With their seventh round pick, the New Orleans Saints picked up a big, speedy running-back in Daniel Lasco. He had an awesome 2014 campaign before injuries slowed him down in 2015. Just when everyone had seemed to forget Lasco, he had a strong showing at the East-West Shrine game, boosting his draft stock. Let's tale a deeper look at Lasco!
Fun Fact - Daniel Lasco led all running backs at the combine in the broad and vertical jumps, at 135 and 41.5 inches, respectively. He clocked a 4.46 in the 40.
Tale of the Tape: 6'0", 209 ponds
Here are his Strengths:
(NFL.com) - Athletic short-strider with potential to make a quick cut to avoid contact. Inconsistent play speed, but does show a second gear to burst past a tackler. Has some getaway in the open field when he sees daylight. Highly productive 2014 campaign creates hope that 2015 injury was primarily responsible for on-field issues. Has adequate hands and was a weapon out of the backfield in 2014.
(CBSSports) - Broad shoulders and a good size overall with the frame to potentially handle another 5-10 pounds of muscle without sacrificing his agility and speed. Legitimate NFL athleticism. Good initial quickness to and through the hole, showing the 0-to-60 acceleration to offer big play potential. Creative runner with light feet and greasy knees to elude defenders in tight quarters. Spins off of contact and keeps his legs churning.
Here are his Weaknesses:
(NFL.com) - Not an instinctive runner between the tackles. Slow to process development of running lanes and appears unable to make late decisions and keep the run alive. Needs to show more creativity as a runner. Leaves too many yards out on the field due to lack of vision. Too quick to give in and end the run.
(CBSSports.com) - Isn't as powerful as his size suggests. Has an upright, slashing running style which leaves him off-balance and too often falling after absorbing hits from defenders. Can fall in love with his own big play potential and will look to bounce plays outside too often rather than burrowing ahead for the tough yardage. Must do a better job of protecting the football, failing to wrap both arms in traffic.
Saints Roster at Running-back (according to NewOrleansSaints.com):
Mark Ingram, CJ Spiller, Tim Hightower, Vick Ballard, Travaris Cadet, & Marcus Murphy
Daniel Lasco joins a very crowded Saints backfield and will need to make his bones on special teams to lock in a spot for the 2016 season. Based on style of running, Spiller, Murphy, and Cadet are probably his biggest competition. However, his goal should be to surpass as many players at his position as possible. Breaking tackles would help his case quite a bit!