Who is Jhurell Pressley, the running back the Green Bay Packers claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings?
At New Mexico: Presley rushed for 2,725 yards with 35 touchdowns during his four seasons. He averaged a jaw-dropping and FBS-best 9.5 yards per carry as a junior, with 114 carries for 1,083 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a senior, he rushed for 907 yards, averaged 6.2 per carry and scored 11 touchdowns. He was a nonfactor in the passing game with 18 career catches, including just one for 2 yards as a senior.
Looking inside the numbers, he was an all-or-nothing runner last year. According to STATS, he averaged a solid 2.5 yards after contact. However, a lot of his run-after-contact production came in games vs. Boise State in Air Force. In those games, he had 186 yards after contact. In the other 11 games combined, he rushed for 182 yards after contact.
At his pro day: Pressley (5-10, 206) is a tremendous athlete. He ran his 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. While his vertical of 33.5 inches was underwhelming, he showed excellent change-of-direction agility with a 4.06-second clocking in the 40-yard dash. Plus, he’s got some strength with 25 reps on the 225-pound bench press.
A scout told Packer Report: “Pressley is a very quick and agile back with the burst to get the corner. Definitely different than crocket who is more of an inside runner. This kid is a VG athlete who can make plays when he has the ball in space. He was not used much in passing game in college, but seems to catch the ball well. I like him as a potential long term third down RB once he gets a year of overall NFL experience.”
NFL.com scouting report: “Possesses fluid hips and elite bounce and foot quickness. His jump cut is legit. Agile with ability to make defenders miss early in the run. Has instant cut and burst ability when he sees it open. Turbo smasher when he decides to bounce it around the perimeter. Runs like he means it. Not a wide-base runner, but manages to maintain above average balance. Has vision on second and third levels to keep the big runs going. Effective stiff arm allows him to push to freedom. Ball security is no problem with just two fumbles over 394 carries.”
With the Vikings: Pressley rushed 28 times for 80 yards, just a 2.9-yard average. While he wasn’t a factor in the passing game in college, he caught all five passes thrown his way in the preseason for 57 yards (11.4 average), with a 28-yard touchdown in the finale vs. the Rams.
What Viking Update’s Tim Yotter saw: “They were impressed with him early on OTAs, but he didn't get a lot of time early in the preseason. C.J. Ham came on strong in training camp and is a bigger back. He got more time early in the preseason and was re-signed to the practice squad. Pressley had a very good preseason finale, taking a swing pass 28 yards for a touchdown and returning his only kick-return attempt 106 yards for a touchdown. But because of his size he doesn't really push a pile. He needs space to get yards but, when he's got space, he is elusive.”
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