New to NFLSpinZone.com is the latest feature, “Scout’s Corner.”
Every week on Tuesday and Thursday, we will focus on one of the draft eligible prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft. At season’s end, we will have compiled a healthy stockpile of scouting reports for you all to use as you gear up for the draft. Scout’s Corner will feature in-depth scouting report that will be updated with regularity. You will be able to find all of the scouting reports in one spot by just CLICKING HERE.
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This week, we take a look at Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball, who received numerous accolades last season while leading his team to a berth in the Rose Bowl. Ball was named the Big Ten’s top running back, along with Offensive Player of the Year but that is just the beginning of Ball’s accomplishments.
After rushing for 39 touchdowns in 2011 — which tied the NCAA single-season touchdown record — Ball was named one of the five finalists for the Heisman Trophy. While he fell short in Heisman voting, he was named a consensus All-American.
There is no doubt that Ball is an extraordinarily talented back who will be looking to keep rolling along with his impressive numbers. Unfortunately for Ball, four offensive lineman have departed from last season’s starting line-up so he will be rushing behind an unproven group.
To get the scoop on Wisconsin’s star running back, continue on for the latest edition of Scout’s Corner.
NOTE: All measurables taken from Ball’s athletic bio.
Strengths: Ball is a very powerful back who will fight through arm tacklers and roll to the endzone. As you can see from his numbers, Ball is a very productive rusher and a touchdown machine. Ball will pick up yards after initial contact as a result of his excellent pad level. Ball has great vision and will always find the open holes.
He is a one-cut runner and that is what NFL scouts like to see from a college back.
He is an every down back that will also produce in the passing game and contribute as a pass blocker. Ball is a very hard-worker and uses his resilience to finish runs falling forward. His physicality will translate well to the NFL game.
Weaknesses: Ball has the power but he lacks the long speed. He is able to hit the hole hard but he needs to show that he has the second gear that would allow him to pull away from defenders. Ball also needs to prove that he is not just a product of an outstanding Wisconsin offensive line. While he is solid in multiple aspects of his game, there is still plenty of room for Ball to improve.
Overview: Ball is the best Wisconsin running back prospect in the past few years. He has benefited from playing behind a dominant offensive line but don’t let that take away from what he has achieved. Ball’s vision allows him to be a one-cut runner and that is what NFL scouts like to see. It is just up to him to prove that he is not a product of the Wisconsin line. With four new starters along the unit, he will be given every opportunity this season to prove that he is the real deal.
Currently, Ball looks like a third-round prospect with the ability to jump into the high second-round.