Scouting Report: Alvin Kamara, RB

Kamara is an explosive playmaker, but is he the right fit for what the Patriots need at RB?

Kamara is an explosive playmaker, but is he the right fit for what the Patriots need at RB?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I’m Back! This time for real. If anyone reads this, let me first apologize for my long absence from the site. Due to personnel reasons, my schedule over the past few months has not allowed me the time to work on the draft. My schedule is back to normal now and I plan on hitting this draft class hard. I am further behind this year than most seasons, but luckily there is still time to get an in depth look at this class, at least at the positions I feel the Patriots might target come April. With the Senior Bowl happening this week, this is a perfect time to jump in and get to work on this class. Today, we continue with a position I think the Patriots must address, Running Back.

Before we get to the report, let us first take a moment to congratulate the Patriots for making it to the Super Bowl. We as fans have been so spoiled over the past 15 years. No team in the history of any major sport has been able to put together this type of sustained success.  We need to appreciate it now because who knows when this magical run will come to an end. With that said, if the Patriots want to continue their reign on the NFL, one position that still looks to need an upgrade is Running Back, so today I took a look at Alvin Kamara. Here is what I saw from his film.

Name: Alvin Kamara (#6)

School: Tennessee (rJr.)

Height: 5’11” (unofficial)

Weight: 215 Lbs. (unofficial)

Positives:

Kamara is an explosive athlete. He jumps of the screen with his ability to reach top speed quickly. He runs with good balance and is elusive is space, making it difficult for defenders to bring him down. He has excellent hands and is a natural pass catcher, making him a weapon as both a runner and a receiver. Kamara shows great burst when he gets the ball and explodes up to and through the line quickly. He runs with good pad level and falls forward when tackled. He shows good vision and patience, especially on screen plays. His technique is raw, but he is willing to pass protect. Kamara has 7 career fumbles, so he is pretty good about protecting the ball.

Negatives:

There are very few negatives when it comes to Alvin Kamara. I am very interested to see his official measurements because he looks much smaller to me. On tape, he looks like he lacks bulk and Tennessee used him more as a change of pace/passing back until they were forced to use him as a feature back after Jalen Hurd quit the team. He lacks the lower body power to run between the Tackles consistently and be productive.  Tennessee manufactured touches for Kamara to be productive and typically those plays were to the outside, which will not be as successful in the NFL.

Summary:

The negative section on Kamara is really small. He is an exciting player with the ball in his hand and when he can get out in space. From a Patriots perspective, he does not fit what the team needs. I think Kamara would be a player Belichick would love to have on his team because of his ability to be a playmaker as both a runner and a receiver. Kamara has the chance to be an electric player in the NFL if he goes to the right system and a coaching staff can be creative with him. He reminds me of Duke Johnson from a few years back out of Miami. If the Patriots did not have Lewis and White, I think he would be high on the Patriots draft board. While he might not be a great fit for the Patriots needs, I think a team in the mid 2nd to mid 3rd will take Kamara.

 

Again, if anyone does actually read this, I apologize for the lack of posts this fall. I plan on grinding out many more of these in the coming months, so keep an eye out.

 

 

 

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24 Responses to “Scouting Report: Alvin Kamara, RB”

  1. steve earle says:

    Welcome back Mike!!! Missed ya!

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Thanks Steve and everyone else. It has been soooo frustrating not being able to do this, but now that my schedule is back to normal, I can’t wait to hit the process hard once again.
      Lots of good comments so far and some great names already being mentioned.
      Love it.

  2. Stephen J says:

    Welcome Back Mike

    You came back at just the right time the Pats gave us plenty to talk about during the season now the draft will give us plenty to talk about looking forward to more of your insights.

  3. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots will have to bring a strong game as Atlanta had no problem with Green Bay.
    My First Patriots Mock Draft of 2017.
    1.0
    1 T.J. Watt OLB Wisconsin
    2 Cooper Kupp WR Eastern Washington
    3 Jarron Jones DT Notre Dame
    4 Obi Melifonwu SS Connecticut
    4 Avery Gennesy OT Texas A&M
    5 Tareon Folston RB Notre Dame
    6 Gunner Kiel QB Cincinnati
    7 Jake Eldremkamp G Washington

    Go Pats!!

    • Stephen J says:

      How much has Cooper Kupp improved his draft stock with his performance so far at the Senior Bowl. Another WR I wouldn’t mind would be Zay Jones like his sure hands that he has played slot and outside comes from an NFL family something Bill likes and seems to be football smart. I’m just not sure WR is a position that will be looked at since we drafted 2 last year.

