Nov 30, 2013; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Charles Sims (3) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Iowa State Cyclones at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Senior Bowl is the biggest all-star game of the year for college seniors. This is the last game they will participate in before heading to the NFL combine in February. It is also the last chance for scouts to see prospects in a practice and game day situation. Although teams already have an opinion on players, this week can put a prospect over the top or knock them down draft boards.
Here is a look at the six running backs that will be taking part in the Senior Bowl festivities.
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RB #20 – James White – Wisconsin
White has spent his entire football career as the guy in the shadow. Both in high school and at Wisconsin he was the second running back. Now it is his turn to prove that he can be an NFL running back. He is a bit on the small side, but has proven to be tough. He is shifty enough to find lanes on the inside and has enough burst to find room on the edge. He has great quickness and can pick up speed in a hurry. White could be a great change of pace back at the next level.
RB #33 – Charles Sims – West Virginia
Charles Sims was one of the only bright spots in a disappointing season for West Virginia. Although the Mountaineers struggled to win football games, Sims dominates on offense. He has good vision and does a great job at picking running lanes. Sims has shown the ability to make good cuts and cause defenders to miss tackles. Sometimes he can bounce around too much behind the line, but that can be fixed. He is a powerful back who has more quickness than given credit for.
RB #34 – David Fluellen – Toledo
Fluellen is a good receiving back. He displayed his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield in Toledo’s spread offense. Although he does battle injuries a bit often, he still manages to put up good numbers. He is more of a late round project player. His blocking ability is not great since he hasn’t had much experience in that area. If he can stay healthy, he displace the athletic ability to have a decent career in the NFL.
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RB #5 – Antonio Andrews – Western Kentucky
In Andrews full first season as the feature back, he broke the Hilltoppers single season rushing record. He is dangerous in both the running and the passing game. He has a good combination of speed and strength, and has proven he can carry a heavy load. Andrews is a durable back who isn’t afraid to dish out a hit on a defender. He projects as a middle round pick, but could move up with a strong performance
RB #21 – Lorenzo Taliaferro – Coastal Carolina
Lorenzo Taliaferro was a very productive player at the FCS level. He was a key to Coastal Carolina’s big season. He amassed 1,500 yards rushing while racking up 27 touchdowns on the ground. He is a bit large for his position and may be asked to switch to fullback, but he does have the speed and agility to make defenders miss. He will have to show some versatility in the backfield to gain more attention for himself.
RB #24 – Jerick McKinnon – Georgia Southern
McKinnon played all over the offense in Georgia Southern’s option attack. He has good open field speed and can create big plays when given space. He isn’t a great runner between the tackles, but he is not asked to do that very much. He is an under the radar prospect who is looking to take advantage of the spotlight in Mobile. If he can show the ability to be successful in a conventional offense, he can be a good player at the next level.