NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
Ahhh. The first scouting report of the season. For me, this is like Christmas. This is the part of the process I love. Watching film, taking notes, and creating an opinion on the future success of these players. Now, writing up the scouting report is another story. It is not that I don’t like to do it, it is finding the time to write them up. For me, this time of year is where work slows down enough to sneak in a little computer time each day, so the reports are coming. As I wrote in my previous post, Runningback will be a position I focus on this scouting season and I start my scouting report series with a polarizing prospect, Donnel Pumphrey.
Name: Donnel Pumphrey
School: San Diego State
Weight: 180 Lbs.
Senior Stats: (through 6 games)
167 carries, 1111 yards, 11 TD’s ( 6.65 average)
18 catches, 131 yards
Pumphrey may not be a household name. He plays on the west coast and at a smaller school, so his exposure to the masses is minimal. If you have not seen him play, please take the time to find a game and watch him, because he is a lot of fun to watch. He has excellent quickness, explosive speed and balance. He is elusive in space and has the ability to make defenders look silly when trying to tackle him. Pumphrey is a water bug out on the football field. He has the ability to start and stop as well as change direction while maintaining his speed. He is an advanced runner from a mental aspect. He shows good vision and shows the ability to set up his runs from a timing and patience aspect.
The big knock on Pumphrey is size. He is listed at 5’8″ and 180 Lbs, so in reality he is probably smaller than that. You will be hard pressed to find a guy who has had real success in the NFL at that size. Not only will his size come into question as a runner, but will he be an effective on third down if he has to stay in and block. Pumphrey is also raw as a pass catcher, which at his size, he needs to be better at to find a role in the NFL.
Pumphrey will be an interesting case study going forward. On one hand, his production and his athletic abilities are some of the best in college football. On the other hand, his physical limitations may make it difficult for NFL teams to take him. He needs to go to a team that knows how to use a player like this. He is never going to be a traditional, between the tackles type of runner, but if he goes to a system that can get him into space and find ways to get him into mismatches, he can have success. As a Patriots fan, the team seems to be set at the position with these type of players, so the need is not really there. As much as I like watching him on film, I worry about him handling the physicality of the NFL. I think realistically, he should probably be a day 3 type of pick.