Finding Broncos: Scouting LSU Running Back Leonard Fournette

Nick Kendell returns to Finding Broncos, this time scouting prolific LSU running back Leonard Fournette.

Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU Tigers

http://www.scout.com/player/148468-leonard-fournette?s=101

Combine Measurements 

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 240 pounds

Arm: 31-5/8 inches

Hands: 9-1/4 inches

Combine Results

40-Yard Dash: 4.51 seconds

Vertical Jump: 31-5/8” inches

Stats

Year Attempts Yards YPC TD
2014 187 1,034 5.5 10
2015 300 1,953 6.5 22
2016 129 1,034 6.5 8

Medical History

Multiple ankle injuries some teams feel may be chronic and other dings and bruises

Character

Clean off the field. Coach Ed Oregon raved, “He’s always been a leader. He’s emotional in the locker room."

Pros

An incredible physical presence to any team’s offense and run game. Has size and speed and power to punish teams in the run game. If given a crease, can take it to the house on any carry.

Not afraid to lower his shoulder to lay the ‘boom’ and will churn his legs and fight for extra yards. Solidly elusive for his size with great balance and lower body strength.

One of the more celebrated backs in college football in recent memory, the size to speed combination is as rare as it gets. A demon in the red zone and a tough pass blocker who will do what it takes to protect the quarterback. Need to go for his ankles or gang tackle

Cons

Was not used very much as a receiving option in LSU’s offense, so ability to run routes effectively and create separation is questionable and will likely need work.

Weighing in at 240 lbs at the combine along with an ankle issue could lead to some durability issues given Fournette’s overly physical running style. Limited wiggle due to his size, not the ‘elusive’ type but rather, a downhill avalanche.

Much better between-the-tackles runner that would be better utilized running in a power blocking scheme as opposed to a zone blocking scheme. Does his best work reading off of a fullback rather than reading off the offensive line’s blocks.

Overview

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If Leonard Fournette had come out last year, rather than 2017, he very well could have been taken before Ezekiel Elliott in the Draft. This year, with the ankle injury, Fournette is falling down boards a tad but still should be the first running back selected.

If Fournette is able to reach his ceiling and stay healthy, he could be an Adrian Peterson type back given the power and breakaway ability both displayed in college. 

Fit With The Broncos

Fournette would struggle as a ‘new-age’ running back asked to make plays in the pass game or run outside the tackles. His best fit is a team with a strong offensive line that gives him a chance to get to the second level cleanly and make the back seven pay with power and speed. The Denver Broncos don't have a great O-line right now. Durability is the biggest concern, given style and amount of carries already accumulated.

Draft Grade: Top 15

Where He Goes: Top 15

Nick Kendell is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. Follow him on Twitter @NickKendellMHH.

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