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Old 04-26-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default Montee Ball: What the draft analysts said about him

Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin



Measurables
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 214 lbs.
Arm length: 32 5/8"
Hand width: 9"
40-yard dash: 4.66 (4.51 pro day)
Broad jump: 9' 08"
Vertical jump: 32"
225-lb. bench: 15 reps
3-cone drill: 6.88
Short shuttle: 4.40 (4.11 pro day)

High School Statistics:
995 carries, 8222 yards (8.26 ypc), 107 touchdowns. 3-time team captain.

College Statistics:
2009: 98 carries, 391 yards (4.0 ypc), 4 touchdowns
2010: 163 carries, 996 yards (6.1 ypc), 16 touchdowns
2011: 307 carries, 1923 yards (6.3 ypc), 33 touchdowns (+ 6 receiving TDs)
2012: 356 carries, 1830 yards (5.1 ypc), 22 touchdowns
Career: 924 carries, 5140 yards (5.6 ypc), 83 touchdowns. 1-time team captain.


Pro Football Weekly (Nolan Nawrocki) Analysis

Rank: 27th overall, #1 running back on Nawrocki's board
Grade: 5.93 (has a chance to become an NFL starter, should contribute immediately)

Postives: Highly instinctive -- good eyes and anticipation (feels crease and follows blocks). Plays faster than timed speed. Very good feet and vision to create yardage on his own. Outstanding athlete. Good lateral agility to re-direct and make the first defender miss. Can get skinny and squirt thorough holes or lower his shoulder and fight for tough yards after contact. Surprising toughness. Good balance and leg churn -- can turn a one-yard loss into a five-yard gain. Attacks the line, can step in and out of holes and accelerates. Runs with urgency and smells the endzone. Displays a nice spin move and flasheds a powerful stiff arm. Good hands -- catches the ball very easily. Functional position-sustain blocker. Good football intelligence. Diligent weight-room worker and will push his teammates. Great attitude and approach. Excellent production. Oustanding ball security.

Negatives: Lacks top-end speed to pull away from defenders, nor is he overly creative to shake defenders in space. Not a true pile-driver to wear down defenses inside. Dropped a seam pass vs. Nebraska and hands are less secure downfield. Weight fluctuated early in his career and may require monitoring.

Summary: Started senior season slowly behind a depleted offensive line with an OL coach who was fired in Week Two but came on strong down the stretch and possesses the run instincts, agility and balance to become a complimentary producer in the mold of Broncos 2009 12th overall pick Knowshon Moreno. Known more for power than quickness early in his career, Ball re-shaped his body to become more of an every-down threat and proved capable of carrying a full workload.



Mel Kiper's Analysis

Rank: 28th overall, 2nd-highest rated running back
Grade: 9.0 (should start in his first year)

Notes: "Ball changed his body type during his career, dropping his playing weight from 230 lbs. to 210 before gaining back some muscle to settle in at 215 lbs. He really came on the scene down the stretch in 2010 and came into the 2011 season in great shape which paid big dividends. Ball has very good vision and an impressive burst to the hole. He is adept at breaking tackles and making people miss in the hole and, when given the opportunity, he can make plays in the passing game. Ball is a great kid, a phenomenal competitor, and the kind of guy who practices hard every day. He's an outstanding pure runner who will also block effectively in blitz pickup situations, which is critical for a rookie in the NFL. He is an outstanding all-around back who might be even a little underrated as a pro prospect. I think Ball has first round ability, but only time will tell if he goes that high. At worst I see hime coming off the board on round two of the draft. At that point he's a real bargain, in the mold of former NFL star Thurman Thomas. Ball is the type of competitior and talent I want on my team."



NFL.com Analysis (main site, NOT Mayock)

Rank: 81st overall, 5th-highest rated running back
Grade: 75.6

STRENGTHS: Reliable, hard-working zone back. Presses the line of scrimmage, and generally has good vision and feel to find the cutback lane or cut away from penetrating defenders. Willing to run into compressed spaces and doesn't worry about contact. Hard runner. Stays patient behind pulling guards and fullbacks, has enough quickness to break off a run if the space is available to him. Lowers his pads on contact, keeps his legs moving to gain extra yards against glancing blows. Effective cut blocker in the hole and willing to stand up to blitzers when protecting the quarterback. Natural receiver, adjusts to throws over the middle and in the flat, continues downfield fluidly. Sidesteps or stiff-arms oncoming defenders in space after the catch. Good balance and low center of gravity, can sink low and spin out of tackles. Quick enough to get around the corner on perimeter runs.

