Illinois junior running back Mikel LeShoure did about the only thing he could have after his breakout 2010 season: declare for the 2011 NFL Draft. He carried the team on his back to the tune of 1,697 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns.
With a little refinement as a pass blocker and as a receiver, LeShoure should be a three-down back in the NFL.
- Powerful, tough runner - plays with controlled aggression
- Excellent burst and enough speed to turn the corner
- Workhorse size (6-foot-1, 230 pounds)
- Surprisingly nimble and balanced for his stature
Great vision and cutback ability
High boom, low bust quality
- Extremely productive in 2010
- Ball security - didn't fumble in 2010 (298 touches)
- Capable receiver and provides a size mismatch against cornerbacks
- Maturity concerns after a 2009 fight with a teammate that resulted in LeShoure's jaw being broken
- Willing but unpolished blocker
- Mediocre hands and poor route-running skills
- Occasionally runs too upright
- One-year wonder?
- Shows impatience at times - bounces plays outside prematurely
- Dietary and weight problems prior to 2010 season
Expected draft placement
LeShoure is a boom-or-bust pick to a degree, but his ceiling is far higher than the lows of his bust potential. He could creep into the late first round. The New England Patriots have a pair of first-round picks in the second half of the stanza, and LeShoure could be their man if they aren't completely sold on BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Pats also hold the first pick of the second round.
Don't be surprised if the Green Bay Packers consider him at No. 32. The Baltimore Ravens have a lot of needs, primarily on defense, but LeShoure could be taken with their No. 26 pick if Willis McGahee is indeed released and Le'Ron McClain doesn't return. Other teams of note include: Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions.
LeShoure seems to have corrected his attitude problems, and as long as he interviews well, there is no reason to believe he will fall out of the middle of the second round.
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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