NFL Draft Analysis: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh Panthers

by Zach Sanders on April 23, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT

 


University of Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy chose to forgo his final two years of eligibility and has entered the 2009 NFL Draft. McCoy attended the Milford Academy (New Berlin, NY) after his senior year of high school, thus making him comparable to a collegiate junior.

In his two seasons with the Panthers, McCoy ran for 2,816 yards on 584 carries, rushing for 35 touchdowns. McCoy also caught 65 balls out of the backfield, scoring once and gaining 549 yards. In 2008, McCoy was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back in the nation, and the Maxwell Award, given to the top player in the country.

Strengths

  • Quick hips - very fluid and slippery runner
  • Excellent body control - runs with a great center of gravity and is tough to knock down
  • Impressive work ethic and is very competitive
  • Runs precise routes out of the backfield
  • Good hands in receiving game

Weaknesses

  • Needs to bulk up (5-foot-10 3/8, 204 pounds)
  • Timed slower than expected at his March 17 Pro Day (4.50-second 40-yard dash)
  • Was unwilling to run inside last season, preferring to look for the cutback lane and take the ball outside the tackles
  • Ball security - often holds the ball too far from his body
  • Weak pass blocker

Expected draft placement

At the moment, McCoy looks to be a fringe first-round prospect. Knowshon Moreno, from the University of Georgia, and Chris Wells, of Ohio State, are above McCoy in the running back rankings.

Rewind to February: The Arizona Cardinals are looking to improve their running game and could look to McCoy to jump start their ground attack at No. 31 overall. Fast forward to present day: "Shady" McCoy lacks the bulk and speed to be a first-round pick. The draft positions of Georgia Bulldogs running back Knowshon Moreno and Ohio State's Chris Wells were solidified during this timeframe; meanwhile, Connecticut Huskies back Donald Brown leapfrogged McCoy as the No. 3-ranked back in our eyes.

The Cincinnati Bengals at No. 38 could select McCoy in the hopes of rebuilding their once-prolific offense. McCoy shouldn't fall past the Cleveland Browns at No. 50, who could look to the rookie to offer edge speed.

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About Zach Sanders

Sanders has been a KFFL contributor since 2008.

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