Scouting Report: Marlon Mack, RB

Can this former USF Bull be a Bull in the NFL at the Running Back position?

Can this former USF Bull be a Bull in the NFL at the Running Back position?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I promise I am not just watching Running Backs, it just seems that way. In all seriousness, this was the one position I focused on during the season, so I have detailed notes and more game film study on this position than any other. I will be bouncing around to more positions as I finish up some of these other groups, but for now, here is one more Running Back that just might be on the Patriots radar.

Name: Marlon Mack (#5)

School: South Florida (Jr.)

Height: 5’11” (unofficial)

Weight: 205 Lbs. (unofficial)


What stands out most when you watch Mack play is his electric speed. This kid can outrun anyone who is chasing him and he is a legitimate home run threat every time he touches the football. If Mack gets into the open field, teams are going to have a very difficult time catching him, even in the NFL. Mack shows good patience as a runner; allowing for running lanes to open before he shoots through them with excellent burst and explosion. He also has good vision to find the smallest of seams when things don’t develop accordingly. He has good size for the position and has a frame that can handle some extra bulk added to it. I really like his footwork as well. He shows the ability to change the pacing of his steps without sacrificing momentum and balance. Mack has good strength and can fight through arm tackles.


Mack is an upright runner, which leaves him exposed to taking bigger hits. He also had a limited role as a pass catcher and pass protector, so he will have to learn that at the next level if he wants to stay on the field on all three downs. Mack likes to bounce his runs outside and had a lot of success in college, but even with his speed, he will not find consistent success doing so in the NFL. South Florida primarily ran the read option out of the shotgun formation, so Mack will have to learn to play in a more traditional NFL style. Mack consistently tried to run around or away from defenders rather than lowering his shoulder and fighting for the tough yard. Mack has also had ball security issues in college and that in of itself may take him off the Patriots board.


Mack is an interesting player to say the least. He has such electric speed that he seems like he could score every time he touches the ball. He has good size and can break away from arm tackles, but he tends to avoid contact if he can and that leads to unproductive runs.  In college, he could rely on his speed and have success, but he will need to refine his technique at the next level to have sustained success. I also worry about how upright he runs and how that will affect him as an in between the Tackles runner. He is a work in progress with some special traits and may be best used in a system similar to what the Falcons run with Freeman and Coleman. He is an early Day 3 guy who could be very intriguing if he goes to the right system.






80 Responses to “Scouting Report: Marlon Mack, RB”

  1. D. Martin says:

    Recognizing fully that Belichick never drafts any of the players I want him to (and that’s probably a very good thing indeed), I still plan on doing a mock draft. I need some help with a couple of questions I have for those of you who are more knowledgeable concerning the draft pick trade values and needs of other teams.

    1.) Assuming a trade with the Bears, is a 1st and 4th this year too much to realistically expect?

    2.) I want TE O. J. Howard, who I expect to be available around 15 overall. If the Bears trade 3 overall for Jimmy G, who would be willing to give up their mid-round first and mid-round second draft picks for that number 3 overall?

    Thanks guys.

    • EdgeX says:

      1. I can imagine a scenario in which the Pat’s get a 1st and a 2nd round pick – but then again no one really knows how this is going to turn out until it does – we can only hope for the best in the mean time.

      2. The first team I can think of off the top of my head to move up to #3 would be Carolina. I could see them willing to move up to #3 overall to draft Fournette cause I have a hard time seeing him making it past the Jags or Jets. Another team might be the Cardinals to move up and draft Mike Williams or Corey Davis.

      • D. Martin says:

        Thanks man. That is an incredible haul for a second round investment made in Garoppolo a few years ago! I checked the trade values table on profootballtalk. Looks like 3 overall is valued at 2200 points and Carolina’s number 8 and 40 picks combine for 1900, so that seems close enough.

        I really think O J Howard puts the offense over the top, but I’m afraid Number 8 overall is too high for a TE. Heck, Gronk wasn’t drafted until the second round.

        But I really like the sound of trading Garoppolo to the Bears for number three overall and their pick in the 3rd round, then trading 3 overall to Carolina for their number 8 and 40 overall picks. That equates to an early 1st, early 2nd, and an early 3rd round pick for Garoppolo!

