2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

by Cory J. Bonini on April 5, 2013 @ 16:35:47 PDT

 


UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin is coming off his best statistical season, which was good timing right before the 2013 NFL Draft.

The senior back managed a personal-best 1,734 ground yards and 13 rushing scores in 2012. He added 33 receptions for 323 yards and a pair of scores through the air, marking his first significant action in the passing game while at UCLA. Franklin racked up 19 offensive touchdowns in his prior three years with the Bruins.

Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Zone-blocking beast

Strengths

  • Above-average top-end speed (4.46-second 40-yard dash time)
  • Sneaks through narrow channels in the line with ease
  • Big-play threat
  • Extremely strong character
  • Intelligent, hard worker and team leader
  • Ideal fit for a zone-blocking scheme
  • Great vision for the cutback lane
  • Not afraid of contact up the middle - runs harder than his size suggests
  • Good body control and balance

Weaknesses

  • Suspect blocker
  • Lacks ideal build for the NFL as an every-down back (5-foot-10, 205 pounds)
  • Largely untested as a receiver out of the backfield until 2012 (33 catches)
  • Lacks polish as a route runner
  • Inconsistent production
  • Has struggled with protecting the ball throughout his career
  • Needs more experience in a pro-style offense

Expected draft placement

Franklin's physical stature limits him to certain situations, and his zone-blocking ability may pigeonhole him to a handful of teams in the NFL. He should come off the board as early as the late second round and before the middle of the fourth.

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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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