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As the NFL Draft is quickly approaching, here are a few running backs that won’t go early that might have some fantasy value down the road.  One of those is Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford.  I jlangfordwatched three of his games against Purdue, Ohio State, and in state rival Michigan to get a better viewpoint of the skills and attributes he can bring to the next level.  Here are my thoughts:

RB Jeremy Langford, Michigan State, 6’ 208 lbs.

Cons: The runner is more smooth than physical, which works well in the Big Ten, but not as well in the NFL.  He only has decent vision and didn’t always find the running lane quickly.  Many times the back bounced the play outside when cornered.  Langford has good straight ahead speed which is evident with his 4.42 timed forty, but struggles to move laterally. I thought he had average leg drive, which makes less than effective in short yardage situations.  Langford usually gets what his offensive line blocks for him. 

Pros:  The former Spartan has been known to split out as a wide out on occasion or get sent in motion.  Langford appears comfortable as a single back or with a full back in front of him.  He looks best in space where he can use spin moves, stiff-arms, and his bouncy feet to make defenders miss.  The runner shows a lot of patience and is excellent at counters and misdirection plays that take advantage of his north and south speed especially in the open field where he finds that extra burst.  Langford protects the pigskin well, falls forward, and shows off a good center of gravity making him a bit difficult to bring down.  He is a good blocker in the passing game by shadowing the blitzer and not giving up.  The back has soft hands and is a great option on screens and quick throws to the flat.

Overall thoughts:  His size, along with his lack of wiggle, makes it hard to envision him as a lead back.  He reminds me quite a bit of former Giant/Colt Ahmad Bradshaw, but without the toughness.  Grab him as a handcuff for whichever runner he is playing behind and Langford should get you 75% of the production.  Depending on where he lands, his price tag in rookie drafts could be dirt cheap.

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