WEAKNESSES: Smaller back with a lot of wear on his tires. Possesses average overall size and straight-line speed. One speed runner who another gear to accelerate once in space, and doesn't have elite agility to elude quicker defenders. Lacks burst in and out of cuts. Does not have pure power to move piles or free himself through better tackle attempts. Volume runner who isn't overly creative or powerful, and benefits from plenty of clear entry runs into the second level. Cited in May 2012 for trespassing after failing to leave a porch when asked during Wisconsin's annual Mifflin Street Block Party. Injured after being assaulted by multiple assailants on campus in August 2012.

NFL COMPARISON: Stevan Ridley

BOTTOM LINE: The 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist led the country with 1,923 rushing yards and tied the all-time FBS record of 39 total touchdowns (33 rushing) after losing 25 pounds in the off-season preceding his junior season. He surprised everyone by returning to Wisconsin for his senior year, which he might have regretted after Wisconsin's disappointing season and getting assaulted on campus this summer. While he isn’t particularly big, strong or explosive, he picks his way through traffic well and is a reliable runner. Though not a burner like others in this class, Ball's durability and efficient zone running make him a likely mid-round pick.



Draft Insiders (Frank Coyle) Analysis

Rank: 67nd overall, 3rd-highest rated running back
Grade: 86 (solid starter)

Notes: Physical senior runner had an outstanding 2012 season that earned first team Big Ten honors duplicating his incredible junior campaign. He displays natural running skills with a burst to the hole and a tough downhill North/South running stye. He has surprising ability to slide in the hole and find running lanes. He has power and an initial bust of speed to both break tackles and avoid defenders. He runs with very good pad level and delivers a strong surge into defenders and the ability to finish strongly. He is a very honest runner who gets every yard available. In addition to being a reliable developing outlet receiver. he shows reliable hands and is capable of making things happen after the catch, though lacking top long speed to go the distance. he can make a defender miss or run over them with the ability to finish. His power running ranks him among the top tier of backs despite some development concern as both a blocker and receiver. He played at 230 lbs. and averaged 5.6 yards a carry with most of the yardage between the tackles and defenses keying on him weekly since early in hiss career. As a blocker, he will face up with a linebacker quickly with power and effort, though his technique and his ability to sustain the block needs improvement. He is a natural runner with the body type to dish out a lot of punishment.

The Skinny: Workhorse runner with the talent and potential to be a starting NFL feature back and capable of being a nice surprise early in his pro career. His heavy rushing load of 924 carries may spell a short pro career that may cost him in his final grade by NFL scouts. In a good class of running backs, especially with so many highly regarded underclassmen declaring, he probably goes beyond the top 75 prospects and probably falls to the 3rd round. Physical North-South runner with power, a burst of spped and very good pad level. He is similar to former NFL starter Corey Dillon in size, athleticism, speed and power. he displays an aggressive running style that made him one of the premier goal line runners in this class. This is a powerful back with good field speed and excellent production. Tough honest runner with the AA and intangibles to become a quality feature back early as a pro.



CBS Sports (Rob Rang) Analysis

Rank: 62nd overall, 3rd-highest rated running back
Grade: N/A

STRENGTHS: Does a nice job finding the run lanes and attacking the line of scrimmage with good quickness in tight areas, showing the speed to get around the edge. He has good balance and deceiving run power to slip out of tackles, rarely going down easily. Sharp change-of-direction ability to quickly redirect his momentum and the footwork to sidestep defenders, bursting upfield. Determined and runs with purpose, but also stays patient, following and allowing blocks to develop.

WEAKNESSES: Enters the NFL with a staggering 983 touches in college, raising concerns about how much tread is left on his tires. After 24 receptions and six touchdowns as a receiver in 2011, those numbers dipped to 10 and zero as a senior.



