Montee Ball 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Player Name: Montee Ball
Despite being just a junior, Montee Ball has had quite a productive career.
Ball had significant playing time as a freshman, spelling John Clay. As a sophomore, he started seeing much more playing time with Clay battling injuries and being somewhat ineffective at times.
Ball’s junior season has been huge for Wisconsin, and being a Heisman finalist shows just how big of an impact he had in 2011.
Ball is a very patient runner with excellent vision. Most would categorize him as a one-cut runner, as he makes his cut and hits the hole.
Despite not being a large back, he still runs very well down hill, and rarely tries to play as an elusive back.
Ball has above average speed, and breaks arm tackles with ease. He has had a solid amount of his production after contact, and is a tough runner despite not being a bruising back.
Ball has solid hands out of the back field and does a nice job of protecting the football. He also does an exceptional job of falling forward for more yardage.
Ball doesn’t have elite speed, and will not out run defenders at the next level. He’s not overly powerful or fast, which could scare some teams away.
He likely won’t be a workhorse at the next level despite his ability to make defenders miss in the open field and break simple tackles.
Pass protection must improve for Ball, as he is somewhat inexperienced. He has improved in route running out of the back field and making plays as a receiver.
He doesn’t have history in his favor with many very talented Wisconsin runners failing at the next level, including the likes of Ron Dayne, Michael Bennett, and Brian Calhoun most recently. Part of this is due to the fact that he runs behind a mauling offensive line that creates huge holes, and some see that as a negative.
Ball projects quite well in a two-back system at the next level. He will fit in well with any system, and will be capable of big time games.
Right now, a second-third round grade should be placed on him, with some other talented running backs eligible, and due to the fact that running backs aren’t as highly coveted any more.
He’s a talented running back who could have a bright future if placed in the right system.
NFL Comparison: Ryan Mathews