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Josh Adams Was Prolific Last Year; Can He Keep It Up Without The Best LT/LG Duo In College Football?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Temple at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Adams, RB
School: Notre Dame | Conference: Independents
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 213 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th Round or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Melvin Gordon

College Statistics

Player Overview

Josh Adams was a 3-star recruit from Warrington, Pennsylvania. He chose Notre Dame over other hometown favorites like Penn State, Temple, and Pittsburgh. Adams had a breakout year this past season and gained national attention for his long breakaway runs as he entered the Heisman conversation at one point because of his impressive production. He played behind two of the top offensive lineman in the country and in this draft class: Mike McGlinchy and Quenton Nelson. He was fed the ball in ND’s offense because of trouble with the teams passing game. He also struggled to put up good production against top rushing defensive competition this year with the exception being NC State. Those three things might make you think twice about him but when Adams has a lane he is a powerful north/south runner that can take it to the house. As alluded to his limitations are fairly obvious. He needs a good blocking offensive line, he needs relatively clear rushing lanes, he is not very good at creating space behind or at the LOS on his own. His strength is also obvious. If you give him any daylight he can take it to the house and may bring a few defenders with him. Adams is not dynamic but he has some value on an NFL roster for a team that likes to feature runs between the tackles and he has an ability to make big plays if you give him space.


  • Excellent size, good speed, acceleration and quickness for the position.
  • If you give him a clear lane and he builds up a head of steam he can go the distance.
  • North/South runner who can bang between the tackles and who at times shows patience for his blocks.
  • Hard to bring down in space and his legs keep churning and he has a powerful body type.


  • Instincts and vision are lacking. Recognition and hesitation can doom him.
  • Doesn't offer much as a 3rd down back option because his pass protection and receiving ability are not up to snuff.
  • Not an intuitive runner and struggles with making his own space. He tightens up bad in space and doesn't have the fluidity you want out of your running back.
  • Struggled to produce against better run defenses this season such as Michigan State, Georgia, Wake Forest, Stanford, and LSU.
  • Has a clear ceiling with minimal room for mistakes at the next level.

Let's see his work:

More Josh Adams videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

You run Josh Adams if you have a stud offensive line in place. You run him on a 2nd and 20 when the defense isn't expecting it. You run him if the defense bites hard on a pre-snap motion. You don't put him in on 3rd downs or expect him to execute a sweep with precision or fluidity. You can pick apart my examples but I think you get the point that his role in the NFL will be limited. Adams tested very well but some of his numbers do not show up on tape. I remember watching him against USC and then NC State after and being intrigued but it is the games he struggled in that will tell you his likely effect at the NFL level. Running backs can improve issues with trust and hesitation but they cannot improve vision and intuition which is the most concerning thing about Adams. His lack of fluidity and relative ineffectiveness in the passing and protection game is going to make it hard for him to stick around. Watching him against Stanford and LSU reminded me of our old buddy Matt Jones, to be honest. Overall I think he is an incomplete player who I think benefited from excellent blocking against teams who struggled against the run. Make no mistake if he was presented with the opportunity to gain yards he more times than not took full advantage of it. He was praised by his peers and coaches for being a team player and improving each year as well. I just think his challenges in the NFL will be too much for him to consistently be effective. I don’t think Adams is what the team is looking for in a running back - at least not as a starter. Give me Adams over (non)Fat Rob to fill out the 3rd string.