Jim Hawkins, Inside Carolina

Cardinals' draft profile: T.J. Logan

The Arizona Cardinals added a fifth round draft pick who can provide the team with immediate help on special teams.

Player: T.J. Logan

NFL Draft: 5th round selection

Position: Running back

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 196 pounds

Arm length: 32 inches

Hand size: 9 inches

College stats: 2013: 93 attempts, 533 yards, four touchdowns, 2014: 119 attempts, 582 yards, three touchdowns, 2015: 66 attempts, 400 yards, five touchdowns, 2016: 120 attempts, 650 yards, seven touchdowns

Strengths: At 5-foot-9, Logan doesn't have the size necessary to be an every down back in the NFL, but he does have a handful of impressive traits that make him a valuable asset for a professional offense. Logan was one of the fastest running backs available in this year's draft, and when he gets the ball in space, he's an absolute blur. Not only does Logan possess great field vision, he has the capability to accelerate in a moment's notice and work the ball into the open field. Logan's advanced footwork makes explosive plays possible, because he's able to set up defenders and cut on a moment's notice to leave them in the dust. From the backfield, Logan is best taking handoffs from offset shotgun alignments because these are faster developing plays where he can get the ball, get to top speed, make one cut and hit a hole. When Logan is able to hit the hole at the line of scrimmage with a full head of steam, he's tough to bring down because he anticipates the best path to get to the second level and runs behind his pads. Logan can help the Cardinals immediately as a kickoff return specialist, as few players in this year's draft boasted the kind of special teams success Logan has on his resume. 

Weaknesses: Even though Logan has tremendous speed and great natural instincts for where to take the football, he doesn't have much power and he's not going to run through tackles when defenders have him wrapped up. At the college level, Logan struggled with pro-style rushing concepts where lanes took longer to develop and required more patience, which is a primary reason why his ceiling as a prospect is relatively low. During his time with the Tar Heels, Logan was also a bit turnover prone, and when you watch him run with the ball in the open field, you can understand why. For a player who isn't going to invite contact and run through tacklers, Logan needs to do a better job taking care of the football and ensuring that he's doing everything in his power to earn extra yards. Additionally, while Logan is somewhat of a hybrid between a running back and a slot receiver, he didn't demonstrate much in the way of advanced route running technique at North Carolina and will need to improve as a receiver to increase his value to the Cardinals.

Logan's fit: There aren't many teams Logan could have gone to in the NFL that would have been a better schematic and stylistic fit than the Arizona Cardinals, an organization that prioritizes speed and is seemingly doing everything in its power to put as many skill position players who run sub 4.4 40-yard dash times on the field at once. Logan will make Arizona better as a rookie, because regardless of how he contributes on the offensive side of the ball, there will be ample opportunities for him to impact the game as a special teams contributor, an area where the Cardinals were dismal in 2016. On offense, though, Logan could see early playing time if the Cardinals are convinced they can use his speed as an asset when David Johnson needs a breather. Perhaps Logan finds himself in the third or fourth spot on the depth chart, or perhaps the Cardinals use him as Johnson's primary backup, but head coach Bruce Arians will come to know which types of plays are best for Logan and he'll likely attempt to put him in advantageous situations as much as possible. Logan isn't going to be the Cardinals' third and short back, but he can help the team in early down situations, and especially when Arizona wants to run the ball out of shotgun sets. 


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