Karan Higdon, RB
School: Michigan | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 203 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Jerick McKinnon
Karan Higdon was a 3-star recruit back in 2015 when he announced his commitment to Michigan in stunning fashion. Higdon had been committed to Iowa but changed his mind on National Signing Day. Higdon’s immediate playing time was limited as he was playing second fiddle behind De’Veon Smith his first two seasons in Ann Arbor. Higdon got his chance to make a mark in 2017 and did a good job. It was thought he would have a breakout season this past year and though he did achieve 1,000+ rushing yards some consider his performance a bit of a let down considering his drop off in efficiency. Higdon has some good physical skills. I think he is your typical one cut back who if given space can take it to the house with his speed. He is tough and can be quite physical especially for a back his size. He’ll have to try and improve some key skills like vision and become better at some nuances at the position but Higdon could have a decent future in the NFL as part of a committee.
- Great athleticism and speed. Higdon was timed at 4.45 when he committed to Michigan if he can match that speed or improve it at the combine it will improve his stock a lot.
- Solidly built player who is tough, physical, and has good strength. With a lower center of gravity can play with impressive balance and make impressive cuts.
- Has impressive power for his size and can shed tackles and keep going for extra yards.
- Capable in pass protection.
- Vision is lacking and is the big thing that is holding him back from being as good as some of the other backs that will go in the mid rounds. Sometimes he misses clear running lanes. I am unsure if you can teach a running back vision in the NFL. If he can’t improve it he will be even more limited than projected.
- Not very elusive, don’t expect him to make something out of nothing many times. Its usually just one cut and go and he is limited laterally it seems.
- Not much of a receiving threat. He could have been underutilized but other running backs on the teams got more targets.
- Related to the above that doesn’t make him a bonafide 3rd down option. He is likely limited to rotational work.
Let’s see his work:
Karan Higdon looks to be back folks pic.twitter.com/ucJweOTcni— Michigan Moments (@GoBlueMoments) September 22, 2018
#Michigan RB Karan Higdon for a 67-yard run and a Wolverine touchdown! #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/O2b0mxwINs— Michigan Sports News (@SportsGuyMI) September 8, 2018
With news that @UMichFootball RB Karan Higdon is entering the NFL Draft, have a look at these top plays from 2018. pic.twitter.com/CbW3X0tkwj— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) December 20, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Higdon’s value to the Redskins largely depends on how well he tests athletically at the combine. The Redskins running back situation outside of of Derrius Guice is a bit murky. Adrian Peterson is no longer under contract. Chris Thompson has one more year left on his but could become a cap casualty if the Redskins decide to scrap together money for a QB in free agency or pursue any other high priced free agent. Not to mention no one knows whats happening with Semaje Perine who is currently being wasted and taking up a roster spot. If Higdon tests well I can see him being drafted for his speed, quickness, and physicality. As the team works to get faster players on the roster adding Higdon and having him work in a rotation and getting a few reps here and there could yield surprising results. He has the potential to rip off some big plays if he has a clear lane and he is capable of working through attempted tackles. Some of his deficiencies he can improve and while I don’t think he ever reaching starting quality he could be quite resourceful in a committee approach. To stick in the league he’ll have to improve his vision and work to get better as a receiving option but when it comes to the essentials of running the ball and picking up yardage he’s a solid option on day 3 for most teams including the Redskins.