National Football Post (Russ Lande) Analysis

Rank: 51st overall, 3rd-highest rated running back
Grade: 7.5

STRENGTHS: Highly productive throughout his college career, Ball is a multi-dimensional back. Ball's experience and good coaching shows in his excellent patience following blockers and waiting for them to make their blocks. He does an excellent job of sitting on blocker's hip until they open hole and then has a quick burst through the hole. Deceptive foot quickness and agility let Ball change directions fast to make sharp cuts. He can make the quick cut to avoid defenders who shoot into the backfield, to bounce runs outside and to make tacklers miss. He has consistently shown the ability to bounce runs outside when the middle is clogged up and has the speed to get around the corner. Ball does an excellent job of running aggressively between the tackles, lowers showers to make himself a smaller target and with his combination of playing strength and balance can run through arm/grab tackles to gain yards after contact. Although Wisconsin did not use him a lot in their passing attack, Ball has displayed good hands catching passes when he got the opportunity and at his Pro Day. He understands pass protection and knows who he is supposed to block.

WEAKNESSES: Ball is a good, but not elite athlete - Quicker than fast, there are concerns about his ability to out-run angles to take runs the distance - He did not put these to rest when he ran in the 4.6's at the Combine and the 4.5's at his Pro Day. He has carried the ball a ton at Wisconsin and has battled some injuries, so his NFL durability is a real question mark. Despite knowing what he is doing in pass pro, he does not consistently give a good effort and needs to greatly improve his technique. He came out of the game in most passing situations at Wisconsin, so he will need to prove he can contribute to an NFL team's passing attack.

SUMMARY: Ball surprised many when he returned to Wisconsin for his senior season adn things did not start out well when he was beaten up and suffered a concussion during the off-season and struggled with injuries early in the 2012 season. However, once he got healthy he showed the same skills/talent that he had earlier in his career and once again looked like a future quality starting back in the NFL. Not likely to ever win fastest running back competitions, Ball has a good burst through the hole to get behind the defense and is tough to bring down. More elusive than he gets credit for, Ball has consistently shown the ability to make sharp cuts to get to open space on the other side of blockers and to make tacklers miss in tight quarters, which is a rare skill. Ball will need to improve his pass blocking technique and effort to be a three down running back. Overall, despite being knocked in the media, I believe Ball can become a quality starting back who is productive running between the tackles and consistently gains yards after contact. If he improves in pass protection he could become a valuable and versatile three down running back in the NFL.



TFY Draft Insider (Tony Pauline) Analysis

Rank: 62nd overall, 4th-highest rated running back
Grade: N/A

Positive: Skilled ballcarrier with the instincts and size to be a feature runner at the next level. Patient, possesses outstanding vision, and underrated agility. Smart and will pick his spots on the inside, making the most of blocks. Quick in a small area, bounces around piles, and uses an effective straight arm to keep plays alive. Waits for blocks to develop, finds the running lanes and tough to stop once he gets a head of steam going. Runs through arm tackles, aggressively puts his shoulders into defenders, and doesn't go down without a fight. Better than average speed getting around the corner or through the running lanes. Shows power his lower body, has the ability to break the first tackle, and picks up yardage off initial contact. Consistently runs North/South.

Negative: Not a truly creative or elusive ballcarrier. Can't beat defenders into the open field or run to daylight. Comes off a somewhat disappointing senior campaign.

Analysis: Ball was ultra productive at Wisconsin and has all the skills necessary to start in the NFL. He's a complete back with potential in a variety of offensive systems but must consistently play at a high level to nail down a starting job at the next level.



Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (Bob McGinn) Analysis

Rank: 2nd-highest rated running back
Grade: N/A

Record-setting back started the final 32 games of his 49-game career. "I know one thing - he's productive," one scout said. "I'd rather have a guy that scores touchdowns than one that doesn't and runs 4.5." His pedestrian 40 times prompted another scout to label him as a "pounder, a plodder." Finished with 924 carries for 5,140 yards (5.6) and 77 TDs. Also caught 59 passes for 598 (10.1) and six TDs, giving him an NCAA-record 83 scores. "I like him but he's got a lot of carries in his body," the scout said. "He's had a concussion, and a subsequent concussion. And I'm not totally sure what kind of kid he is." Was cited for trespassing in May 2012 and then was assaulted on a Madison street late at night. "Some people have high grades on him and I'm like, 'What are you thinking about?' " another scout said. "How many big plays do you get out of those guys? He's probably not going to get a lot of big plays because he lacks speed. But he's got some lower-body strength and run vision. Instinctive kid. I can see him in the rotation, not as the starter." Hails from Wentzville, Mo.



