Josh Uche leads 10 LA Rams Big-10 2020 NFL Draft targets

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams Anthony McFarland Jr.
(Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /

Maryland running back McFarland

Some may ask why the LA Rams would consider a running back in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that is a legitimate question. The Rams prioritized adding a running back in the 2019 NFL Draft in round three by selecting Memphis running back Darrell Henderson.  The hope was for Henderson, Todd Gurley, and Malcolm Brown could handle the load and maintain the Rams’ dominant running game. That didn’t take place.  But where Henderson was a situational running back, Maryland’s   Anthony McFarland offers the complete package. Thanks to a very deep draft class in many positions, McFarland will fall to a day three pick for the Rams.

Standing just 5-foot-9 and weighing 198 pounds, the Maryland Terrapin running back will not confuse anyone as a power back. He is an elusive speedy sort of back, one who can surprise with a little something extra for a defender attempting a casual tackle. He broke his leg as a high school senior, derailing many college scholarships as he chose Maryland to remain close to home to continue his therapy.

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He has one speed – fast. So much so that he is unable to juke defenders into missing him as so many highlight reels display. Since he does not avoid tackles as much as races past them, he often chooses to run into the line in the belief or hope that the hole will appear as he arrives. When it doesn’t, the play crashes as no gain. Once he gains a head of steam, he can dart back and forth along the open path to daylight. He has carried the ball 245 times in college. Virtually no wear and tear on him.

In pass protection, he is more of a pylon than actually engaging the defender in meaningful blocks. He can engage, but rather than absorb and redirect, he becomes somewhat of an arm wrestler. Defenders have success shedding him because he doesn’t employ a sound technique.  He has the potential to be a tremendous receiving threat but will need to learn that in an NFL training camp, as Maryland did use him often in that role. He has just 24 pass catches.  He has been invited to attend the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine and will join the running backs in Group Two, scheduled to arrive on Monday, February 24th.

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