2021 NFL Draft: Demetric Felton to the Buccaneers is losing steam
By Rob Leeds
Demetric Felton is losing steam as a fit for the Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In the past few weeks, fans of the Buccaneers have seen RB/WR Demetric Felton’s name plenty as a great fit for the Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL Draft. Felton’s time splitting reps between running back and wide receiver provided some optimism that the rookie could be the Bucs’ next third-down back for Tom Brady, but that dream is dying.
One trait that is imperative to making it in the NFL is athleticism. Even being able to play at the college level weeds the crowd out plenty, but the jump needed to make it in the NFL is even more substantial.
If you aren’t a crazy athlete, it is extremely difficult to succeed at Pro level. In a league where even the defensive linemen and offensive linemen are athletic monsters, a small running back that isn’t on par starts well behind the curve.
Demetric Felton is not a freak athlete for the Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL Draft
Kent Lee Platte’s Twitter account always gets a bit busier during this time of year. With a database that goes back decades in evaluating players on an athletic level against their peers and forbears, this analysis is extremely successful at indicating whether or not a player is a good fit for the next level.
Unfortunately for Demetric Felton, this analysis shows that the Buccaneers should go a different direction at running back.
As depicted in the chart, Felton’s RAS, or relative athletic score, is extremely low for a receiver. In fact, this score is one of the weakest at the position since 1987. Switching Felton’s position to running back improves the numbers slightly, but staying beneath a 2.00 is still very poor.
The RAS indicates that Felton is not a freak athlete, nor does he have the physical tools to succeed at the NFL level, and for this reason, the Buccaneers need to rate him lower on their draft board.
While some people will point to the fact that Felton plays faster on tape, which he could, RAS is generally a very good indicator of a massive part of player evaluation. It is also true that things like the 40-yard dash and bench press aren’t the only indicator of a player’s potential at the next level, but these numbers are still damning.
Felton could defy wisdom and still succeed at the next level, but that prospect has just become that much more difficult. Given the year for the Buccaneers and their immediate needs, it would likely make more sense to go a different direction based on this evaluation alone.
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