The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson has already said that he is entering the 2019 NFL Draft.
Position: Running Back
2018 Stats: 11 attempts, 119 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns (2 games played)
Size: 6-foot, 224 pounds
Rodney Anderson was one of the best running backs in college football in 2017, but was injured in Oklahoma’s second game of this season. He has been a part of a great offense and was a key in Oklahoma’s run to the College Football Playoff after the 2017 season.
Anderson has rushed for 1,285 yards and 16 touchdowns as a Sooner. Most of that production came from the 2017 season, as he didn’t play almost at all as a freshman and got injured early in the 2018 season. In that season he averaged 6.2 yards per carry, which really helped keep the offense balanced with Baker Mayfield at the helm. He also showed flashes of good receiving skills with 17 catches for 281 yards and five touchdowns in his career.
Before his injury, Anderson was seen as a possible late first-round pick. Now he likely will have to wait until the middle rounds before he hears his name called at the 2019 NFL Draft due to his significant injury history, which includes a few season-ending injuries.
Anderson has great size for a running back and has good play strength. His strength is on full display when he runs hard and downhill. He played in a spread system in college, but also ran well when Oklahoma went to more pro-style sets.
He has decent quickness when he gets the ball in his hands and runs with a low pad level before getting to the line of scrimmage. Anderson uses his solid vision to hit holes hard then gets skinny to fit through the line and runs the rough arm tackles in the first level. In the second and third level of the defense, he shows off his elusiveness with his cuts and power. He has shown the ability to run between the tackles and to the outside. Ball security will not be a problem for Anderson.
His added value comes as a pass catcher, where he has good hands and runs good routes. He is a receiver before he gets the ball in his hands, then he displays good run after catch ability, just like he runs when it’s a handoff.
The biggest weakness for Anderson is his injury history. He was considered an early round pick before his latest injury, but knee injuries and running backs don’t typically go together. In addition to the knee injury, he also had a season-ending neck injury and a season-ending broken fibula during his career at Oklahoma. His draft stock will fall as a result of the injuries, but no one can be sure how far he will fall in the draft. He’ll have to prove he is still capable of making good cuts on the injured knee before he can really earn trust back.
While hitting the hole as fast as possible is great when it is there, Anderson could benefit from more patience. He doesn’t need to operate at a Le’Veon Bell level of patience, but just an added touch could help him see more holes and be more effective.
He does have good quickness, especially at the start of the play, but his long speed isn’t the best. His 40-yard dash times, if he is able to run, will be a focus for scouts who want to see if his speed could hold him back in the NFL.
With the great quarterback play at Oklahoma, opposing teams were not able to stack the box a lot. He’ll have to prove that he can run against stacked boxes consistently in the NFL to be a good running back.
His pass-catching is fine, but he could use some work in his pass protection. He got beat a few times in the 2017 season. Anderson does have the build and strength to be able to hold up well against pass rushers, but has to work on it more.
Projected Draft Range: Third-fifth round