Finding Broncos: Scouting Running Back Paul Perkins

Next up for MHH’s draft expert Erick Trickel is UCLA running back Paul Perkins. Many have different views on him but just what does our draft analyst think of the kid?

Paul Perkins

Running Back, UCLA

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 208 pounds

Birthday: November 16, 1994

Combine Results

40-YARD DASH: 4.54 SEC

BENCH PRESS: 19 REPS

VERTICAL JUMP: 32.0 INCH

BROAD JUMP: 124.0 INCH

Pros

  • One of the best running backs in the draft at creating for himself
  • Willing to stand up against bigger rushers in blitz pickup
  • Reliable as a receiver when called upon
  • Nightcrawler runner: meaning he can disappear from would-be tacklers & re-appear to pick up more yards
  • Can make defenders miss in tight spaces
  • Excellent vision
  • Built for a 1-cut system
  • Decisive and instinctful
  • Gets to top speed quickly
  • Natural with the ball in his hands
  • Good genes. Father played in the NFL, as did his uncle. His brother redshirted last year for Arizona State
  • Extremely flexible and can make tacklers miss in a variety of ways

Cons

  • Skinny lower body and doesn’t have the leg power to churn through tackles
  • Pad level is bad
  • Must improve as a pass blocker to ever be considered as a 3-down back
  • Small frame with no room to bulk up
  • Weighed in at 208 pounds, but looked lighter than that during the season. Did he bulk up some just for the combine?
  • Can’t handle the short yardage situations
  • Doesn’t break tackles, relies on making tacklers miss
  • Lacks consistency as a receiver
  • Limited as a receiver
  • Limited in both scheme and how he can be used.
  • Not a bellcow, has to be a No. 2 or part of a committee.

Overall Thoughts

I am not a fan of Perkins, but if you can put him in the right scheme working with the right style of running backs, you can get a lot of success out of him. He is a flashy runner, who has good speed to burn off long runs for big chunks of yards, but he will need elite blocking in front of him, or tired out defenses.

When contacted by defenders, he becomes easy to bring down. Even though he doesn’t shy away from contact, how he reacts to contact is a small concern, as it could lead to him shying away from contact in the future.  When it is all said and done, I don’t see the justification in drafting him before the mid-4th round, even for the right scheme. Plenty of other players who can do what he does.

Broncos Round Projection: Mid-4th

Where He Goes: Late 2nd-Late 3rd

Per sources: Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about Perkins through league sources. That could be a good thing, or a bad thing.

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Erick Trickel in an Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @Alaskan_Bronco. And be sure to like MileHighHuddle on Facebook

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