Draft Day Target: RB Fred Russell

Iowa running back Fred Russell has been steadily moving up the draft boards of several teams around the NFL this offseason. Are the Dallas Cowboys one of them?

RB Fred Russell
5-7, 195, 4.45
University of Iowa
Projected Draft Position: 4th Round

Iowa running back Fred Russell may not be the biggest running back available in the 2004 NFL Draft, but its not hard to make a case for his ability.

At 5-feet-7 inches tall, Russell has been trying to prove that he belongs his entire life. So far, he's used that kind of motivation to make himself a better player. Whether that's in the weight room, or on the field, Russell is a guy that is always looking to improve his game.

"I just go out and give my all every day. I try not to let a day go by. I take every day as my last day and I try to improve everyday," said Russell in a recent interview.

His hard work has obviously paid off.

Russell has been on a steady climb up the draft boards of many teams as of late, and rightfully so.

Back at the NFL Combine in late February, Russell posted the second best forty time from a running back at 4.45. He also put up 21 reps on the bench press.

Fred Russell was a two-year starter at Iowa, and was named to the second team All Conference selection last season after carrying the ball 282times for 1355 yards and 7 touchdowns.
"Russell is a tough, explosive ball carrier with outstanding instincts," notes NFL Draft Expert Tony Pauline.

"He's a guy that runs low to the ground, has a darting style and sets up defenders, then makes them miss. He's elusive, and can bounce it to the outside, cut back against the grain and find the open spot in a defense."

During his senior year at Iowa, Russell rushed for almost 1,400 yards on over 300 carries. Even more impressive is the fact that he only fumbled the ball one time all season long.

His stock also improved at the Hula Bowl, where he showed scouts that he could be utilized as a running back that can not only catch the football, but catch the football and produce big yardage.

"Two-a-days at the Hula Bowl I showed them I could catch the ball," Russell said. "I didn't drop any balls. Also, even though I came from the Big Ten and put up back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, I showed them that whatever competition they put me in I could still perform."

In terms of draft position, Russell is projected by most analysts to go somewhere in the third or fourth round.

"He as a real shot to be a situational/change-of-pace runner at the next level," adds Pauline. "He could be a dangerous offensive threat if he adds the element of return duties to his game and learns how to catch the football."

For the Cowboys, Russell isn't the true running back they are looking towards to carry the load. But he could still be a valuable 5th round pick up should he still be available.

Russell has already drawn significant interest from Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Miami.

CowboysHQ Top Stories