Running Back #7
Junior 6’1″ 235
- Speed to beat defensive backs
- Power to run through defenders
- Good hands
- Good balance
- Quick feet
- Shifty for his size
- Pass protection needs a lot of work
Leonard Fournette left high school as one of the most sought after recruits in the nation. He attended St. Augustine High School in the state of Louisiana. After being wooed by the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and pretty much every other elite college football program, Fournette decided to stay in his home state and play for the LSU Tigers. He started six games as a freshman and finished the year with 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns and followed that up with a sophomore campaign that consisted of 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns which earned him consensus all-american honors.
As a junior Fournette has tallied 843 yards on 129 carries, more than 1,000 yards fewer than his sophomore year. He matched his yards per carry mark at a very impressive 6.5 yards per carry but only found pay dirt 8 times. Fournette is a very talented running back with a skill set that comes along maybe every few years. His combination of size and speed is unparalleled in college football. His footwork and balance are two of his most impressive attributes but what I really love to watch is when he lowers his pads and destroys defensive backs in the open field. He can be a receiving threat, not an option, a threat because he has the ability to catch and if he gets into the open field he will either outrun everyone or punish a tackler in the open field. He can accelerate through holes and run down hill. He is a one cut back that will make defenders miss in the hole and then accelerate to the second level.
His pass blocking capabilities need quite a bit of work as he tends to just throw a shoulder into an oncoming pass rusher as opposed to actually engaging them and sustaining blocks. He can also be too impatient at times and try to create his own opportunities. He is definitely the star at LSU and wants to carry the team on his back but on Sundays he has to learn to do his job and trust his lineman. He has a very good nose for the end zone as he always seems to score in the red zone.
What more can be said of a back who everyone has heard of and talked about? Fournette definitely has what it takes to be successful at the next level but if he wants to live up to expectations and be a star at the next level he must improve his ability to protect the quarterback. This may hurt his draft stock a little bit but he he will not fall far as he can be coached up on this skill. He runs beautifully and will immediately upgrade the running back position for a NFL team.
NFL Comparison: Adrian Peterson/Bo Jackson
This was a very hard comparison as Fournette is a bigger back than Peterson but his running style is very similar to that of Peterson. Fournette is almost in a league of his own when it comes to size and speed. The only other player I could think to compare Fournette with was Bo Jackson as their body types are very similar and also their skill sets.
Round Value: 1