2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

by Cory J. Bonini on February 26, 2013 @ 15:50:25 PDT

 


Wisconsin running back Montee Ball surprised many last year after he decided to return to school for his senior season, even after quarterback Russell Wilson had departed for the highest level. A year later, Ball checks in as one of the top backs in the 2013 NFL Draft class.

Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Proven track record

In 2011, the then junior rushed for 1,923 yards and an insane 33 touchdowns. He caught six more scores on 24 receptions. A year later, Ball managed 1,830 yards on the ground with 22 trips to paydirt, but he failed to find the end zone through the air.

Strengths

  • A powerfully built back - 5-foot-10, 214 pounds
  • Strong lower body with legs that never stop churning
  • Runs with a low center of gravity
  • Improves as games wear on, punishing defenders along the way
  • Capable but unnatural receiver - most of his catches came on screen passes
  • Quality in blitz pickup
  • Stifling stiff arm and is more nimble than often given credit for - makes well-timed cuts that allow for excellent momentum shifts
  • Very patient runner - sets up his blocks
  • Finishes runs and has a nose for the end zone

Weaknesses

  • Tremendous workload at Wisconsin - 983 offensive touches in four years (366 in 2012)
  • Benefitted in 2011 from one of the best offensive lines in recent NCAA memory in a run-first system
  • Lacks a second gear - 4.66 seconds in the 40-yard dash - and an initial burst
  • Durability concerns - multiple concussions and a lot of wear on his tires
  • Been involved in off-the-field incidents but was cleared of any wrongdoing - enough of a red flag to warrant a mention
  • Limited to no upside

Expected draft placement

Ball is an all-around solid but unspectacular running back and should be a second-day pick. The decorated rusher could go to any number of teams, but several that stand out include the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.

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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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