    • Russell says:

      I agree with EDGEX , the only issue is IF the Patriots get the #3 pick, drafting a player will cost, aprox. 25.6 mil. 4 year contract. (DE Jonathan Allen?) IF they trade the pick, Carolina is a good bet as they want, Fournette. Getting Carolina’s 8th pick, and 40th is also likely value.

      However, I think the Bears keep the #3 pick (to trade with Carolina) and give the Patriots their 2nd #36 & their 2nd & 4th next year. By the Bears keeping #3 and trading with Carolina , they get a 2nd pick back, (after trading #36 to Patriots) while moving back to #8 but keeping a 1st round pick.
      Again NO TRADING for a 4th pick this year as the Patriots MUST give their lowest pick to the league. (presently two 4th picks, #130 & #136)

      I would look for a similar trade deal with the 49ers if interested in Garoppolo, as they would be wise to trade the #2 pick with Carolina as well.
      If we talk Cleveland I don’t like #12, chances of trading go down some. Choosing a player here seems more likely, the contract would be aprox. $12.8 mil. for 4 years. ( TE Howard, LB Foster, DE Barnett, ???)
      Clevelands two 2nd’s #33 and #52 & a 4th next year looks more likely. BB then could trade (if a party is interested) their 1st pick #32 with Pittsburgh, Oakland, Arizona ?? for 2nd (2017 & 3d (2018) .

      Lots of possible moves

      • Russell says:

        Remember Patriots don’t have a 3d in 2018 because of the Eric Rowe deal. So BB would like to get one back in that round, as part of the Garoppolo deal.

  2. Matt says:

    Sorry guys off draft subject. I guess someone is going to make a movie about Butler. Who do you think should play Butler in the movie?

  3. Russell says:

    I look for a fairly quick Garoppolo trade, no waiting until draft day (April 27-29th) The Team that wants Garoppolo (Bears?) will want to get the deal done a month before the draft, so Garoppolo can get “into” his new team. Then the team can focus on the draft, knowing what choices they have.
    It could be the 49ers, but I think its the Bears, who studied Garoppolo last summer with joint practices with the Patriots. The Deal?
    I would project, Bears give, 2nd (#36) & 3d (#67) & 3d in 2018. Patriots give Garoppolo and 3d (#96).

    • macspak says:

      Not sure which team but I also suspect it will be multiple 2’s and 3’s. Maybe Cleveland gives up this year’s first 2 and 3 and next year’s 2. That would give us #32, 33, 64, and 65 along with 96, the 3rd rd comp – 104ish etc. I suspect with back to back picks Trader Bill’s wheels would be spinning.

    • EdgeX says:

      I like the mock draft Charley Casserly has up on the NFL Draft website. He’s a former GM and has the Pat’s getting Cleveland’s #12 pick and taking DE Derek Barnett and TE OJ Howard at #32.

      Personally I’d replace Barnett with Solomon Thomas who was still available in his mock at #12 – but either way you slice it that would be one heck of a way to start off the first round.

      • carlo strada says:

        you know i would also have taken Solomon instead of Barnett, as interior pressure is hell on earth for any QB (besides of Solomon´s versatility to play all around theline). Other scenario i d like is that after Pats get Browns 12 overall, they go on and trade down so to acquire a couple more of picks (2nd a 3rd), and then get Malcom Mcdowell and OJ Howard or Hason Reddick at own 32

        • carlo strada says:

          *Malik Mcdowell i meant

        • steve earle says:

          All kinds of ways that would be good for us but don’t trust that Howard would be around past the half way mark in the 1st. Even so lots of great prospects and Bill could make a killing trading down from any high 1st. Less then 2 weeks until the combine.

  4. macspak says:

    Not sure how many of you check our but our/your own Russell Easterbrooks is a regular contributor on that site where he provides even more player analysis supporting his opinions on pretty much the same players he introduces to this site. I don’t see a lot of indications people are visiting, liking or commenting on his articles and my guess is such support would be good for him and the site administrators.

