There seems to be more and more running back talent coming into the NFL. Of the top twenty rushers this year, eleven came into the league as recently as 2014, and the two top rushers were both rookies. The NFL seems to be trending in the direction of having a handful of very good, young running backs and this draft class promises to provide a lot more of that talent. Running backs are volume players. A starting runner will get 20-30 touches a game and is basically bound to produce in some capacity. So when being productive is not enough, it is important to see how those yards are created and if a player maximizes their touches as much as possible. However, when a running back like Samaje Perine is only the second leading rusher on a highly explosive Oklahoma offense, there is going to be an assumption that he's average.
Yeah... about that.
Samaje Perine may have been out-rushed this season by fellow 2017 prospect, Joe Mixon, but Perine has been a key cog in the Sooners offense since his freshman year. In three seasons, Perine accounted for over 4100 yards rushing at six yards a carry and a whopping 49 touchdowns on the ground. While his numbers dipped after an incredible freshman season due to Joe Mixon taking caries away, Perine never rushed for less than 1000 yards or 12 touchdowns.
What stands out about Perine initially is his build. He is a low to the ground back and has the consistency of a brick. Oklahoma lists him at 5-10, 235, but I would guess he is no more than 5-9 with a bit more weight on him. His build is notable because it makes him so hard to tackle. He has natural leverage as runner and really incredible balance.