ESPN (Scouts Inc.) Analysis

Rank: 56th overall, 2nd-highest rated running back
Grade: 82

Competitiveness: Fearless running between the tackles and doesn't run out of bounds to avoid contact. Fights for yards after contact. Ran angry as a senior. Mentally and physically tough. Does an excellent job of securing the football. Only two lost fumbles in 983 career offensive touches (0.51% career fumble rate).

Vision/Patience: Patient without being hesitant. Follows lead blocks and sets up blocks when gets into space. Has a good sense and knows when to press the cutback lane. Knows how to move defenders in order to create a hole. Will occasionally bounce runs outside when doesn't have to but those instances are few and far between.

Agility/Acceleration: Shifty back that can make jump cuts in the hole and bounce outside after pressing the line of scrimmage. Reaches top-end speed quickly and can usually get around the corner. Flashes the ability to make defenders miss in the hole and flashes a quick/effective spin move. However, while he's quick and shifty, he does not show good acceleration off of his plant. He lacks a second-gear in the open field and is not a homerun hitter. Will get tracked down from behind by faster defensive backs and occasionally speedy linebackers. Not very elusive in space, either. Does not string multiple moves together effectively.

Power/Balance: Runs hard. Makes teams pay for not wrapping him up. Much better balance than power. Runs out of and spins out of many would-be arm tackles. Can run into pile of defenders, keep balance and find another seam. However, he lacks ideal size and core strength to push the pile when doesn't get a seam. Knows when to drop his pads and has adequate initial pop, but does not show size/strength to run over many NFL-caliber defenders.

Passing Game: Underrated receiver due to lack of huge production (particularly in 2012). Very good ball skills for the position. Natural pass catcher. Not a big-play weapon but shows ability to make first defender miss and frequently generates yards after catch. Also shows good instincts making himself available for QB during scramble drill. Solid effort in pass pro. Keeps head on a swivel and usually gets into sound initial position. Swings and misses a bit too often, though. Doesn't anchor well and an average cut blocker at this point.

Last edited by BowlenBall; 04-27-2013 at 12:15 AM..
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:12 PM   #2
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When i read compares to Knowshon Moreno I threw up in my mouth and joined the Requiem THIS DRAFT BLOWS club.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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He's a great pick for what we need. He'll be able to start and contribute right away and can pass block. He has a lot of miles, but we need impact guys who can play from day 1. I think this is a great pick.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
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When i read compares to Knowshon Moreno I threw up in my mouth and joined the Requiem THIS DRAFT BLOWS club.
If Knowshon could stay healthy and play like he did at the end of last year, this would be a bad thing??
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:19 PM   #5
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He's a great pick for what we need. He'll be able to start and contribute right away and can pass block. He has a lot of miles, but we need impact guys who can play from day 1. I think this is a great pick.
I'm coming around to it. The only thing I'm concerned about was that he ran through plenty of big holes last year. I'm not that concerned about his carry amount. Plenty of great NFL running backs had a bazillion carries in college. If he breaks down 6-8 years from now after a great career, id call it a win.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:35 PM   #6
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I don't really care because the big question for him is can he score TDs on 1-10 from inside the 10 yrd line. From 3-1 from the 1 yrd line etc etc. I do love big play backs which this kid wont be in the nfl with 4.5- 4.6 speed. I liked Franklin from UCLA because he's got 4.4 speed and could maybe go the distance.

Still our offense really just needs a tough runner who can get 3-4 yrds a carry, pick up first downs, and score when we get in the redzone. Until we see him play we don't know. But if he can do that then he will most likely get 6-7 tds this yr in a RBC with Moreno and who knows?
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:37 PM   #7
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He's a great pick for what we need. He'll be able to start and contribute right away and can pass block. He has a lot of miles, but we need impact guys who can play from day 1. I think this is a great pick.
IMO we should have snapped up Warford but we will have to wait and see how it works out. IMO Warford more a long time starter at guard and probably make a couple pro bowls. You make running game better by getting more physical inside and we aren't. So look forward to good pass blocking but still struggling to get 3-1 taken care of by running the ball.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #8
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If Knowshon could stay healthy and play like he did at the end of last year, this would be a bad thing??
I guess not. I will spit out the vomit, drink a beer and hope for the best ok.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:41 PM   #9
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When i read compares to Knowshon Moreno I threw up in my mouth and joined the Requiem THIS DRAFT BLOWS club.
less flash but more football speed than Knowshon. really good one cut and go type.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:00 AM   #10
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Its all good I'm not down on the draft. This yr I look more for last yrs rookies to step up more. If we get 1 guy from the draft whose a good player that is a bonus in the first yr. But this yr I expect more from Wolfe, Hillman, Jackson, Bolden, and even Philip Blake. Lets hope its blakes progression that makes Elway feel we don't need a center over a 4th or 5th corner back.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:17 AM   #11
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I like the Corey Dillon comparison. Watched 5 games of him a little bit ago and he seems like a solid all around player that isn't overly powerful but does fight for yardage. Can catch the ball, and has good lateral agility. Dillon probably had better top end speed. But I think Balls best attribute, his vision, will be damn near elite, if not elite.

