With the 67th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints have selected Tennessee running back, Alvin Kamara. The Saints have had their inevitable trade-up in the draft, determined to get their guy, and that guy is a running back? Okay, that's what it is. The wait for pass rush support continues on.
Here is a look at the newest Saint, from NFL.com:
One of the top high school running backs in the country as a high school senior, Kamara went to Alabama to be the next big thing. A preseason knee injury forced him to redshirt, however. He was also suspended for the Sugar Bowl and not on the sideline for the team's game against LSU for "behavioral reasons." Kamara left Alabama in January, but found trouble again a month later in his hometown (Norcross, GA) with a traffic arrest. He suited up for Hutchinson Community College in 2014, winning conference offensive player of the year (1,211 yards, 21 TD). Given a second chance in the SEC by Tennessee, Kamara averaged 6.5 yards per carry as a reserve in 2015 (107-698, 7 TD; 34-291, TD receiving). He was impressive again as a junior, running for 596 yards and nine scores on only 103 carries (40-392, 4 TD receiving), though he missed time with a sprained left knee (LCL, meniscus).
STRENGTHSSpirited runner with NFL size and speed. Will open creases by varying pace of his runs. Burst to top speed is available at flip of a switch. Creates yardage with speed, wiggle and power. Twitchy and decisive. Strong lower body provides superior balance. Flexible and agile with ability to twist, spin and ricochet off of bodies and continue to gain yards after contact. Very productive; 23 touchdowns in just 284 touches at Tennessee. Well-liked inside program and a team leader. Can play on all three downs. Improved in pass protection and squares up blitzers. Has lined up at slot receiver at times. Sure-handed pass catcher with excellent burst out of breaks to consistently uncover. Has talent as punt returner.
WEAKNESSESVision can be hit or miss. Not an instinctive runner. Needs to see running lane develop and is missing a feel for reading progressions of his blocks. Makes inconsistent decisions on stretch plays. Can be his own worst enemy on third level. Will run himself into a tackler rather than setting him up for a downfield blocker. Consistently cuts left when given an open-field choice against tackler. With knee injuries in his background, combine medicals could come into play. Needs to tuck ball high and tight to prevent fumbles.
DRAFT PROJECTIONRound 2
NFL COMPARISONThomas Jones
BOTTOM LINEAscending, competitive runner who has flashed explosive NFL talent at various times over the last two seasons. A committed runner with excellent balance who finds yardage that isn't blocked for him. While he has never logged 20 carries in a single game, he has the talent to play on all three downs if he can prove his durability.
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