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Since the NFL Draft will be here sooner than we think, now is a great type to delve into some of the less talked about running backs.  UCLA’s Paul Perkins has the athleticism to win on Saturdays,pperkins but will that translate on Sundays?  I watched his 2015 games against Nebraska, Arizona, California, Stanford, and USC to get a better understanding of the skills and attributes that the young runner bring with him.

RB-Paul Perkins, UCLA 5’10” 208 lbs.

Cons: Some people in the industry view Perkins as a Jamaal Charles-lite runner, but I feel he is closer in ability to another Chief back, Charcandrick West. The runner runs a bit high at times while failing to sink his hips to get low.  This leaves his body open to take a lot more punishment than it should, which explains why he prefers to break plays outside the tackles. He cannot create space on his own, but follows and takes what his line gets for him. Perkins takes some plays off the do not feature him and doesn’t appear to have a lot of leg strength (thin legs) to be effective in goal line situations.  He needs to work on catching the ball better with his hands, instead of trapping the pigskin with his body.

Pros: The former Bruin has lightning quick feet, gets small in the hole, and has loose hips that make him explosive in the open field.  Perkins has a mean stiff-arm, breaks arm tackles easily, and always manages to fall forward, fighting for extra yardage.  He might be just as fast moving side to side as he is north and south with great burst and excellent balance.  The back can find the cutback lane easily with decent vision and is extra dangerous on counters wiggling away from danger.  Perkins gives second effort on every play and can spin away from defenders.  The runner steps up well in pass blocking by taking on the blitzer, but occasionally gets swatted away.  He would be better in a zone-blocking scheme, although the back could play in a power-based offense with fewer carries.

Overview:  It’s easy to read from my scouting report on Perkins that I am not convinced that he is an NFL starter.  He is an excellent committee back with amazing quickness, but needs to develop more power and work on his hands to become a complete running back. His natural talent still lands him in my rookie top ten rankings.

Thanks for reading.

Please follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley and/or the site @Dynasty_Blitz.

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