Jarvion Franklin, RB
School: Western Michigan | Conference: Mid American
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 239 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th Round or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Jeremy Hill
Jarvion Franklin had one of the best freshman seasons you will ever see in the NCAA at Western Michigan in 2014. The Tinley Park, Illinois native was just a 3-star prospect coming out of high school and didn't receive any offers from power 5 schools. Franklin didn't test particularly well at the combine (as expected) except for in the 3-cone drill which is meant to test agility and quickness. Those traits along with his vision and power can clearly be seen on tape. Franklin’s production took a dive compared to his freshman year when he entered a timeshare with a teammate. That experiment by the coaching staff only lasted a season before Franklin resumed the lion share of work out of the backfield. As a result, Franklin has a pretty high carry total with 942 attempts in his college career. Franklin blends great vision with short area quickness power and balance into his running style. Though it won't register well with the analytics his 4.63 speed isn't too bad either for a guy pushing 240. Franklin will go later in the draft because he doesn't have any unique or explosive traits, combined with his production largely being against lower level competition (compared to power 5 schools), and the wear he has on his tires up to this current point. Teams looking for a power back as part of their RB rotation will have a solid option late in the draft with Franklin.
- Built like a tank and well proportioned. Durable. Plays with good strength and power and can run through tackle attempts.
- Can be elusive in short areas and when he sets up his blocks. His cutting ability is pretty good and he has that fall forward quality.
- Capable blocker in pass protection.
- Great vision almost always guides him to the right spot.
- 13 fumbles in his career with more than half coming in his freshman year. He's made progress there but still has one of the worst fumble rates in the class.
- Limited burst, agility, and elusiveness. I don't expect him to break many big ones at the next level.
- He got some substantial work in college and though he left unscathed it probably is best to have him share the load to preserve him.
- Catching ability is sort of unknown. He looked ok when I saw it but he was used very seldom there this year. I think he would have to be left pretty open in the flat to do damage.
Let’s see his work:
I didn't expect Jarvion Franklin to post elite numbers, or even good ones, but he posted decent numbers and that's a pleasant surprise. Projects out to just a little below average for #RAS, with a very good cone score to consider. pic.twitter.com/73mwObRqQw— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 2, 2018
Here’s Jarvion Franklin catching another ball out of the backfield. pic.twitter.com/ZQnx7n9JaW— Bruce Matson (@BMatz08) February 25, 2018
Gaaawd Damn Jarvion Franklin is a monster pic.twitter.com/0oiqPa1ac9— Jeff Hyde (@FilmDontLie) November 2, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
At the combine, Jay Gruden mentioned adding competition to the running backs group and specifically adding a “first and second down banger” to the group. I don’t think Franklin comes in and takes the job from anyone outright but Gruden’s comments in their full context signal to me that the team is yet again looking to add a power back to the mix. If the team decides to fill other positions at the top and middle of the draft they could look at a later round option like Franklin to come in and compete. I do think that Franklin can come in and challenge Rob Kelley for that roster spot. I would take Franklin over Kelley today because of his better vision, running style, as well as his slightly better athletic traits but significantly better explosion/elusive traits (see James Dorsett's article for number comparisons). His fumble rate is a red flag but he has improved it over the course of his career with the occurrences dropping every season. Provided they get enough attempts and the LG position is upgraded a Perine/Franklin rushing attack should be effective inside and out and wear down defenses over the course of a game on those first and second down attempts. If the team is just trying to foster competition and add a more durable option Franklin provides that.