Im not thrilled with him from a physical standpoint, but I am more than happy considering his character, dependability, and the likelihood he can produce his rookie year(cherry on top is hes a Broncos fan and loves TD!).

I am concerned about his weight a little bit. I could certainly be wrong because of how it might affect his overall game, but adding a few pounds seems like a good idea to me. Im also concerned with how much upside there is to muster, but considering his floor is fairly high in mine and most peoples opinion, its only a minor issue.

Hoping more for Curtis Martin kind of production and play style, but that's most likely a pipe dream. However it turns out, this is an exciting time of the year and I always love drafting Rbs.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:25 AM   #12
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Crap. never Ever draft a RB befoer the third round unless its earl freakin campbell.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:26 AM   #13
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Ever. Elways first ever bad pick.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:38 AM   #14
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Naw Elway threw a lot of bad picks in the day.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:09 AM   #15
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When i read compares to Knowshon Moreno I threw up in my mouth and joined the Requiem THIS DRAFT BLOWS club.
Whoever said that is a retard. Ball and Moreno are drastically different backs stylistically.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:13 AM   #16
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I don't really care because the big question for him is can he score TDs on 1-10 from inside the 10 yrd line. From 3-1 from the 1 yrd line etc etc.
He's arguably the best at that of all-time at the college level, so I think there's reason to be optimistic.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:32 AM   #17
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He's arguably the best at that of all-time at the college level, so I think there's reason to be optimistic.
Yes. He can knock that **** in. That's all we needed too. Day 1 impact this season. There is no plan B.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:00 AM   #18
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Bottom line, no-one knows **** about these draft prospects until they get hit by a train in the real league. The Broncos have retained 15 of 16 draft picks since the Elway regime began and I dont have an issue with any of those 15 so far. We've also retained 3-4 UDFA's and I'm really looking forward to that after the draft. We need to fill about 20 roster spots.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:36 AM   #19
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Crap. never Ever draft a RB befoer the third round unless its earl freakin campbell.
You must be one of those GMs that passed on AP.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:41 AM   #20
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I love this pick.

I think stylistically he is a perfect replacement for McGahee. Good, tough, solid runner.

He should pair up nicely with Hillman.

PS: Can we please get rid of Lance Ball now? One is enough.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:51 AM   #21
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Still don't understand some of the negativity...

People don't realize how lucky we are...jeebus...
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:54 AM   #22
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This kid has tremendous feet, running ability and vision.

Combined with his durability and toughness and he's already our best running back. Watch his feet, look at this stride when he's going through the hole. The guy moves very very well and gets through the hole in a hurry.

Now compare that to Moreno who has short little, choppy strides and hardly runs with power.

Ball is going to be a very effective runner in our offense.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:01 AM   #23
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The Ball pick is a good one, so not sure why anyone dislikes the pick. Ball is a between the tackles type of runner who seems great in short yardage, something the Broncos have been weak since TD retired.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:43 AM   #24
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Many of us thought that a "LeSean McCoy type" would be the perfect fit for our offense, and here he is. McCoy definitely has better top end speed, but Ball was actually a more prolific scorer, so it probably evens out. In the first 10-15 yards of a play, they have a very similar skillset - mcCoy can just burn anyone in the open field where Ball will get caught from behind.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:47 AM   #25
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Quote:
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When i read compares to Knowshon Moreno I threw up in my mouth and joined the Requiem THIS DRAFT BLOWS club.
Who compares Ball to Moreno? I don't understand this comparison.
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