    I hope Russell doesn’t mind the plug.

    • Russell says:

      Thanks macspak, I just enjoy every part of the Patriots team building process . I’m NOT a great writer, but I do enjoy Patriots Football. I have been successful projecting the Chandler Jones & Jammie Collins trades.
      Thanks for all your support!!

      • Stephen J says:

        Russell went to your site the latest mock draft 5 and attempted to make a comment but kept getting error but here is what I posted

        8 total picks and 6 of them Defensive. A little heavy on the Defensive side to have a nice balance. That maybe something to look at in past drafts how many picks and how balanced they were.

        Don’t know if this could be possible but having a your reaction with comment after each pick so that you can make comments and suggestions for each player without having to scroll back and forth from comment section to article section.

        For example 4th pick OLB Jimmy Gilbert what intriguing qualities do you see

        Then Westercamp what makes him a great looking prospect in your opinion

        If you already say have a write up on Westercamp explaining that then you could link it in the article.

        Just some thoughts and ideas.

        Keep doing what you enjoy Russell


        • Russell says:

          OLB Jimmie Gilbert played mostly DE in a two point stance. He has 34 1/8″ arms; Has a number of rush moves, and is always around the Ball. (See his Tape) He demonstrates flexibility that translates well to BB system. Drops into coverage, but needs continued work in coverage. At 6’4″+ 230lbs. good speed 4.74, and is intelligent prospect.
          WR Westerkamp (knee injury) has some great tape running routes, and hands catching the ball. Nebraska is not a pass power team, yet Westerkamp is in most of the plays. Team Co-Captain, showing leadership qualities. Westerkamp plays with heart & toughness that just stands out. He interviews well, and is intelligent, I think he just “fits” the Patriots system. I would like to see a good 3 cone dill score. Better size than Switzer 5’11” 194 lbs, and also does some punt returning. He reminds me of Edelman, with his route running.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I agree, Russell is an excellent asset to that sight and a great contributor here as well.

  5. D. Martin says:

    Kareem Hunt OR D’onta Foreman??? Who is better and who would be a better fit for the team?

  6. EdgeX says:

    Ok watching some more tape on Kareem Hunt and De’Veon Smith – the more I watch the more I like from both guys. If the Pat’s don’t get one I could see them going for the other.

  7. Stephen J says:

    Mike G’s man crush on Kareem Hunt maybe big but it still doesn’t come close to Mike Ditka’s man crush on Ricky Williams or does it Mike. lol

    • steve earle says:

      Probably cost Ditka his job too. As I recall sent his whole draft for Williams.

      • EdgeX says:

        Yes he did.

        Interesting tidbit I’m reading online is that the Raven’s offered all their 2008 draft picks to the Rams to move up and draft Matt Ryan. Didn’t work out tho.

        Funny how things work out some times.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      LOL! It’s up there, but I am smart enough to not give away my draft for him. I might take him a round earlier than most, but outside of that, I won’t go too crazy.

  8. EdgeX says:

    Just some food for thought… (Mike Gerken’s going to love this)

    Carries to fumbles ranking best to worst:

    1. Kareem Hunt – 856.0 (That’s 856 carries before a fumble)
    2. Joseph Yearby – 434
    3. De’Veon Smith – 266.5
    4. Christian McCaffrey – 243.7
    5. Elijah McGuire – 168
    6. Jamaal Williams – 157.2
    7. Wayne Gallman – 148
    8. Brian Hill – 136
    9. Matthew Dayes – 129.6
    10. Tarean Folston – 124.7
    11. Samaje Perine – 120.8
    12. Donnel Pumphrey – 115.9
    13. Devine Redding – 109.6
    14. James Conner – 99.7
    15. Tarik Cohen – 96.6
    16. Corey Clement – 86.4
    17. Leonard Fournette – 82.1
    18. Aaron Jones -81
    19. T.J. Logan – 79
    20. Elijah Hood – 78.5
    21. Jeremy McNichols – 74.9
    22. D’Onta Foreman – 74.3
    23. Joe Mixon – 73
    24. Alvin Kamara – 71
    25. Curtis Samuel – 69.8
    26. Taquan Mizzell – 65.4
    27. Dalvin Cook – 63.8
    30. Marlon Mack – 54.3

    I’d say anything below 100 raises some concerns. And I think there’s a few surprises here on this list considering how some RB’s are being ranked/graded.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Thanks for this EdgeX, I was working on something similar, so you saved me some valuable time. I agree with you that anyone under that 100 threshold is going to have to be very special in the eye of BB, because we all know that fumbling will get you out of NE fast.