    • Turbo says:

      I like Darboh and Taiwan Taylor for us as well, but the ultimate homerun would be Ryan Switzer in the 3rd or 4th if he’s still there. He’s the perfect replacement for Dola and Jules in the long run. I don’t think that we are going to keep Dola for next year and Floyd is another question as well and as much as i liked the Lucien pick last year, we haven’t really see anything from him yet, so a WR is kind of a need.

    • steve earle says:

      Like your 1st TJ Watt. Another guy is Charles Harris, Misu DE/OLB. Really hard to look ahead right now though have some good prospects listed. Nice early mock, well don Dan.

    • Stephen J says:

      Scouting Report by Dane Brugler on Cooper Kupp

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3Cn4Y7XUAMyAVl.jpg:large

  4. Ned Ryerson says:

    I thought you went into Witness Protection. Glad to have the site up and moving. Ranking pats needs are as follows:TE..Who knows if Bennet is back and Gronk is always a hold your breath and pray proposition. LB..We have Hightower and some draft board busts from other teams. Ninkie not the same guy sans the juice. RB:..They need an impact player at the position to take pressure off an aging Brady. Get one before the 6th round. And finally a developmental Tackle in case Marcus Cannon looks in the mirror and remembers he is Marcus Cannon.

  5. Mike Gerken says:

    Glad to be back everyone! Thanks for the kind words. Let’s not forget that Blount is here on a one year contract as well, and while I admire the work he has put in this year, when you break down his numbers, he is less that pedestrian. Most of his success this year came later in games. While being able to run out the clock has merit, I still think someone who teams must account for is necessary. I think we are on the same page as I don’t really think it is necessary to take someone day 1, but late day 2, early day 3 could garner a player who can do the same, if not more than Blount has done for cheaper.
    After watching this team throughout, I too agree that positions like LB, TE, OT, CB, and DE are higher on the list than originally thought.

    • Ryan says:

      I think that we’re going to get a really good grasp on our defense’s needs in the Superbowl. If we can’t get to Matt Ryan or stay tight in coverage, it’s going to show immediately.

      • Todti says:

        I think we already have that grasp and it looks quite good, actually. Maybe apart from a game against an offense like the Falcons’ (and possibly a healthy Steelers team next season).
        DL:
        Brown and Flowers are really blossoming and under contract until after the 2019 season. Valentine showed some promise but probably needs at least one more season to be counted on on a permanent basis, which means that Branch will probably be retained. He’ll likely cost a bit more than in the last two seasons, although he’s already 32 (and freakin’ huge). Ninkovich has one more, cheap year on his contract, and I think an extension for Long will be advantageous for both sides. Sheard will probably be let go, as the Pats save that money for extensions and get a nice compensatory pick in 2018. That would open up a spot for a rookie as the #4 edge rusher. As great as it would be to see the Pats get a real threat from the edge, I just don’t see them deviate from the setting the edge & contain approach.
        LB:
        There’s no way around it, Hightower will get a good amount of money and I’d rather see him get that in Foxborough – maybe tied to some bonuses based on health and games played. I think he’s the type of player Bellichick likes to reward. If they don’t cut McClellin because of his salary (>$3million), and they signed him to a new contract just a year ago, the LB corps will have him, Freeny, Van Noy and Roberts. Roberts is a very nice LB against the run and his salary is even nicer. Van Noy was valuable and has one cheap year left. So, I don’t really see a change here.
        Secondary:
        Chung, Ebner and McCourty are locks. I think they value the Big Nickel enough to try to get Harmon back, which would basically fill out the safety position. The CBs, of course, are the interesting position. Butler won’t get away, as the Pats, if I’m not mistaken, have the leverage via the first-round tender this year and could put the franchise tag on him in 2018, although that seems unlikely to me. I was quite happy with Logan Ryan earlier in the season, when he was flying under the radar, but right now I think he will get more money elsewhere than the Pats (rightfully) are content giving him. On the other side, Coleman is a FA as well, so that only Rowe, C. Jones and J. Jones are currently under contract. That scares me, but I hope that J. Jones steps up and won’t only be a great STer anymore. To be honest, if the Pats are going to have money left I hope they will retain Ryan.

