You may not be familiar with the Sun Belt Conference, but it’s produced a lot of NFL talent over time. This list includes Randy Moss, Demarcus Ware, and Brett Favre. In today’s report, we will look at someone who could be the next Sun Belt player in the NFL.
Weight: 209 lbs.
One of the best tools that a HB can have is their vision. You can have all of the speed in the world, but if you can’t read the holes, you won’t be successful. Ali possesses exquisite vision and knowledge of where the holes are. He’s also very patient, allowing him to sit back and wait for the holes to open and exploit defenses when the holes open. It’s similar to what made Le’Veon Bell so dominant in Pittsburgh.
The other thing that makes Ali so deadly is his cuts. With his patience, as we mentioned earlier, Ali is able to make beautiful cuts to trick defenders. He possesses elite footwork that allows him to cut in any direction, leading to more yards. On top of this, he’s able to stop his feet and start them again, moving in a different direction. He does this at a high level, and it once again makes defenders look silly. Finally, Ali possesses a good initial burst.
The big issue with Ali is his blocking ability. Even at the Sun Belt level, he struggled in pass-blocking snaps. His technique is sloppy, and oftentimes, he just tries to use his body instead of his hands and technique. This means Ali can’t be an every down back right away because he has a lot of work to do as a blocker.
While Ali is a great runner, he can be careless with the football. He fumbled four times this season and has ten fumbles in his college career.
As I mentioned earlier, his initial burst is good, but he doesn’t possess great long speed.
The bottom line
I might be a little higher on Ali than most analysts, but I see a lot of potential. He might not play right away due to his average pass-catching and poor blocking, but he has a lot of ideal NFL traits.
His change of pace ability and vision will make him an ideal candidate to be selected by multiple teams. Overall, I would grade him as a 4th to 5th rounder in the NFL Draft.