In our Meet The Prospect series, we’ll breakdown notable players entering the 2017 NFL Draft. Today’s prospect, LSU RB Leonard Fournette.
School: LSU. Ht: 6-1 Wt: 235
The first thing you notice about Fournette is just his sheer size. He’s built like a linebacker. As expected, Fournette is powerful with the ball in his hands, showing the ability to break tackles and run through defenders on all levels. Fournette also possesses excellent speed for the position, as he able to break away from defensive backs and hardly ever being caught from behind. He’s improved in his decisiveness as a runner in his time at LSU, now setting up defenders and utilizing blockers. He has enough “wiggle” in the open field to make defenders miss. Though, not used frequently as a receiver, Fournette flashes reliable ability as a pass catcher.
With a prospect the caliber of Fournette, it’s truly nitpicking when looking for weaknesses in his game. One thing I’ve noticed is that Fournette needs a bit of a runway to be effective as a runner, not adept at making tacklers miss in the backfield. That, however, is not uncommon with bigger backs, as they tend to have tighter hips than smaller runners. Fournette could also stand to develop as a pass protector, both with technique and effort. Again, a trait often seen in young backs. His entire 2016 season was hampered by a high ankle sprain.
Leonard Fournette is easily in the conversation of top players in the 2017 NFL Draft, regardless of position. He’s the rare combination of size, speed, ability, vision and aggression from the running back position. He’s as close as you’ll find to the ideal running back prospect. He’s also a natural leader in the locker room and on the field. Physically, he’s in peak condition, rarely coming off the field for the LSU offense.