MEASURABLES: 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, 4.38 in the 40.
COLLEGE CAREER: In 2007 he ranked tenth in the nation in rushing, as he led the league with a career-high 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns on 258 carries (6.3 avg), as he registered 45 attempts for 10 yards or longer. He became the Longhorns' 13th 1,000-yard rusher in the last 15 years.
PROJECTED AS: Is he a complementary back or a back that can carry a 20-carry load? That's the question.
ARE THE BUCS INTERESTED: He met with Tampa Bay last week at One Buc Place.
DRAFT VALUE: Charles' draft value has stabilized in the second round.
SCOUT.COM'S TOM MARINO'S ANALYSIS: A one-cut guy with vision, good balance, top speed and a great burst. I like the way he hit the hole, bounced it, got the corner and outran second- and third-level defenders. Was not a big finisher inside (just wasn't very strong on contact and put the football on the ground far too frequently). Still developing (not an every down player at this time), but I really liked what I saw in his game. He's also ran a 10.26 in the 100 meters.
WHAT OTHER SERVICES ARE SAYING:
"Performed as expected at the Combine, running fast (4.38 40, 1.46 10 yd split, 4.22 short shuttle, 6.80 three cone) and looking smooth in drills. However, the knock of being a perimeter runner still remains and likely prevents him from being anything but a late first or early second round pick...so does the strong trio ranked ahead of him." — NFLDraftscout.com
"Charles, a junior, would not have improved his draft stock much by returning to Texas. His elite speed will get him drafted higher than his on-field production warrants. He is a tough 200-pound back, but we are not convinced he has the durability to be an NFL feature back. Charles is a one-cut runner whose value is higher for teams such as the Broncos and Texans. At the least, Charles has the talent to be an elite third-down back." — Sportingnews.com.
MATTHEW POSTINS' BOTTOM LINE: Charles' value to the Bucs on draft day really comes down to how the Bucs perceive Carnell Williams' injury status. If they're confident in Williams' return, they'll value that position less in the draft. If there are questions, they'll value it more. I saw a couple of Charles' games last year and he's definitely tougher than you think inside. That's something the Bucs have to think about. With Davin Joseph, Jeff Faine and Arron Sears patrolling the interior line, I think you can expect the Bucs to employ more off-guard running plays in 2008 to take advantage of their size and talent as run blockers. So the Bucs need a back that can handle the inside carriers. Earnest Graham can do that. Charles' track star speed is also intriguing, but the Bucs have track star speed in veteran Michael Bennett, who was re-signed to a three-year deal in February. So I guess I'm wondering why the Bucs should draft this guy if his best skill sets are already on the roster? I would say the Bucs are better off taking a player that's considered more physical and punishing than Charles, like Oregon's Jonathan Stewart, Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall, Tulane's Matt Forte and Central Florida's Kevin Smith. I don't believe Charles is the right fit.
You can read more of Matthew Postins' coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at bucsblitz.com.