    • Russell says:

      Thank you great job! Fumbling is very important stat often over- looked. Hay Mike who is that guy that tops the list!! :0)

    • Stephen J says:

      Great list Edge Thanks

      Hey Mike did you already know this about Hunt or is this new to you.

    • steve earle says:

      Wow, great list Edge and my guy Smith is #3. Darn might have to move him up.

  9. Turbo says:

    What do you guys think about including Carlos Hyde in a potential Jimmy G trade?

    • Stephen J says:

      Straight up one for one trade. No way.
      Now if you were to throw in a 2nd or 3rd round pick possibly depending on what else is offered.
      Even that leaves me with an intriguing feeling but not an overly excited feeling.

    • EdgeX says:

      Really not interested. Rather get a RB in the draft or an undrafted RB this year.

    • steve earle says:

      No! RB is not that overwhelming a need that a trade like that would make sense to me. Mike is giving us a bunch of RB’s to look at I think when he gives us some of the other positions RB will be put more in prospective.

    • carlo strada says:

      Put in Buckner, and lets get that deal done

  10. Stephen J says:

    What about big running backs to replace Blount

    The 3 that I keep coming across are

    D’Onta Foreman, Texas (6-0, 245)

    Samaje Perine Oklahoma 5’11” 237

    James Connor Pitt 6’2″ 229

    I didn’t include Leonard Fournette of LSU.
    For me I like Foreman for these reasons ( ) 5/13
    Foreman is a bruiser, and there’s no other way to put it. He lowers his shoulder, crashes downhill, and punishes defenses. He earned every one of his 2028 rushing yards in 2016. Surprisingly though, for a back his size he is also very light on his feet, can change direction quickly, and shows tremendous short-area burst

    Now he also grades poorly on pass blocking which will need work and is non existent as far as catching the ball but that is what the other backs are for. I would love to take a chance on him but from the mocks drafts I have done he goes higher than I would select him.

    So for a latter round option that is where James Conner comes in. The ACC career TD leader
    If you like an inspiring story here is one more.

    Now Perine falls between the two on most occassions. As much as I’d like to address the (big) running back position there are other positions that take a higher priority that I would address first and usually after those are addressed both Foreman and Perine are off the board and Conner is who I end up selecting.

    Also another thing that I don’t hear much as far as rb’s are concerned is fumbles/carry. I don’t know where any of these are in that regards.

  11. Russell says:

    Another WR/slot guy I like (knee injury) is Jordon Westerkamp. He may not be ready for training camp, but he has the skills to be a great slot guy. Better size than Switzer ( 5’11” 194 lbs.)

    • EdgeX says:

      Yeah that’s the same knock that I have against Switzer too is his size.

      We might already have a guy on the roster that can fill the same role in DJ Foster. He might be a RB now but with the correct development maybe he could make the position change to slot WR – kinda like Edelman did from QB to WR.

      • steve earle says:

        Not very high on Foster at this point. Quick but to many times last summer he was brought down with arm tackles and never seemed to get any yards after contact.

    • Jim R says:

      Russell, what are you thoughts on a late round guy such as Derrick Griffen WR Texas Southern. Draft and develop

  12. Russell says:

    I agree with John, it’s hard to see BB taking the #3 pick for Garoppolo. The cost of the player chosen would be aprox. $25.8 mil. for a 4 year deal.
    I think, Chicago, 49ers, would need to give; a 2nd, (#34,-#36) at a cost of $ 6.6-6.3 mil. for 4 years, AND a 2nd next year 2018.
    If Cleveland wants Garoppolo, then 2nd (#33) AND 2nd (# 52)this year. Again not sure BB wants #12 at a cost of $12.8 mil. for 4 years.
    The ONLY way BB wants #3 or #12 is if he WANTS a player there. To HOPE you could trade the choice is Iffy (#3 or #12).

