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How We Scout The Running Back Position | NFL Draft | Football Scouting and Analytics

In today's NFL, the RB position has decreased in value, yet the position has become more versatile. NFL teams invest anywhere from 1% of their total cap space to 10%. As the position becomes more versatile, it will be interesting to see if player price tags will increase. A lot depends on how coaches find new ways to preserve players from overuse.


Below is a list of critical components we use to grade the RB position during the NFL Draft process. Every RB receives a grade on a scale of 1-10 for each of the below components during the scouting process. Once each player component is graded, we attach a final grade to indicate where the player stands before entering the NFL Draft, and then we attach a ceiling grade based on future potential.


Scouting the running back (RB) position in the NFL requires evaluating a player's physical attributes, running style, and overall skill set.


Here are some key factors to consider when scouting an RB:


Athleticism: A RB needs to have good speed, agility, and explosiveness to be successful in the NFL. These attributes allow them to make quick cuts, change direction, and break tackles.


Vision: A RB's vision is critical to their success. This includes their ability to read blocks, identify running lanes, and make quick decisions on the field.


Power and Contact Balance: A RB needs to have the power to break through tackles and the contact balance to stay on their feet after being hit. This includes their ability to absorb contact and maintain their balance to gain additional yardage.


Receiving Ability: A RB who can catch the ball out of the backfield is a valuable asset to any offense. This includes their ability to catch the ball cleanly, run crisp routes, and make plays in the passing game.


Pass Protection: A RB needs to be able to protect the quarterback in passing situations. This includes their ability to pick up blitzing defenders, recognize defensive schemes, and execute their blocking assignments.


Durability: A RB's durability is important, as they will be taking a lot of hits on the field. This includes their ability to stay healthy and recover quickly from injuries.


When scouting the RB position, it's important to evaluate all of these factors and the player's overall performance on the field. It's also important to consider the team's specific needs and whether the RB's skills and attributes match the team's offensive system and style of play. Additionally, it's essential to consider the RB's ball security, as fumbles can be a significant liability for the offense.

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