NFL Draft Analysis: Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee Volunteers

by Zach Sanders on April 3, 2009 @ 03:52:10 PDT

 


University of Tennessee running back Arian Foster will enter the 2009 NFL Draft after spending five seasons as a Volunteer. Foster had his most productive season as a junior, rushing for 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards a carry. Foster also caught two touchdowns as a junior and compiled 340 receiving yards on 39 receptions out of the backfield. Foster's senior season, however, was a disappointment. Foster rushed for 570 yards and only one touchdown in 2008, dropping his draft stock significantly.

Strengths

  • Soft hands out of the backfield
  • Excellent body control
  • Adequate inside runner
  • Hits the hole with a burst of speed
  • Good size and frame to bulk up if necessary
  • Capable pass blocker

Weaknesses

  • Injuries - had knee surgery before 2008 season
  • Character issues - arrested in November 2006 for underage drinking and was promptly suspended by the Volunteers for fighting
  • Slow for an NFL running back - 4.68 seconds 40-yard dash time
  • Awareness - tries to bounce runs outside the tackles
  • Not as powerful as his size indicates

Expected draft placement

Despite Foster's lackluster senior season, he still has some NFL potential. However, teams are afraid to draft him due to his injury, character and overall performance issues. Chances are he will go undrafted and be invited to training camp, but Foster could be selected by teams looking to add depth in the late sixth or seventh round.

If Foster makes an NFL team, it will certainly be as a third running back or special teams contributor (no as a return specialist). Foster could become a short-yardage or goal line back in the NFL.

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About Zach Sanders

Sanders has been a KFFL contributor since 2008.

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