Scouting Report: Paul Perkins, RB

Does Perkins have what it takes to be the go to guy in the Patriots backfield?

Does Perkins have what it takes to be the go to guy in the Patriots backfield?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

As the NFL Combine inches closer, I want to get myself acclimated with as many of the skill position players as I can.  I want to see what the tape tells me on these players before some player at the underwear Olympics puts up some eye popping 40 time and everyone falls in love.  I like analytics, in fact, I have tried for years to come up with the perfect formula combining a players measureables and testing to see if I could find what makes a player great or not. I have not found that formula. There are some great writers in #drafttwitter that do a great job with analytics and I try to read as much as I can, but I find myself always going back to the tape. I have been focused on Running Back for the past few days and thought I would share my thoughts on UCLA’s Paul Perkins.

Name: Paul Perkins (#24)

School: UCLA (Jr.)

Height: 5’10” (unofficial)

Weight: 210 Lbs. (unofficial)


The first thing that pops off the tape when watching Perkins is his shiftiness.  He is so elusive in his movements that it looks like he is in a video game. I found myself laughing out loud when watching him because he can make defenders look absolutely silly when trying to tackle him.  Along with that shiftiness comes balance. He does a great job at staying balanced even when he is making complex moves to make defenders miss. Perkins shows good patience and vision to allow his lanes to open up and then shows a good burst to hit that hole quickly. He plays with a good low pad level and can get skinny to get through the smallest of holes. He looks natural as a pass catcher and is a nightmare for defenders in the open field.


Perkins played in a spread type offense and he will have to adjust to life in a more traditional NFL offense.  He lacks the power you look for in a traditional between the Tackles type of runner.  Perkins can fall into the trap of running East/West too much rather than just pounding it inside and taking what is there. He likes to bounce it outside far too often which will not work in the NFL.  Perkins lacks elite speed and does not have that 2nd gear to run away from defenders. He is passive as a blocker and gets pushed around far too much to be trusted in that role right now. He needs time in an NFL strength program.


Perkins’s tape is full of “wow” plays. He could make a defender miss even in the smallest of spaces. He doesn’t play with great power, but he isn’t brought down by ankle tackles either. I love his balance and his ability to make defenders miss in a variety of ways. He is good at getting low and doesn’t take a lot of big hits which will serve him well at the next level.  He could have good success if put into the right type of scheme and situation.  I don’t see an explosive player on tape and I don’t think he will run an impressive 40 at the Combine, although he should excel in the agility drills. I don’t see him as a great fit in New England in a lead back role.  Because of that and the other things I just mentioned, I can’t give Perkins any higher than a day 3 grade.


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15 Responses to “Scouting Report: Paul Perkins, RB”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    Perkins is not my personal favorite, but not a bad ball carrier. Main targets should be Alex Collins or Kenneth Dixson in the early rounds and a power back in later rounds, to compete with RB Joey Losefa, my choice would be Devon “Rockhead” Johnson. RBs that would be great in the Pats system based on what we do, are Kenyon Drake,CJ Prosise, and Dwayne Washington. As I stated before, we can’t assume that Dion Lewis is going to come back completely healthy from injury, it’s his 2nd major injury in 4yrs, it took him 2yrs to get back the last time. I think we should double dip this year!!!

    • J H TARBORO says:

      A pass catching FB should also be thought about, it could be just as effective as having a 2nd move TE, pass protection for Brady, a lead blocker for our RBs, and in the passing game just like an overhand right in a fight, you wouldn’t see it coming.

      • steve earle says:

        Agree, have you anyone in mind? We have a pretty good FB on IR, Devlin who has showed the ability to catch at times though he wasn’t used all that much. I don’t know of any “pass catching” FB’s but remember when Percells then Belechick used a FB quiet effectivly back in those days so I should think it can still.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          Steve E. some will like Glenn Gronkowski because of his name and who his brother is, I really don’t think Glenn has done enough as a pass catcher or blocker in college to warrant our pick, Dan Vitale of Northwestern is a proven pass catcher but just like Gronkowski, he plays at 235lbs what is considered small to play FB in the league. Soma Vainuku of USC would be my choice, a true FB that plays at 255-265lbs, has very good hands, a blocker, and has value as a ball carrier and a special teamer. At the combine, a couple more FBs will be on display. I want to see Georgia’s FB Quayvon Hicks .

        • Matt says:

          Well the Pats did not use Devlin much cause he got hurt in the preseason which was a shame I think hes a good player. As for a good pas catching FB the only one I remember was Sam Gash and that was a while ago. He was a good FB.

      • steve earle says:

        I’m sure there are some FB’s at the combine worth a good look we have to wait and see how they do. The guy I’d like to see, McGowan, will not be there and that’s to bad. He is no starter to be sure but in special sub packages could be quite effective I think. At 6-7 410 lbs leading a true FB into the line on short yardage it’s likely the pile moves forward a couple yds. I’d just like to see that, I really would.

      • steve earle says:

        @ Matt, Yea Sam was one but there was another one before him, Tom something I think but he became a FA and went elsewhere. I’ll bet Russell can come up with his name. You listening Russell?

  2. Russell says:

    Not a fan of Perkins, I think a later draft pick like Jonathan Williams, or Keith Marshall sounds better for a RB.
    This DE/LB Ronald Blair looks very interesting entangables Off the chart, more of a Hightower type player. Good prospect!!

  3. Tim D says:

    I like Perkins. Definitely needs work on pass protection. If he goes in the 3rd or 4th round, I think in 2-3 years from now we will look back and think it was a steal.

  4. Ryan says:

    Yeah, I mostly agree. I love Perkins, but we shouldn’t be targeting him because we already have two elusive backs good in the passing game, James White and Dion Lewis. I think that he’ll be snapped up in the third, but I guess I’d think about him at the end of the fourth if he’s the best player left in the draft. Still, I’d rather end up with Derrick Henry, Alex Collins, Jordan Howard, Jonathan Williams, and maybe C.J. Prosise, assuming that Ezekiel Elliott is completely out of reach. Also, Leon Allen and Tre Madden are interesting options for Day 3, but I’d give them no better than sixth-round grades due to their injury histories. We need a back who run between the tackles, block well, and serve us in goal-line situations, which means that Perkins should be allowed to fall to a team who wants a more explosive weapon.

    • steve earle says:

      Good points Ryan. Expect Blount to be moving on so what we really need is a power back because we are unlikely to be able to get a 3 down type lead back. Take a look at Devon Johnson RB/FB Marshall 6-1 250. They call him “Iron Head” for a reason.

      • Ryan says:

        Johnson looks like an awesome choice and I’d be happy if the Pats snagged him on day 3. He’s big, strong and versatile. It’s just a shame that every power back after day 2 has to have an injury history.

        • steve earle says:

          That’s so true, so many injuries but I don’t mind taking chances on day three what bugs me is early part of the draft going after someone we have to hope and pray can stay on the field.

  5. Trev says:

    I agree with your assessment of Perkins. I’m a huge Wazzu fan so I watch plenty of Pac-12 games. Perkins looks real good at times (mostly against over-matched defenses) but when he faces a more physical defense he tends to look pretty average. I would be disappointed if NE spent a Day 2 pick on him, but I would understand if they took a shot on him with a Day 3 pick.

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