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The 2016 NFL Draft is full of anomalies aka players that test one way, yet performed differently on the gridiron.  Today, this scouting report will focus on former Golden Bear running back Daniel dlascoLasco.  The senior had a poor final season finishing with less than 360 total yards, while missing five contests due to a hip and ankle injuries.  However, Lasco sparked many parties with interest after a decent showing at the East-West Shrine Game.  I went back and reviewed his games against San Diego State, Colorado (2014), USC (2014), and the Shrine Game again to get a better idea of what this young man brings to the next level.  These are my thoughts:

RB-Daniel Lasco, California, 6′ 209 lbs. 

Cons: The way nagging injuries slowed him down for his senior year are a concern.  The hip injury that he suffered seemed to sap his explosion for the rest of the season.  Can the runner bounce back?  Lasco rarely sinks his hips, runs too tall, and this upright style leaves him open for bigger hits aka more punishment.  The back thinks he is quicker than everyone else on the field when breaking runs outside; the problem is his college opponents regularly caught up with him near the line of scrimmage, in the NFL the runner will get met two yards behind the line of scrimmage resulting in more negative plays than positive. The former Golden Bear doesn’t run behind his pads, lacking the power and leverage to move piles.  Lasco has some issues seeing the running lanes and doesn’t have the instincts to create them on his own.  When all else fails the back likes to leave his feet to get tough yardage, however this tendency exposed him to turn over the ball in college.  I fear fumbling will only get worse in the NFL for this older prospect (already 23 years old and will be 24 in October).

Pros: The back has a good athletic frame on which to build a powerful body.  Lasco has bouncy, light feet that change directions quickly.  He accelerates thru the hole getting small with good balance.  Once the runner finds a crease he uses spins, jump cuts, hurdles, and stiff-arms to create separation in the open field.  The runner is quite explosive, especially when you look at his combine performances: 4.46 40-yard dash, 41.5″ vertical jump, 135″ broad jump, and 11.31 second 60-yard shuttle.  In the passing game, the former Golden Bear anchors well and takes on blitzers. Lasco catches the ball cleanly in front of his body, contorting to the pigskin in the air, and can get out into the flat from the backfield in a hurry.  The 23-year-old back runs wheel routes to perfection and can put defenders on their heals by catching those in stride.  He is great on draws too, and is a willing downfield blocker.  In his healthy junior year, the runner had 1115 rushing yards, twelve rushing touchdowns, caught 33 passes for 356 yards with two receiving touchdowns, so Lasco can produce at a high level.

Overall thoughts: Lasco is an intriguing back with his impressive combine performance, but does that tell the entire story?  Upright runners who like to kick things to the corner store tend to get knocked around in the NFL.  I would not look to draft him before the late third round in a rookie draft, even with a sweet landing spot.

Thanks for reading!

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

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