Marcus Lattimore Scouting Report

January 17th, 2013

Marcus Lattimore has first day talent but significant injury and durability issues


QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect:
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 218
Grade: 7.5 (Grading Scale)


Athleticism:
+Open field speed adequate, lacking second gear to go the distance after breaking into the secondary though
+Extremely low center of gravity, aids ability to stay balanced through contact
+Plays with a wide base and change of direction skills thrive, plants feet hard on cuts
+Powerful athlete with flexibility and significant body control

Intelligence/Effort:
+Has a nose for the first down line and goal line, very aware of yardage as a runner
+Maximum effort as a runner and pass blocker who doesn’t take a play off
+Shows scheme understanding as a downfield blocker and on gadget plays
-Running behind a fullback will be a big transition, use of blockers and patience very undeveloped

Pass Protection:
+Decisive blocker, steps up to meet blitzers very quickly
+Willing to lay his body on the line, takes contact square and anchors well
-Slow to locate pass rushers with his eyes on stunts or when unidentified pre-snap

Route Runner:
+Runs precise routes out of the backfield, quick feet with plant and go ability
+Fluid hips and deliberate footwork to turn the ball upfield very quickly on screen passes

Hands and Carrying:
+Pins ball to his chest with firm grip, classic high and tight, doesn’t swing it much
+Natural receiver who is comfortable with his hands and can pluck the ball with an adequate catch radius
-Rarely switches the ball to the other arm, does so quickly on few occasions

Rushing:
+Consistently carries tacklers an extra yard or two, testament to his lower body strength
+Has ability to spin off of contact, maximizes yardage at the tail-end of almost every carry
+Runs behind his pads with shoulders low and very far forward
+Picks his way through tight spaces with ease, sudden foot quickness and upper body strength important
+Wins in 1 v 1 situations in the open field with subtle cuts, handful for one tackler
+/-Loves to deliver the blow at the end of runs, running style and injury history mean high concern for his durability
-Impatient runner overall, but showed growth from sophomore season to junior season
-Often presses the line too quickly, not letting the holes open in front of him first
-Struggles with utilizing leverage of his blockers, free-lances from the play design occasionally as well
-Does almost all damage between the tackles, less effective when asked to win around the corner

Overall:
Marcus Lattimore seemed to take the college football world by storm the moment he set foot on the South Carolina campus. The combination of power and quickness that he has doesn’t come around all that often. His violent running style and brute strength were enough to make defenses tremble. Unfortunately, his final two seasons in Columbia were both cut short due to injury. That includes a dislocated knee with several torn ligaments in his right knee in October. The gruesome injury came after a six month rehab for a left knee injury suffered the previous season. His timeline for getting back on the field is very foggy at this point, and the team that invests a draft pick in him will be investing in the future. It seems unlikely he will be able to contribute at all in his first season, but I wouldn’t put it past him. The problem with drafting Lattimore isn’t that he won’t contribute right away. It’s that he is proven to be an injury-prone back, whose running style exposes him to taking shots around the knees, and makes you wonder if he’ll ever be able to sustain long-term health in the league. It’s a big risk to pick him before the fourth round. He will make an impact at some point in the league, but for how long is anyone’s guess. The talent is certainly high, but the injury risk might be higher.

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