- Position: Running Back (Pro Style Offense)
- Previous Team: LSU Tigers (College)
- Status: Draft Prospect
Age: 22, Height: 6’1, Weight: 235 lbs, Experience: 3 years (College)
- Average Defense Rank: 50.6
- Average Rush Defense Rank: 52.3
- Scouted blocking record: 5-4-6, 4 assists (33% Quality block, 73% Contention rate)
- Good burst of speed in the open field. Can really tell when he hits the second level, the jets come on.
- Runs with great power, tackling alone would give many defenders problems.
- Good ballcarrier vision, can find the hole and shoot right through it on inside runs.
- Shows excellent patience when waiting for the hole to develop, does not have the habit of bouncing to the outside on inside run plays.
- Shows useful catching ability, can be an asset out of the backfield.
- Runs with a good combination of power and finesse. On highlights it is not uncommon for Fournette to truck through the first would be tackler, then proceed to juke out the next defender. This combination makes it difficult to predict how he will run the ball.
- Can be a vertical threat out of the backfield on the passing game. On one specific play against Wisconsin, Fournette took off on a fly route out of the back field, and proceeded to catch the medium to deep ball on the pass.
- Smart with the ball, covers it up before impact or in high impact zones. fumbles will be a minor to almost nonexistent issue.
- Weak route runner, the cuts he shows when running the ball are not present when running routes, this makes routes like slants more like bubbles.
- Weak faker on the Play Action. It is fairly easy to tell when he will not get the ball since he does not hold his climb to the hand off with as much conviction. In fact, sometimes he doesn’t even keep his hands up to sell a potential hand off, which broadcasts to all he is not getting the ball.
- occasionally sluggish step when getting to the line of scrimmage, especially on Play Action passes.
- absent-minded when asked to block. Can show instances of great blocking, but unless the play is a needed conversion, will not try too much to block the incoming blitz.
- Slow coming out of the backfield. in addition to being a weak route runner, the lack of spring when route running out of the pocket makes Fournette a subpar weapon on the pass.
- Has a habit of lowering helmet on trucking attempts, hitting the defender with the top of the head. Can be a potential injury problem should this habit persist.
As a runner, I like Fournette. I admire what he brings to the table for any team’s rushing game. His combination of strength and speed will be sought after throughout the league. What I do not like is his effectiveness, or lack thereof, on anything else. He is a poor blocker, and an OK target for the passing game. While this would not kill his stock, this does limit what his effective range in the playbook is. Him being in the backfield does not help protect the QB, so his usefulness in Shotgun situations is questionable. Coming from a Pro Style offense at LSU does showcase his rushing abilities, as he has spent the past 3 years running out of a traditional running philosophy. In addition, Fournette played in the SEC, a run heavy conference, and played against three Top 25 elite rushing defenses this season alone (Wisconsin ranked #4, Auburn ranked #20, Alabama ranked #1). Aside from Alabama in which Fournette did poorly, the other 2 games saw Fournette rush for over 100 yards both games, and averaged 6 yards a carry; Astronomical stats when you think about these teams being elite run stuffing defenses. Statistically his biggest game of the season came against Ole Miss, where he ran for 284 yards and 3 TDs. This game, while impressive on paper, was against a horrific run defense; Ole Miss is ranked 119th in rushing defense, making them the 9th worst in the nation. Going into draft, Fournette holds the advantage of playing against tough run defense, and while he may not have performed as well statistically this season as one of his skill is to be expected (he finished ranked 103rd in rushing), he has spent the past 3 years playing against elite run stuffing defenses. His level of competition for college can help him transition to the NFL. His greatest weakness is his subpar and wobbly play outside of the run. While he does possess catching ability that can be used as an asset, his lackluster route running can keep him from making any plays. His blocking also needs work, as his absent-mindedness will not be forgiven as much as it was in college.