    • EdgeX says:

      I’d be thrilled with the Pat’s getting more picks than just the #3 overall. This is a very deep draft at a lot of positions and the more picks in the 2nd to 3rd rounds would be wonderful.

      If the Pat’s can manage getting say a 2nd and 3rd in 2017 and say a 2nd in 2018 – I bet BB jumps all over that.

      • Russell says:

        Yes I agree a 2nd, 3d,& 2nd 2018 looks like the best bet from; 49ers, Bears, or Cleveland. This would offer the Patriots the best prospects at a “New England” type contract price.

    • steve earle says:

      We all know if BB got the #3 he would trade it down probably a couple times until he got to a sufficient value pick in the first and two or three additional picks later. It’s how he does the draft.

      • John says:

        He just wouldn’t do it. He has picked within the top 10 once. Richard Seymour. Now granted they’ve won alot, but he has come out and said (Michael Holley’s book addresses it/Julio Jones trade/talking about gainining comparable players with gaining draft capital) that they best value is within the middle of the first, then late first-early second.

        I think (for all of you hoping for a big splash) they most you can ask for, realistically, is that 12th pick.

        The fun thing about these sites is that you can come up with your own scenarios, and try to put your own little twist into it, but at least make scenarios realistic.

        • steve earle says:

          Well yea but that’s what my point is addressing the idea of getting the #3 from Chicago, even if we did Bill wouldn’t make a pick with it he would trade it down for a mid range 1st and additional picks. I do think that #3 will not be offered instead a couple of 2nds from the Bears as Russel believes. Not saying that will be the trade deal just what that team will offer. I do think it’s just as possible Cleve might offer the #12. There Bill would have the option of taking a player or trading down depending on his view of where the value lies. Again not saying what the trade will be or even if he does trade JG.

  13. John says:

    Going to be an interesting offseason for the Pats, particularly within these next few weeks. Donta Hightower-situation feels rather ominous at the moment. Wouldn’t mind the tag, but that means you have to lock up Butler.

    Still sticking to my guns about Jimmy G. not being traded for the 3rd overall pick. Instead, I’ll give you this.

    Jimmy G. to Cleveland for the 12th.

    1.) Malik McDowell DT/END
    1.) Haason Reddick LB
    2.) Ryan Anderson LB
    3.) Ethan Pocic OL
    3.) Marcus Maye SAF

  14. rob says:

    Anyone have a feeling for Carlos Hendersen (WR), Louisianna Tech. as our next Welker/Edelman? It seems about time we find the next guy.

  15. Russell says:

    Check out my article at on my Patriots Mock Draft.

    • macspak says:

      Have that saved as a favorite and just came from there. If you don’t mind me asking how did you come to write for them and how did you develop your football and “scouting” knowledge?

      • macspak says:

        I can’t find your mock draft article – must not be posted yet

      • Russell says:

        Article should be there look for Bill Belichick’s picture, or click on my name to go to my page you can read all my articles (#256).
        I had a try-out with the Patriots (1980) and was a student scout at a university. I’ve studied the Patriots and football all my life.
        Started writing (I’m NOT a great writer) but enjoy football, and look at it, as more about content, then my use of English.

        • macspak says:

          found it – had to click on BB’s picture. usually the article are posted under a heading.

          You write well and thoughtful and about football – how could you go wrong?

          This looks like the same, or at least similar, to what you posted here without the thought process but I didn’t compare so I can’t be sure. I still think and hope we draft a TE early who can block and run routes and catch.

          I see you have a slot receiver. What do you think of Thielien – MN slot receiver who I think is an RFA this year? I think if we let Amendola go he would be a great replacement for a 4 to 5 yr contract.

  16. GM-in-Training says:

    Has anybody else been looking at Southern Utah TE Steven Wroblewski?

    He’s 6’7″, 265#, played WR in Jr. College.
    Converted to TE, and had 63 receptions for 770 yards and 3 TD in the last 2 years.

