2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

by Cory J. Bonini on March 20, 2012 @ 16:42:28 PDT

 


Oregon running back LaMichael James brings his big-play skills to the 2012 NFL Draft, but will his lack of prototypical size hold him back?

The early-entry junior rushed for 1,805 yards (7.3 per carry) and 18 touchdowns in 2011, adding one more score on 17 receptions. In 2010, he amassed 1,939 offensive yards and 24 scores on the year.

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Undersized playmaker

Strengths

  • Extraordinary production
  • Capable receiver out of the backfield
  • Shines in big games
  • Very low center of gravity
  • Elusive and agile - impressive change-of-direction skills
  • Explosive, big-play threat
  • Decisive runner
  • Surprisingly strong and effective between the tackles
  • Great vision for the cutback lane
  • Competent, willing cut blocker
  • Quick feet and acceleration ability

Weaknesses

  • Lacks ideal size (5-foot-8, 194 pounds) and strength
  • Wasn't used extensively in the passing game
  • Minor injury concerns
  • Was suspended for the 2010 season opener because of a harassment charge that was later dropped
  • Will be overpowered by stronger defenders
  • Ball security issues
  • Comes from a spread offense

Expected draft placement

James could come off the board as early as the second round, but the third is probably a more likely spot for him. His physical limitations will probably pigeonhole him as a complementary back, but he has potential to be a full-time back in a zone-blocking system.

Teams that may consider him include the Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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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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