The Road to the Draft: J. K. Dobbins
Age: 21 – Role: Runningback – College: Ohio State
Class: Junior – Height: 5'10"' (1.77 m) Weight: 217 lbs (98 kg)
J Kaylin Dobbins, this is the full name, was born in La Grange, Texas, the son of a canadian hockey player (who had him at only 18 years old, and this compromise his collegiate career) and runningback owner of the La Grange High School, the same school where 15 years after J. K. became the absolute star.
This son of Texas, J. K. choose from the start, the football, even if at the moment of choosing a university opts for Ohio State, and not to the nearest Texas or Texas A&M or Houston, alma mater of the mother). Columbus became only the sixth true freshman in the history of the program, starting as the starter in the season opener. In addition, in the three years with the Buckeyes did not skip even a game (and has played 40 out of the 42 from the starter), becoming the first player of this historic program to bring the ball to at least 1’000 yards in each of his first three seasons. In the last season, which ended with the victory of the Big10, and the participation to the playoffs, the digits of “J. K. all day!” (as renamed by the historical voice of the Fox, Gus Johnson) were truly impressive: 2’003 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns.
The speed in the first metres is definitely his best quality, that is, the unit and an excellent ability to read blocks and blitz, this makes it extremely uncommon of course with a loss of yards. Another fundamental quality of the runningback, that J. K. seems to have, is patience: do not lance ever “low-head” without having, in advance, analyzed, and assessed the situation. If the line of attack is of a good standard, as was that of the Ohio State – this quality allows the guy a large number of big plays – with the Buckeyes the game for over 30 yards in every race, if we could only be sure, before or later, arrive.
As evidenced by his above-cited statistics on attendance (never a game missed in 3 years of college), in comprehensive consideration of this guy it is clear that his resistance to injury play a secondary role. The only physical problem had on the season came at the worst time, i.e. during the semi-final playoff games due to injury, however, while limiting, do not put him out of the game, despite an ankle disorder in Dobbins, however, has played for the entire race, finishing with 174 yards rushing (!) and a TD, which must be added 47 receiving yards.
It is not the runningback creative that you invent a game “from nothing”, but a runningback efficient is to optimize at the best the work of its men of the line, thanks to his readings and his ability to absorb contact.
The first aspect of his game that must improve is the ability to act as a blocker: the evil that competitive has when it receives the handoff disappears when the ball is not delivered. Not to avoid the contact, but he suffers without particular enthusiasm, and this makes its protection to the quarterback, often, ineffective.
In the last year Dobbins has improved visibly as a receiver: the attack of Ohio State has played more and more actions that included the exit from the backfield of J. K. as a possible alternative target, and this has helped in this sense, its statistics. Having said that, however, there is no doubt that the qualities of a pass catcher can and should be perfected: for example, in the above-mentioned challenge of the playoffs with Clemson has committed two bloody drop (including one in the endzone) that could rewrite the history of the game (and the season of the Buckeyes).
The above injury is the cause of the non-participation of Dobbins to the physical tests in the Combine (with the exception, of course, the bench press), during which some of his colleagues (AJ Dillon and Cam Akers on all of them) are put on display, undermining its previously unquestioned reputation of “top3 runningback” of this class draft. This said, and considering the little inclination of the current exemptions to the “spend” a choice high in this role, you will probably wait a bit to see him tie the knot, but it is still quite likely that his name doesn't go over the buoy of the second lap.
There are not many teams in need of a runningback, but among them certainly are the Miami Dolphins, who could also choose on the first lap in this position. The other team looking for a back is Tampa Bay, which needs at least a player in this position to complete the attack will be Tom Brady.