    Supposedly he has a quick first step. He’s got the frame for blocking. I haven’t found any written opinions about his blocking ability, but his team averaged 4.6 yards per rush last year. rates him 45th amongst seniors at TE position, but maybe he has more ceiling than a lot of the shorter, lighter guys, and could be had with a UDFA or late-round slot.

  17. macspak says:

    seems like this guy has some similarities to Lewis in size, weight, three down back though obviously the blazing speed lack of pass catching and blocking skills differ. Still, made me think of Lewis and even White and Foster due to size. Thinking we probably really want a Blount replacement if we go RB at all. I was a little disappointed in Lewis this year. He had that one 3 TD game but overall I didn’t see the elusiveness or instincts. Not sure how much of that was injury and rust, or, something else.

    I don’t think we have a strong running game until and unless our OL improves. I am hoping natural progression of Thuney, Andrews and Mason solves that.

    Anybody see Solder SB stats? Allowed 1 sack, 1 hit and 11 pressures. Reiss had Feeney as runner up MVP if the Falcons had won.

    • steve earle says:

      Speaking of Lewis, anyone heard what caused him to pull up on his last carry? It appeared to me he hyper-extended a knee though that may have been a reaction to another cause.

  18. Philip says:

    i know it’s off topic, but asuming we get pick 12 with jimmy G trade …. would you rather go with a cb or a edge rusher?

    and who would you choose?

    i’d go with cb from wash (sid something) or taconcharl

    • Philip says:

      taco charlton … egde rusher form michigan.

      furthermore i asume that bill will trade pick #32 to somebody for a future nb2 and a 2017 nb2

      • steve earle says:

        I expect your right that he would trade down a #12 but can never tell. If that happens I’d expect a DE/DT.

    • Turbo says:

      Reuben Foster, Solomon Thomas, Malik Hooker in this order, if possible.

    • Russell says:

      I’m not sure BB wants the #12 pick from Cleveland. I think he would rather have, Cleveland’s 2nd #33, 2nd #52, and their 2nd in 2018.
      LB Reuben Foster if at #12 but I think he’s already taken by then. Maybe, DE Derek Barnett.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        BB would take the high-first-rounder, trade down, and probably still pick up a blue-chip mid-first-rounder to get a premier Edge or DT, depending on Alan Branch’s approach to FA.

  19. EdgeX says:

    You know Mike – if the draft is this loaded with obscure RBs that could still be decent at the Pro level – I have a hard time seeing the Pat’s using a pick on Kareem Hunt.

    I mean look at what they did with Jonas Gray.

    I’m just saying!

    • steve earle says:

      I’ve been thinking the same thing Edge thought forgot about Gray. I kind of like the kid from Mich., DeVeon Smith. He’s not flashy but runs down hill, has just enough wiggle to keep tacklers honest and moves the pile. His measurably are good 5-10 220. Probably a late 4th which seems about right for a blue collar RB to fit into our diverse backfield.

  20. D. Martin says:

    While we’re looking at running backs, can you guys explain your assessment of just how good conventional wisdom suggests Christian McCaffrey can be at the pro level? Can he be as good as someone like Leveon Bell, or is he more likely to be a college star/pro bust a la Trent Richardson?


    • Mike Gerken says:

      I think of a bigger version of Shave Vereen when I watch McCaffrey. A guy who can be an asset as a pass catcher and can contribute in small doses as a conventional runner.
      I don’t see him as a 20-25 carry a game type of guy, but he can be on the field on all 3 downs playing a variety of different roles and creating mismatches depending on the defense. He has to improve as a pass blocker, but the rest of his game is very well developed. I think he is maxed out physically and he has had a ton of carries already.
      I love his versatility, but I wouldn’t want to use a 1st round pick on him.

    • D. Martin says:

      Thanks for the insight Mike. I’ve often wondered if Belichick could return the use of a fullback to prominence at the pro level much in the way he was overpowering opposing teams with the 2 TE set in the days of Hernandez. Why is the FB position no longer relevant in the NFL? Are there any promising FBs in this draft class?

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