Chiefs Draft Preview:
RBs Jeremy McNichols,
Samaje Perine & Curtis Samuel
John Cooney, PASS2Win- Fantasy Football
The following player notes are just appetizer observations before the meat-n-potatoes of the NFL Combine and my more detailed scouting and Flash reports. Check in often as I update these early jumpers heading to the 2017 NFL draft. Underclassmen don’t often make rookie splashes in the NFL, but many go on to have terrific pro careers. PASS always gets a head-start. -John Cooney
Jeremy McNichols, Boise State
Good one here! McNichols is a fluid, high-energy, all-tools RB with ideal pro dimensions (5’9-212). Runs, catches and scores. The Boise Stater rocked 43 rushing scores over the last 2 season and tallied 30 offensive TDs in the same span. He’s a fast 4.5-forty guy, brings pop at contact but is quite elusive as well. Shows an abundance of confidence in his decision making and attacks every carry with gusto. Tough to tackle and will not be brought down on the first hit. McNichols knifes, slashes, slides and cuts in a variety of ways to gain yards. Efficient footwork, patient rushing approach and a quick accelerator create yards from scrimmage and TDs. Makes 2nd and 3rd efforts after contact for added yards. McNichols is a winner. He plays fast, runs hard and with vision, handles the football in a variety of ways and does so confidently. The one performance flaw he got away with in college that will catch up to him fast in the NFL is his propensity to belly his runs to the edges deep behind the line. At Boise State he was able to outrun his pursuers; he won’t be successful if he continues this practice as a pro. Jeremy McNichols should impress in his workouts for NFL folks. Eye this RB up come draft day.
Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
The more tape I see of Perine the more I see RB Spencer Ware of the Chiefs. Perine goes a rugged 5’10-235 and estimated forty is around 4.5. Perine is a 3-time 1000-yard rusher at Oklahoma, but has seen his rushing yards, yards-per-carry (YPC) and ground scores decrease each season. Perine is a rough and tough rusher between the tackles. He is a straight-ahead runner with little creativity and lateral mobility. Perine is not much of receiver out of the backfield. The Sooner tailback tends to run to contact, and is a mild tackle-breaker. He doesn’t run as fast as his estimated time. Like Ware, Perine will have to expand his overall game to become a pro contributor. AS currently constituted, Perine appears to be, at best, a 2-down ground-n-pound back.
Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
A 5’11-200 WR/RB weapon in the mold of Packer versatile weapon Ty Montgomery. Samuel is a more sudden athlete however. The Ohio State multi-tasker is a bit unpolished in both aspects, but is clearly a talented and capable playmaker. Samuel is a threat with the ball in his hands. AS a RB Samuel is explosive but displays some sloppy footwork. He is urgent with the ball but also impatient behind his blocks. Samuel works best and most dangerous racing to the edge or slashing inside tackle/guard lanes. Catching the football Samuel shows average hands and somewhat raw route skills. He hands are not clean at catch (some bobbles) and in traffic Samuel is 50/50 at best snaring challenged throws. Again, he is a burst of energy but needs to harness that energy to focus and refine his game. The skill portions of the Combine and Pro Days will be a huge tell as to how Samuel will translate into the NFL. The physical talents and tools are there, but the keywords for Curtis Samuel is focus and refinement.