Cowboys’ Potential Draft Pick: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
At Dallas News, I posted a scouting report on South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore.
The Cowboys have been able to upgrade their team by targeting players coming off of injuries in recent drafts. Prospects like Bruce Carter and Sean Lee dropped in the draft due to concerns about their health, and the ‘Boys realized that their potential outweighed the shrinking cost to secure them. It’s not that you’d specifically want an injured player over a healthy one, of course, but rather that since every team factors injuries into their draft grades, injured players often offer value when they fall farther than they should.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore could be one of those players. The star running back suffered a gruesome knee injury in the middle of the 2012 season (after a different ACL tear in 2011), and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play at all in 2013.
Lattimore is a 5-11, 221-pound running back who had a knack for finding the end zone at South Carolina. He rushed for 38 touchdowns on only 555 career carries, adding three more scores as a receiver. Despite his obvious skill set, Lattimore managed to post only 4.8 yards-per-carry over his career, including just 4.6 YPC in 2012. Every offense is different, but that lack of efficiency is a concern.
Lattimore is a do-it-all type of running back who doesn’t necessarily thrive in any single aspect of the game. He’s not a burner—he has good but not great speed—and he’s not a power runner. Lattimore does a little bit of everything though; he can run well in short-yardage, he can catch the football out of the backfield, and he can play on third down. There isn’t a situation in which Lattimore will need to come off of the field at the next level.