INDIANAPOLIS – Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon, of Sprayberry High, lifted 225-pounds 32 times, which was tops for the running backs at the NFL scouting combine on Sunday.
McKinnon ran the sixth fastest 40-yard dash (4.41 seconds officially), had the second-best vertical jump of 40.5 inches and had the second-best broad jump of 11 feet.
“As far as the running backs, I think (Jerick) McKinnon from Georgia Southern is a real wild card in this draft…He had a big day,” NFL Network draft analyst MIke Mayock said.
In today’s NFL, running backs are not valued as high for the draft. There wasn’t a running back selected in the first round last season.
“The kid from North Carolina that went to Cincinnati (Giovani Bernard) had a phenomenal season,” Mayock said. “(Eddie) Lacy, the kid from Alabama that went to Green Bay, had a phenomenal season, so their impact on their two teams was significant.
“So, I don’t think it’s anything negative on the running back; I just think that it’s a pass-first league now so you’re seeing a lot of different draft picks getting pushed up ahead.”
Mayock believes the group of running backs for the 2014 draft, which is set for May 8-10, is talented.
“I think this running back group A) is talented, B) is deep and C) you kind of have to filter through it to see who you like because there are a lot of different flavors out there depending on what kind of offense you run,” Mayock said.
Before the combine, NFLdraftscout.com had McKinnon rated as the 17th best back in the draft and projected that he’d be selected in the sixth or seventh round.