        So, I think the basic framework will again be run & contain at the DL, Hightower and cheap pieces at LB, and Big Nickel + Butler in the secondary. No surprise and the D is not that bad to be honest. I mean, this team is the best in the AFC right now and with a healthy offense and a full season of Brady could allow the D to decline a bit next season. As I said, the Steelers are, if healthy, the team to beat next season and the Texans might join this duo, if they could sort out the QB situation. But without Shanahan the Falcons should drop off a bit and the Cowboys are, in my opinion, a more welcome opponent.

        • Ryan says:

          My defensive wishlist is as follows:
          Undersized DT to boost interior pass rush (think Grady Jarrett)
          Athletic, possibly undersized LB (Travis Feeney/ Deion Jones)
          Dynamic edge rusher, unless we keep both Sheard and Long
          CB if we lose Logan Ryan (A veteran CB could fill this well, especially if teams shy away from vets due to the depth of this year’s CB class)

          For offense I think it’s pretty simple: OT, potential feature RB, and a developmental TE. I’d like to see an early pick used on the offense and then a slew of day 3 picks on sleepers that could bolster our D.

    • Todti says:

      I just saw that Bolden is a FA. Could you see them drafting a “combo” RB later, who would at first assume ST duties so that they could keep him on the roster, while Blount, White and Lewis provide the safety at this position?

    • Tim D says:

      I agree with your assessment of Blount. I would love the patriots to draft a “between the tackles”/early down back with some power, but some ability to produce yardage on their own. If blount doesn’t get a free run through the line he’s useless. I also don’t like his vision on the goaline. I think the numbers are deceiving. Kamara sounds like he doesn’t offer much more than lewis or white.
      Although he didn’t look so great in the east-west shrine game, D. Smith from Mich later in the draft seems like a good alternative.

  6. Lucas says:

    Great to have you back Mike!!

    I think Todti is right, with Blount the Patriots have a nice feature RB but I think they should find someone behind him to develop. Maybe a 4 or 5 th round (Conner, Hunt, Jamaal Williams or Clement) so that he can take over Blount in 1 or 2 years.
    I actually would love to see the Patriots take McCaffrey as he brings so many things to the table or take a risk with Mixon (only if it is a 4 round) as his talent is too good to pass.

    But I think the most presing need for this years draft is to take a LB (Hightower is the only elite player there), a Center (watching Andrews get beaten every time just scares me-and there are some good ones in the Draft-Pocic, Orloski, Fuller, Elfein,..), a TE to habe some depth behind Gronk and Bennet if he stays (maybe a 3 or 4 rounder: Leggett, Engram, Everett – or take a shot at Butt) and maybe a CB and/or DE, as I think this draft has some talent in those two positions.

    And it seems as if Garoppolo could be gone, so maybe they should look at a late QB to develop too.

    Again, great to have you back!!

  7. Todti says:

    Hey Mike, great to have you back! Love your dedication to this.

    I think we all agree that this type of RB is not necessary right now, but as GM said we should look into the future. I had said this actually before this season, both White’s and Lewis’ contracts end after the 2017 season. Lewis is only 26 and seems to have recovered pretty well from his injury, so I could see the Pats try to find some team interested in White (he’s a bargain right now).
    Regarding the ‘big back’ I have to admit that I’ve come to terms with Blount. Due to the way the RB position is handled on this roster I just don’t see them getting rid of Blount, as long as he is valuable to them, and replacing him with a rookie. I think further reinforcements along the OL would be more sensible. The young guys are developing nicely, especially since Dante’s back, but it can’t hurt to have depth and competition. Going through the whole OL:
    – Solder, Vollmer and LaWaddle will be in their last years (and I just don’t see Vollmer playing after 2017)
    – Fleming is already a FA
    – Thuney & Karras 2019, Jackson & Mason 2018, Andrews 2017

    I could see the Pats a) draft an OT with one of their earlier picks to replace Fleming and either LaWaddle or Vollmer, depending on the German’s health; and b) draft an interior OL later, let Andrews go after 2017 and put Karras into the starting OL (either him or Thuney as C).

    Again, many thanks to you Mike! You’re doing this in your spare time, there’s no need for apologies.

  8. GM-in-Training says:

    Welcome back!

    I’m liking the depth on the roster right now. I guess there’s a lot of potential for free agency loss next season.

    I agree with you that Kamara seems triple redundant with Dion Lewis, James White, and D.J. Foster on the roster.

    The Pats are usually drafting 2 years ahead, so I’d also look at who becomes a Free Agent in 2018 for guidance on what they’re shopping for.

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