Royce Freeman 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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Royce Freeman
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Overview
Position
: Running back
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 234 pounds
School: Oregon Ducks

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.54 seconds
Bench press: 17 reps
Vertical jump: 34 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 10 inches
Three-cone drill: 6.90 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.16 seconds

Royce Freeman 2018 NFL Draft Profile

A four-star back coming out of high school, Royce Freeman was the 10th ranked back in the 2014 recruiting class, which had some very talented runners. He was highly touted coming out of high school and had offers from 21 FBS schools, eventually signing with Oregon. Freeman was a true workhorse back for the Ducks during his four-year career. He finished seventh in rushing yards in FBS history (5,621 yards). He also posted over 1,300 yards three out of four years (he was injured some of the 2016 season).

Freeman started as a true freshman back in 2014. During the year he accumulated 1,365 yards and 18 touchdowns. The next year he had a career year. Freeman had a career high in rushing, accumulating 1,836 yards, and ran for 17 touchdowns while averaging 6.5 yards a carry. Everyone was ready to see him explode again coming off his sophomore season, but expectations ultimately fell short after an injury plagued season that caused him to be in and out of games throughout the season with a nagging knee injury.

Freeman decided to return to school for his senior season and try to help his draft stock a little bit. In a way he did. He rushed for 1,475 yards and 16 touchdowns this past year. He also averaged 6.0 yards per carry. While getting back to be a 1,000-yard rusher helped it also put him with over 1,000 touches in his career at Oregon, which is a concern to many teams.

Strengths

  • Has a good frame;
  • Was used mostly as a screen receiver but has good catching ability;
  • Has good lateral quickness;
  • Good immediate and secondary vision;
  • Powerful runner;
  • Can make players miss in the open field;
  • Has potential to be a workhouse back at next level.

Weaknesses

  • Limited to a zone scheme offense;
  • Has home run potential but needs good blocking at the first level;
  • Runs too high often;
  • Lacks explosive burst to get away from tacklers;
  • Good at a lot of things, but lacks an elite trait to separate himself from everyone else;
  • Doesn’€™t have the lower body power to shrug off leg tackles;
  • Had over 1,000 touches during college career;
  • Doesn’t always play his size.

NFL Comparison: Jordan Howard

Teams With Need at Position: Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills

Projection: Third to fourth round

Bottom Line

Freeman will be able to contribute to an NFL team early. But he will most likely be stuck in a rotation or running back by committee for most of his career due to his high workload throughout college. If put into the proper scheme, particularly a zone scheme, he should thrive and excel early. He will struggle early because of his lack of lower body power and his tendency to run high but should adjust to the NFL easily.

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