Chiefs Draft Crush: Ryan Nall

What do you call a big white RB? A FB? That’s what Oregon State thought when they brought in Central Catholic High School’s Ryan Nall. A few key injuries later, the team was forced to start Nall as their RB. An opportunity that he would parlay into a over 2,000 yards rushing in his career, and a career average YPC of 5.8. Nall is not your typical NFL RB. He’s also not a tweener who can’t play the position. If other teams regard Nall as a FB, he could be an incredible steal for the Chiefs in the later rounds. Here’s why:

Size/Speed/Agility: Rotoworld lists Nall at 6’2 255lbs. Sounds like a FB, but Nall is much faster and shiftier than your average FB. When you watch a big RB, you expect to see him running over smaller players. Nall can do that, but you’ll also see him jump cutting and displaying a surprising burst at the 2nd level. In the NFL, it’s not about being the fastest at your position, or the strongest at your position, or the most agile at your position, it about being the best athlete for your size. Pending combine numbers, Nall could very well be among the fastest, most agile players with his height/weight combo. According to Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion: Force = Mass Times acceleration. By that calculation, Nall is a force to be reckoned with.


Receiver Ready: Part of the trouble, with so many college backs, is that they come into the NFL with very little ability to contribute, in the passing game. Nall, however, has great hands and a resume to prove it. Over his college career, Nall has amassed over 500 yards receiving, with an average YPR of 10 yards. Unlike many big backs, who only excel pounding the ball between the tackles, Nall is a YAC (yards after catch) nightmare for opposing defenses. Just when you expect him to truck someone he jukes instead. Whether Chiefs view Nall as a FB, H-Back or RB, they’ll certainly view him as a pass catcher.


Pass Protection: In the NFL, to be a 3-down back, you have to be able to run the ball, catch passes, and protect the QB. While Oregon St. didn’t ask Nall to do a ton of pass pro, when they did ask him to chip, he as effective. Given his size, and hard nosed demeanor, there’s no reason to think he can’t be an asset In pass protection. Just look at the hit that he lays here on the edge rusher.

Conclusion: Due to his unusual size, for a RB, many teams won’t give Nall much consideration, but smart scouts will do their homework on this, not-so-gentle giant. If Chiefs are looking for an upgrade from their current third down back, Charcandrick West, they could do a lot worse than snag Ryan Nall, especially if he’s still on the board in the 6th or 7th round. Of course, a crazy combine performance by Nall could also raise his stock enough that other teams take notice. I’m hoping he continues to slide under the radar, and into Kansas City. Go Chiefs.

Bonus Link: Want to see Nall’s tape for yourself? Watch him play against arch-rival Oregon here:

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Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne is an electrician living in central KS. He's married and has two young boys. Born in KS, and raised in Tucson, Ransom spent his middle school years in southern Mexico.
Ransom Hawthorne

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