Nick Brossette, RB
School: LSU | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 221 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th round
NFL Comparison: Wayne Gallman
As a 3-star recruit from Baton Rouge, LA who was recruited a fair amount things still had to be tough for Nick Brossette at LSU sometimes. He followed not one but two elite running backs at LSU. Leonard Fournette burst onto the scene in 2015/2016 and solidified himself as a first round talent. Derrius Guice got his chance in 2016/2017 and perhaps would have been a first round talent had it not been for a strange and false rumor that dropped his draft stock last year. Brossette got his chance as a senior to show what he could do this football season and did not disappoint. When analyzing Brossette’s game you have to put in check recency bias at the position, and at the school. You’ll hear from some about how he is ‘slow’, doesn't have elite ‘change of direction skills’, is not ‘elusive enough’, etc. Certainly that is the case when comparing him to two elite players at the position in the programs history but Brossette has a fine and effective set of skills that will see the field on Sunday. He is really not unlike past LSU backs who have played more of a support role such as Alfred Blue, Spencer Ware, Darrel Williams, etc who have all gone one to have productive NFL careers. Brossette could have a variety of roles in the NFL from keeping the starter fresh, 3rd down back, or even starter. It all depends on where he ends up but regardless a team should be getting a great value for a talented player with not a lot of mileage.
- Good size for the position. Physical player. He’s strong and has powerful legs and core when he gets going its full steam ahead.
- Shows good vision in the backfield and is pretty decisive more times than not. Picks his hole then goes north. Shows pretty decent elusively and good balance when making his way through the first level defenders. If he gets to and past the second level he’s causing damage with some nice burst.
- Very capable as a pass protector. Doesn’t just go for the legs of rushing defenders but will square up and take on guys in the chest, has pride in doing it. Didn’t get many opportunities at LSU but appears to be a capable pass catcher out of the backfield as well.
- Carries the ball high and tight to his chest with only 2 fumbles on 257 carries. This gives him a fumble rate of 128.5 which puts him in the above average category (this is good) you can compare it to last years class here.
- Doesn’t have great speed, elite cutting ability, or overwhelming power. No particularly special athletic traits are his biggest knocks.
- One year starter with one year of solid production.
- Would like to see more burst behind the LOS a la AP (we are spoiled) he has some good patience but sometimes lacks the ability to just plant and go. Make something out of nothing as it were.
- Doesn’t have a particular ability to make defenders miss in space with any sort of juke move.
Let’s see his work:
It's a deep running back class, we know that. Nick Brossette did himself a favor by setting career highs in rushing against Miami (FL). Great blocking at the 2nd level but nicely done by Brossette. Good vision w/eyes downfield -- lets blocks develop + burst to go for six. pic.twitter.com/xD6CoMA148— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) September 5, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Brossette ticks the humility and patience boxes. He had offers from other big time programs but chose to bide his time at LSU instead of complain or transfer. He’s a team player who does whatever is asked of him. He is a particularly interesting option if the Redskins deem Chris Thompson a cap casualty. Right now I think that is unlikely but I do think Brossette can carve out a nice 3rd down back role for himself in the NFL and on this team. With the majority of the carries surely going to Guice and possibly Adrian Peterson next year the Redskins would need an improved runner in 3rd down situations and I think Brossette would provide more power and physicality than Thompson would in those situations. Additionally, he is a more than capable pass protector and would be a good choice to remain on the field on passing downs. He is also a capable pass catcher even though he only got a few opportunities at LSU. As I write this I’m watching him run in the Fiesta Bowl against UCF and he has just racked up 1,000 yards rushing for the season.
What if the team decided it’s Guice’s show completely and doesn’t re-sign AP? Brossette could be a good complimentary option in that situation. Even if Thompson is retained I still think there is a role here for him- theoretically at least. It would call for Jay Gruden or who ever is calling the plays to make specific packages for Chris Thompson and instead of using him in the traditional 3rd down back capacity - scheme up specific plays to get him the ball and slide in Brossette into those pass blocking and short yardage situations instead. Of course the big question in justifying drafting a player like Brossette is what is going to happen to Semaje Perine. Gruden seemed to put him ‘under the jail’ as it were. I didn’t even see the kid on the sideline most of the year. I can’t imagine fumbles alone led to the lack of playing time we saw from Perine this year considering the injuries at the position. If Perine is going to spend the rest of his Redskins career in the dog house it makes sense to look for a replacement, especially one that takes care of the ball well and most importantly has a clean slate with the coaching staff.