • Faster than expected: 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine (third fastest RB)
  • Protects the ball well
  • Talented, experienced receiver - can flex out as a wide receiver
  • Has found success in a variety of offensive systems, most notably the West Coast and spread
  • Very confident
  • Earned respect of teammates (2009 team MVP)
  • Breaks tackles with ease
  • Keeps legs moving through the pile with a forward lean

Weaknesses

  • While Tate has improved as a blocker, he still has a ways to go to be considered better than a liability at the next level.
  • Unproductive most of his career; shared the backfield until 2009 ... a one-year wonder?
  • Excessive steps - sometimes will get tripped up trying to elude a defender
  • Doesn't excel in any one area

Expected draft placement

Reminding us somewhat of the Chicago Bears' Chester Taylor, Tate could develop into a quality player in the NFL. Taylor is a superior pass blocker in comparison, but Tate's soft hands and versatility are similar to the veteran running back's.

It may be tough for Tate to make his way into the second round, but we don't have much concern that he'll fall out of the third.

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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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