Samaje Perine 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position: Running back
Height: 5’10
Weight: 235 pounds
School: Oklahoma Sooners

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash:
4.65 seconds
Bench press:
30 reps (first among running backs)
Vertical jump:
33 inches 
Broad jump:
9’6″
Three-cone drill:
7.26 seconds 
20-yard shuttle:
4.37 seconds

Samaje Perine 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Samaje Perine had a highly productive college career, reaching at least 1000 yards and ten touchdowns every year he played. The starting role wasn’t even solely his, as he shared the backfield with fellow running back Joe Mixon. Yet, despite splitting carries, Perine put up some of the most solid career stats in college football, toting the rock 685 times for 4,122 yards and 49 touchdowns.

The highlight of Perine’s college career undoubtedly came his freshman season. He amassed 1,713 yards on 263 carries (6.5 yards per carry average, career high) and found the end zone 21 times. In that season, Perine set the all-time NCAA record for yards in a single game. Against Kansas, the Sooners fed him the ball 34 times and he turned that into a staggering 427 yards and five scores. Perine showed astounding strength in that game as he continuously broke tackles and escaped the Kansas defense. Despite not being the fastest back, Perine was able to consistently outrun defenders once he broke free.

With the presence of Joe Mixon he’s never had to be a receiving threat out of the backfield, despite having decent hands. He’s had 106, 107, and 108 yards receiving respectively in his three seasons as a Sooner. It wasn’t so much a case of Perine being an incapable receiver as it was him simply not needing to be part of the receiving game. He is capable of catching the ball out of the backfield effectively and could likely see his receiving usage increase in the NFL if he becomes a three down starter.

Strengths

  • Incredible physical strength.
  • Able to break tackles with ease.
  • Drives through contact.
  • Good vision.
  • Great downhill runner.
  • Pad level stays where it needs to be.
  • Creates extra yardage by bulldozing through defenders. Pure power runner.

Weaknesses

  • Relies on power too much at times.
  • Lacks loose hips to make quick cuts.
  • May have trouble with outside runs.
  • Body may break down in the NFL due to aggressive running style.
  • Speed is average at best.

NFL Comparison: Jerome Bettis

Teams with Need a Position: Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks

Projection: round two or three

Bottom Line

Samaje Perine is one of the most overlooked and underrated guys in the draft. His ability to create for himself through sheer power is something not seen often in the league anymore. Perine’s playing style and build is reminiscent of a vintage NFL running back from the days when the league was at perhaps it’s most violent. The 235 pounds packed onto his 5’10” frame makes him a compact bulldozer and lets him plow through defenses. Any team who’s scheme calls for a power back will be able to instantly implement Perine as a three down starter.

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