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Washington Redskins 2017 Draft Profiles: Alvin Kamara, RB

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Hogs Haven takes a look at NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Alvin Kamara, RB
School: Tennessee | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 214 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd round
NFL Comparison: Melvin Gordon

College Statistics

Player Overview

Alvin Kamara received offers from every SEC program out of high school. He chose Alabama and joined a stacked running back core which at the time included T.J. Yeldon, Kenyon Drake, and Derrick Henry. Kamara redshirted his freshman season after a knee injury and was suspended twice during the 2013 season. He asked to be released from the tide and went to JUCO for a year before he committed to Tennessee. Kamara excelled in the Vols program but somewhat inexplicably was used sparingly despite his obvious talent. Kamara played second fiddle to starter Jalen Hurd in 2015 but the two backs split time in 2016. Hurd who decided to leave Tennessee in October and Kamara quickly showed what he could do in a featured role.

Strengths

  • Prototypical size for a running back.
  • Shifty is his middle name and he is aware of his gears and knows when to use them to maximize yards gained.
  • Balance is superb. Can run with burst and agility shake off arm tackles and hands around his feet. There are some entertaining clips of him bouncing of Vandy defenders left and right and still manages to get chunks of yardage. Tough to get down.
  • Excellent hands out of the backfield and has lined up in the slot and still has been productive.
  • Offers value as a returner.

Weaknesses

  • Questions on how productive he can be running up the gut. Is more elusive and agile back than he is a grinder.
  • Questionable instincts if there isn't a gap of space readily available. Would like to see him take what's there more instead of trying to bounce outside.
  • Would like to see him be more patient in open space doesn't seem to want to wait for downfield blocks that may spring him for more yards.
  • 5 fumbles this season with 2 lost.

Let’s see his work:

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Kamara is an obvious talent but he has a lot to prove in my view and frankly, I am surprised he is projected to go so high in the draft given the production and record of other backs available after the top 3 (Fournette, Cook, McCaffery). While he’s fun to watch in the open field and is a great receiver Kamara will have to prove he has improved his ball security issues first and foremost to be considered a lead back in the NFL. Secondly, he will have to prove that he is indeed a three-down back. While some are fine projecting that for him the fact remains he never got more than 20 carries a game while at Tennessee. With all that said I actually think he is a good fit on the Redskins. Kamara arguably offers, speed, balance, and agility that the team simply doesn't have at the position right now. Couple that with his skills as a receiver and you could argue he is an immediate upgrade over all the backs currently on the roster.

While I think Kamara would excel in some aspects of the offense I am slightly hesitant about others including his effectiveness on runs called up the middle and his propensity to bounce it outside and not see another lane, his carry total, his impatience with letting his blockers set him up at the send and third levels and his ball security issues. If he improves those areas of concern then he is a lead back all day. The scary part for me at least is I can’t determine if he would be able to fix those things right now or if they are embedded into his game.