Draft profile: Fournette could be AP 2.0

Shutdown Corner is counting down the top 50 prospects in the 2017 NFL draft with a scouting report, quotes from NFL evaluators and a projection where they might be drafted.

2. LSU RB Leonard Fournette
6-foot-1, 240 pounds

Key stat: Led NCAA in rushing yards per game in 2015 at 168.2. That number fell to 120.4 in an injury-plagued 2016 season. Scored 42 touchdowns (40 rushing, one receiving, one kick return) in 32 college games.

View photos

LSU’s Leonard Fournette is a full-grown man who can dish out the punishment as a runner. (AP)

The skinny: Elite prep prospect was USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 and rushed for 7,619 yards and 88 TDs in his high school career. Committed to nearby LSU and was instant contributor as true freshman in 2014 as a runner and kick returner. Rushed 187 times for 1,034 yards despite starting only six games and returned a 100-yard kickoff in the bowl win against Notre Dame. Set school rushing mark in 2015 as sophomore with 1,953 yards and also rushed for 22 TDs. Joined by younger brother, Lanard, on the team.

two $ 10 million disability policies</a> prior to the season. Fournette suffered two separate ankle injuries prior to the season and was forced to miss three games early on — Jacksonville State, Missouri and Southern Mississippi — as the injuries were aggravated. Reportedly planned to skip Florida contest as well but opted to gut through the pain and play following a pregame skirmish between the two teams (including Fournette and Florida DB coach Torrian Gray shoving each other), rushing for 40 yards on 12 carries in a 16-10 loss that would end up being Fournette’s final college game. Ran for 843 yards and eight TDs in his seven games before shutting down his season after signing with an agent and skipping the Tigers’ final regular-season game and their bowl game.” data-reactid=”39″>After being named a team captain following that season, Fournette set sights on the NFL in 2016 after taking out two $ 10 million disability policies prior to the season. Fournette suffered two separate ankle injuries prior to the season and was forced to miss three games early on — Jacksonville State, Missouri and Southern Mississippi — as the injuries were aggravated. Reportedly planned to skip Florida contest as well but opted to gut through the pain and play following a pregame skirmish between the two teams (including Fournette and Florida DB coach Torrian Gray shoving each other), rushing for 40 yards on 12 carries in a 16-10 loss that would end up being Fournette’s final college game. Ran for 843 yards and eight TDs in his seven games before shutting down his season after signing with an agent and skipping the Tigers’ final regular-season game and their bowl game.

Fournette declared for the 2017 NFL draft following his junior season. He showed up to the NFL scouting combine at 240 pounds, which was heavier than expected, chalking it up to “water weight,” and opted not to perform bench press, shuttle drills or broad jump. He then checked in at 228 pounds at his pro day a few weeks later. Fournette turns 23 in January.

Best-suited destination: Fournette is a bell-cow back who would fit best in a power-run scheme where he can pound the ball 20 times a game and not be asked to handle advanced receiving or pass-blocking assignments right away. Like Adrian Peterson, a player to whom Fournette is occasionally compared, he also could handle kickoffs early in his career, although that might not likely be a long-term duty he’s asked to handle. Among the teams that could be especially interested in Fournette’s services include the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers.

Upside: Powerful runner who is a nightmare to tackle. Whips through ankle-tackle attempts, takes defenders head on, can stiff-arm well and has the speed to get to the edge. Ran like a caged tiger against Ole Miss last year, his first game in nearly a month after the ankle injury and took his frustrations out on the Rebels with a stunning 16-carry, 284-yard, three-TD game. There were several incredible runs that game, but this little pass into the flat sums up Fournette’s power and anger as a ballcarrier:

View photos

LSU’s Leonard Fournette often has bad intentions with the ball in his hands. (Draftbreakdown.com)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

NFL on Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games

Leave a Reply