Oregon Running Back #21
Senior, 5’11” 231
- Powerful runner
- Explodes through the LOS
- Good blocker just needs some technique help
- Can make players miss in open space
- Workhorse back
- Runs too high sometimes, needs to learn to drop his shoulder more
- Very instinctual back but lacks great vision
- Doesn’t have the lateral quickness wanted for a back at the NFL level, more of a north, south player
A 4-star back coming out of high school, Royce Freeman was the tenth ranked back in the 2014 recruiting class, which had some very talented runners. He had offers from 21 FBS school and signed with Oregon. Freeman was a true workhorse back at Oregon during his four-year career. He finished seventh in rushing yards in FBS history (5,621 yards). He has posted over 1,300 yards 3 out of 4 years (he was injured some of the 2016 season).
When healthy he was a home run hitter, scoring 19 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons. He finished his collegiate career with 64 total touchdowns, 4 being receiving. Freeman finished the season with over 120 rushing yards in each game.
Freeman is a talented running back. He is a true workhouse back, racking up 18 or more carries 9 out of 12 games. he has some homerun hitter potential in him but needs good blocking at the first level. He is a good back in the open field and can break tackles but struggles to make the bigger players miss which is where he might struggle at the next level.
You see him often running to high and in short down conversions he doesn’t drop his shoulder to attempt to get more yards. This can lead to a lot of failed conversions and even result in negative yards at the NFL level.
He is a good blocker in the passing game but sometimes struggles to stay engaged with players or can’t defend against their pass rushing moves. This is common in most backs coming out of college and can be taught with some technique. Freemans ability to successfully pass block could help him get on the field early as a rookie, as this is usually the trait prohibiting most rookie backs from seeing the field early on.
In the NFL, Freeman’s skill set may be limited to a running back by committee. He can get you the short intermediate yards on first and second down but may struggle to gain the longer yards. His burst through the hole is great and can help with the short yards but I am a little concerned on his top end speed. He allows himself to get caught from behind or tripped up to often.
Rating Royce Freeman
(all out of 10)
Lateral quickness: 7.0
Tackle breaking: 7.8
Projected round: 4-5
Videos watched: vs Washington State (17), vs Arizona (17), vs Washington (17), vs Stanford (16)