Senior 5’11″ 220
• Elite speed, but lacks burst needed to power through tackles
• Keeps his feet moving, able to the get the extra yard
• North/south runner who fits a one-cut zone scheme.
• Better at the second level, than at the LOS. Difficult to angle off.
• 3rd down chops; good hands, clean routes out of the backfield. Capable in pass-protection
• Not overly physical. Struggles to get what isn’t blocked. Looks to wiggle past tacklers. Gets stuffed at the line easily
Expect Keith Marshall’s 4.31 forty and 25 reps in Indianapolis to be over-discussed on draft programs across America. I already see writers struggling to fill the page (guilty as charged) – because the fact is, he’s barely played football since his freshman year in 2012. Knee injuries derailed his once promising spotlight, then two guys named Gurley and Chubb made sure it stayed that way. A friend of mine (and bulldog booster) said “I think the kid’s maybe had maybe 100 carries since his blew his knee out in 2013…” Ouch.
For that reason it’s unlikey his sizzling combine does more than put him in a 5th-6th round conversation. Even with Chubb out for the season, Marshall couldn’t seize the Georgia backfield – getting out carried and out rushed by Michel as recently as the TaxSlayer bowl (vs Penn state). What he does bring to the table is 3rd down talent, which is where he’ll have to excel if he plans to stay relevant in the NFL. Marshall routinely showed off soft hands, he tracks the ball well, and generally ran good routes out of the backfield. He also demonstrated a willingness to get dirty in pass-protection and has the size to do it. As a receiver out of the backfield, Keith plays to his strengths – wiggling his way to the second level and using his god-given speed to gain huge chunks of yardage. Just don’t ask him to convert a 3rd and 2 on a counter. Injuries and time on the bench seem to have deteriorated Marshall’s vision and instincts behind the LOS. He doesn’t hit the hole with kind of burst you’d like to see.
It feels like a lazy comparison, but when Marshall does get to the second level – he flashes vintage Chris Johnson like moves; face-planting linebacker after safety after corner with his jukes. He’s not as physical as the former Titan but his smoothness in the open field should get him looks as a change of pace back.
NFL Comparison: Chris Johnson lite
Round Value: 5th/6th.