Cal running back Daniel Lasco drafted by New Orleans Saints in NFL Draft's seventh round

After a superlative NFL Scouting Combine, Cal running back Daniel Lasco is rewarded with a seventh-round selection, 237th ovrall by the New Orleans Saints.

RB Daniel Lasco: Drafted

Round 7, 237th
Team: New Orleans Saints
Bio Info
The Woodlands High School (The Woodlands, TX)
6-0
209
4.46 40
32-inch arm length
9 1/8-inch hands

Pro Day Results
3-cone: 6.84 seconds 
Short shuttle: 4.13 seconds

Scout Pre-Draft Rankings
Two-star prospect
No. 15 running back in the draft
No. 232 overall prospect

Cal Career: Two-time Doak Walker Award Watch List member. Nephew of Sammy O’Brient, member of the Wrecking Crew defensive line at Texas A&M.As team MVP in 2014, Lasco rushed for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns, with 33 catches for 356 yards. Lasco had battled leg and shoulder injuries each of the previous three seasons, but looked to be finally healthy. In the Bears' second game against San Diego State as a senior, he suffered a hip injury, and then an ankle injury, which he was never able to truly get over, making three starts in nine games, carrying the ball 65 times for 331 yards and three touchdowns.

Lasco was a workout warrior at the NFL Scouting Combine, tearing off a 4.46-second 40-yard time (4th among running backs) with a 1.53 10-yard split, push out out 23 reps in the bench -- a number, by the way, matched and surpassed only by Cal's defensive linemen on at Pro Day -- and also was a top performer in the vertical jump (41.5 inches, best at the combine), the broad jump (135 inches) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.31 seconds).

He's since worked out for the Patriots, Eagles and Saints, being specifically worked out at Cal's Pro Day by the Colts and 49ers. Not shy of contact, Lasco has the burst and athleticism of a much smaller back, but the power of his 209 pounds. The only thing holding teams back would be his injury history, and the fact that he had just one completely healthy season. During that season, though, he was a revelation.

Lasco finished his career with 1,872 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 348 carries in 41 games. His 18 rushing touchdowns are 10th on Cal's all-time career list.

Lasco's zest for special teams is what will separate him from a lot of backs, and he's added 26 tackles on special teams with three forced fumbles. He also added five kick returns for 65 yards.

A native of The Woodlands, Tex., Lasco posted 2,395 career all-purpose yards, and is an above-average pass catcher out of the backfield, with a school-record 92-yard reception (a short catch-and-run that he took for a touchdown against Colorado), and with 48 career catches for 458 yards and two touchdowns.

Lasco rushed for 100 or more yards six times, with five coming his junior year, and one last season. 

Expert Breakdown: “Lasco, in 25 years of coaching, Lasco probably handled having a disappointing season better than anybody else could have, that I've ever been around. He puts the work in, he expects good things to happen, and if something good doesn't happen, he works through it and grinds through it. All the ups and downs he went through, he never wavered. All the guys who run for a 60--yard touchdown and then run down on the next kickoff -- nobody does that. Whoever gets him is getting a steal." –Sonny Dykes, Cal head coach

"He's one of the hardest workers on the team. He wants to win the most." -- Jared Goff

“My favorite part about him is how well he communicates with me, and how easy he is to work with. He wants to win as bad as anybody. He’s back there and we’re talking the whole game.” -- Goff

“Athletic short-strider with potential to make a quick cut to avoid contact. Inconsistent play speed, but does show a second gear to burst past a tackler. Has some “get­away” in the open field when he sees daylight. Highly productive 2014 campaign creates hope that 2015 injury was primarily responsible for on-­field issues. Has adequate hands and was a weapon out of the backfield in 2014. Productive on cover teams at Cal and has potential to be special teams contributor … Not an instinctive runner between the tackles. Slow to process development of running lanes and appears unable to make late decisions and keep the run alive. Needs to show more creativity as a runner. Leaves too many yards out on the field due to lack of vision. Too quick to give in and end the run. Suffered through a hip injury in 2015 that robbed him of effectiveness and confidence. Needs to run with more urgency and desire. Gears down rather than accelerates when contact is imminent. Yardage after contact numbers are below average.” – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com Draft Expert

In Lasco's Own Words:

“If I’m crawling off the field, as long as I come away with a win, that’s all that matters."

“Every single time I come off the field after a game, I get in the shower, and different things, random things, start stinging and burning, and it feels good, especially walking away with a win. It doesn’t matter how many bangs, how many bruises, how banged up you are: There’s no better feeling.”


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