All of Buffalo Rumblings' 2015 NFL Draft coverage can be found in our NFL Draft section. These scouting reports are part of our 2015 NFL Draft big board, which is also available under the "Library" header on our site's navigation bar.
- Position: Running back (RB)
- Class: Junior
- College: Alabama
- Ht/Wt: 6'1", 226 pounds
Since his college career began, T.J. Yeldon has impressed a lot of folks, being a big running back with great acceleration and speed. Yeldon works best when he can follow a blocker on a designed path through a hole; when he improvises, he tends to stretch the run to the sides, rather than uncovering cutback opportunities.
When given space in front of him, Yeldon explodes through the gap. He churns his legs well and has the strength to push a pile, especially when he gets low. He actively uses an arm to direct traffic in front of him, but his arms can get a bit too swingy in the open field, and it can lead to fumbles. Yeldon has experience as a pass blocker, usually choosing the correct target and having the physical base and technique to be effective there.
Yeldon does a bit of pass-catching, mainly as a swing pass target or middle curl option. He sometimes runs a little too tall, a result of his height, but he shows an ability to adjust his running stance. His balance isn't the best, so you will see him tripped up a little more than you'd like. Yeldon has a great wiggle move to freeze a defender right in front of him. He doesn't have excellent change of direction ability, but it's alright.
If a team is looking for a plug-and-play running back with experience in a pro-style offense, Yeldon is their man. I could see him having a similar impact to the 6'1", 233-pound Jeremy Hill, who became the starting running back for Cincinnati as a rookie after being drafted from LSU. I don't see a five-star talent here, but the floor is a lot higher than several of the backs usually grouped near him, including Jay Ajayi, Ameer Abdullah, and Duke Johnson. Personally, I have Yeldon ranked somewhere between the second and third rounds right now.