Prospect: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma StateJoseph Randle

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 204 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Top end speed and burst through the hole merely adequate, won with it in college though
  • Narrow-based player, limits his ability to maintain balance on contact, but aids change of direction skills
  • Flashes foot quickness in open field situations, but lacks suddenness in tight quarters
  • Grew leaps and bounds in strength as a back as a junior compared to his underclassmen years, frame started to fill out

Intelligence/Effort:

  • Shows extra effort with his willingness and determination as a pass blocker
  • High football IQ, quick to read and react to the moving parts of a defense
  • Overall awareness level a big plus, can maximize yardage and knows where first down markers and the goal line are at

Pass Protection:

  • Hard-nosed blocker who will lay his body on the line
  • Displays proper vision and decision making against intricate blitz packages, head always on a swivel
  • Meets pass rushers square and anchors well, will go low occasionally but makes maximum contact

Route Runner:

  • High impact pass catcher with lots of experience running routes from the wide receiver position
  • Productive catcher of screen passes who uses his blocks well after the catch
  • Developed ability to use his hands to play through contact as a route runner and generate separation

Hands and Carrying:

  • Big-handed receiver with a natural feel for catching the football, more reliable than high number of wide receivers
  • Extends for the football well and can make catches with a commendable catch radius
  • Fails to cover up the ball with extra attention to it in traffic, will also swing it a bit in space
  • Far from immune to fumbles, some of which popped out far too easily

Rushing:

  • Was a homerun hitter for the Cowboys, especially as an underclassmen, likely doesn’t translate
  • Shakes defenders well in the open field effective cuts, has made a number of good tacklers look silly
  • Effective jump-cuts behind the point of attack with developed and deliberate footwork
  • Vision highly untested and inconsistent from the little evidence there is, scheme often left big holes
  • Ability to lower pads shows up against smaller opponents at the second level, but not in short yardage situations where he really struggles
  • Finishes runs with impressive physicality and power, always falling forward
  • Can carry defenders at the end of runs, but doesn’t break enough tackles with strength, some untapped potential there though
  • Struggles to win around the corner with pure speed, unable beat defenders with angles

Overall:

Joseph Randle is a running back prospect who is sure to generate a wide range of opinions.  He’s been ultra-productive during his time at Oklahoma State and was a home run hitter in the running game.  Then Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon left and the holes shrunk.  The statistical results were .6 less yards per carry as a junior, 12 less totals touchdowns, and 15 less receptions.  It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but it’s worth noting.  As a college back, Randle made use of some big holes running from primarily shotgun and pistol sets.  He’s shown continual development, especially as a power runner and with his footwork.  His ground game will be a bit of a work in progress from day one in the league, but there is potential and tools you can work with.  My favorite part of Randle’s game is what he can provide on passing downs.  He’s certainly at the top of the heap in terms of pass protection.  He’s a proven commodity as a blocker, which is uncommon of running back prospects.  He’s also an extremely reliable pass catcher who has experience as a route runner.  This means he has high value on passing downs, which is becoming more and more important in today’s NFL.  Overall, I feel Randle is best served to end up in a two back rotation where he gets bulk passing downs.  Don’t confuse that to mean that he’s a third down back only, because he’ll play an impact on running down as well.  For a team with fewer other needs, he’s a viable pick in the middle of the second round, but realistically should go in the third.

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