Former Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough represents one of the most frustrating evaluations for teams this year. He’s a mountain of a man who burst onto the scene with a 180-yard rushing performance in the College Football Playoff in his sophomore season, a game that included one of the finest touchdown runs you’ll ever see:
runs like this + his incredible combine is what he's going to have to answer to. two 100-yard rushing performances in his college career? games with 2, 3 yards per carry shouldn't be happening pic.twitter.com/iFR54YpJhU— Alistair Corp (@alistaircorp) March 7, 2018
However his junior season reflected the rest of his ‘Bama career, rather than his captivating game in the Peach Bowl against the University of Washington. He battled injuries and inconsistency, rushing for just 596 yards before declaring for the draft. Then in Indianapolis, his evaluation got even more difficult: He lit up the Scouting Combine, posting the best broad jump, the second best vertical and sneaking under 4.55 in his 40-yard dash, all at 6-1 and 228 pounds.
Scarbrough consistently displays great stop-start ability in the hole, and he’s an agile runner inside at the line of scrimmage. Beyond that, you’re left wondering where the Crimson Tide-Huskies game, as well as his combine performance is the rest of the time. They represent flashes of utter brilliance and elite athletic ability, but it isn’t there enough.
speed to the outside, step out of a tackle, seperate down the sideline. his good runs are as good as any back in the class pic.twitter.com/zbcWxlCAQ2— Alistair Corp (@alistaircorp) March 7, 2018
Finish/Yards After Contact
For all the inconsistencies in his game at the moment, the 228-pound Scarbrough has a great understanding of how physicality dominant he can be. At Alabama he consistently put his shoulder into defender’s chests and finished his runs. A fumble rate of one every 96 touches is below average in this year’s draft class and puts him towards the bottom among backs in Seattle’s mold.
had to go back and look at Bo Scarbrough after that combine performance. this is what I want from him: meet defenders in the hole, initiate contact, finish runs pic.twitter.com/NXWrAorZrg— Alistair Corp (@alistaircorp) March 7, 2018
It’s something I’ve said before, but to reiterate: It’s almost impossible to properly judge a running back’s vision without access to all-22 for college games — but, Scarbrough’s vision is rightfully being questioned. Too often he looked indecisive and ended up running into his linemen’s backsides, running behind an offensive line that finished sixth in the nation in adjusted line yards. Those who have access to all-22 can make a better judgement, but it was a concern I had. Additionally, Scarbrough rarely displayed the ability to create on his own or make defenders miss, however when he did he looked great doing it. With Scarbrough, it all comes back to the little glimpses of greatness.
and then there's the frustrating side of Bo Scarbrough. makes defenders miss in tight and gets to the second level.... just not all that often pic.twitter.com/ZBJywoDXTS— Alistair Corp (@alistaircorp) March 7, 2018
A concern with taller running backs, such as Latavius Murray, is their effectiveness in short yardage situations. Scarbrough doesn’t have any of the issues Murray does in short yardage and at the goal line, and he should continue being an effective in this area regardless of what he develops into in the pros.
one of my favorite quotes in NFL history is from Leroy Hoard:— Alistair Corp (@alistaircorp) March 7, 2018
"If you need one yard, I'll get you three. If you need five yards, I'll get you three."
anyway, I like Bo a lot in short yardage situations. pic.twitter.com/YZBePvSIu2
Scarbrough’s aggressive running style and willingness to initiate contact lends itself well to the passing game, where he consistently displayed an aggressive demeanor in picking up defenders. He has the frame and build to anchor and win when engaged with defenders, and laid several vicious cut blocks for quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Overall, Scarbrough is a running back who has the ideal height, weight, speed and athleticism for the position. While there are several facets of his game needing refinement - mainly, vision - he is exactly the type of player worth taking a shot on during the last day of the draft.