Running Back #21
Senior, 5’9” 205
- Runs hard
- Good vision
- Excellent acceleration
- Excels on third down
Senior running back Matthew Dayes has been a very productive running back, despite not always being a feature back. At 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds it isn’t exactly a mystery why Dayes isn’t a goal line running back. However, Dayes isn’t exactly easy to tackle. One advantage of being 5-foot-9 is a very low center of gravity, which allows Dayes to bounce off of some contact.
Dayes may only be 200 pounds, but he runs so hard that he is very rarely arm tackled. Dayes runs with good lean, which allows him to run with excellent power for his small frame.
Quite possibly the best part of Dayes game is his vision and burst. Many college running backs are good, as long as they have a massive hole that is right in front of them. Dayes is excellent at seeing the hole, even if it isn’t where it is supposed to be. Vision is possibly the hardest part of the running back position to teach, because you cannot see through the backs eyes out on the field to see what they see. However, you can always tell when Dayes finds the hole, because he plants his foot and looks like he was shot out of a cannon.
Dayes very rarely loses yards, if there are no yards to be gained he puts his head down and gets up field as far as he can. He also never goes down without a fight, Dayes runs so hard he normally falls forward. Dayes is built for a zone scheme, where he can find the hole and explode through it.
While I have some questions about Dayes long speed if he comes to the combine and tests well he has a chance to really help his draft stock in this loaded running back class. While at NC State this past season Dayes played Notre Dame, Clemson and Florida State, where he ran for 126 yards, 106 yards and 104 yards respectively.
Dayes is small, but well-built and lean. Dayes is a decisive downhill runner who isn’t afraid to run between the tackles. While Dayes shouldn’t be confused as a power back, he is capable of getting the tough yards when he needs too. He rarely drops a pass, which bodes well for his ability to stay on the field all three downs.
Pro player Comparison: Devonta Freeman
Round Projection:3-4 (Due to strength of draft class at position)