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There are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the 2017 NFL Draft. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for senior running back Elijah McGuire, UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

RB-Elijah McGuire, UL-Lafayette 5’10” 214 lbs.

This small school player is a former college basketball player who went to UL-L because of some high school academic issues that only the Ragin’ Cajuns were willing to accommodate. Because I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, let’s break down what I saw in the five games I reviewed of the senior play maker: East/West Shrine game, 2016 contests versus Georgia Southern, Boise State, South Alabama, and Southern Mississippi. Most of these game videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. These are my thoughts:

Cons: The senior’s production dipped, especially around the end zone, in his final season. During an interview he did with CBS Sports, McGuire thought it had to do with his offensive line being overhauled, but the runner also had chronic ankle and leg injuries that dogged him all year. In that same interview, the former Cajun admitted that playing in the NFL wasn’t his dream and if it didn’t work out, he won’t hang his head. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/meet-the-prospect-louisiana-lafayette-rb-elijah-mcguire/

The back does tend to run a bit high which allows defenders into his body and he drops his head when crossing the line of scrimmage which can impede his good vision. McGuire goes down, at times, with arm tackles and drives me crazy with the Rashard Mendenhall turn your back to the defense move. A quick spin is one thing, just turning around is another. The level of competition he faced at UL-L was nowhere near as athletic as it will be at the next level, either.

Pros: He is quite agile, especially with the ability to change directions quickly with his loose hips. The runner stops/starts his feet with ease and might move side to side at the same speed he runs north and south. McGuire has big powerful legs, a good center of gravity, and always seem to manage falling forward on his carries. The back has a good knack for making the first defender miss and he uses spins with stiff-arms to get free in the open field. As a pass blocker, he is a work in progress using good footwork and attitude, but needs to get coached up a little. His best skill set is as a receiver and not just one out of the backfield. McGuire runs fantastic wheel routes, catches the ball in stride, and is quite mindful of the sidelines. The former Ragin’ Cajun snares the ball at its highest point, shields the defender from the pigskin while contorting his body to secure the catch with his soft hands. .

Overall impressions: McGuire is a good prospect as a third down specialist down the road. It’s too bad that Matthew Dayes and Jeremy McNichols do everything that the Cajun does, just slightly better. I think he is a good developmental prospect, especially if you can place him on a taxi squad for the season. The back will have to make some big adjustments at the next level, but has experience as a punt returner and may see the field that way. Look to draft him in your later rounds to stash.

Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next  month or so, please keep checking the site for more of my content. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.

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