Rookies Scouting Rookies: Early Down RBs

Let’s continue the rookie profile series by diving into three larger RBs. These guys all have an early-down size with potential for three down roles. All could hear their names on day two of the draft, here are my thoughts.

The first article in my series talked through the consensus top three RBs in rookie drafts. While they have a useful background, they are unlikely to be of value in drafts. This dive into potentially deeper names who could be three-down backs is a better value bet based on where they’re going in mock drafts.

All are currently borderline day two NFL draft picks, which is huge for getting an opportunity early.

Zamir White, Georgia, 22 years old

In most years, guys this talented push up higher in rookie mocks than Zamir “Zeus” White is currently going. The top RB recruit out of high school in the 2018 freshman class, he never quite lived up to the hype at Georgia.

Some of this is the scheme, as coach Kirby Smart has made it known he prefers a committee approach. When watching the tape, I see a guy with a better pro career than his college one.

Tape Evaluation

When watching White, it’s a solid, though unspectacular, tape. The place to start is in high school — he tore his left ACL as a senior. As a true freshman at Georgia, White tore his right ACL prior to the start of the year. Because of that, his 4.40 speed and explosiveness don’t show up on tape.

Zeus also wasn’t asked to catch passes much, so that’s an unknown. There isn’t much wiggle to him. What Zeus does do well is run between the tackles. He has burst into and through the hole, with the vision to pick the correct hole. White shows great patience behind the line to find where to run the play.

While he hasn’t been asked to catch the ball, White is a willing blocker. He has good power and rarely loses yardage, keeping his legs churning. The speed White showed at the combine has me excited for him in the NFL.

Comparisons, Draft Capital, and Role

I’ve highlighted role and draft capital above, but I’m expecting Zeus to be the early-down back in a committee taken in the third round. Playing for the Falcons or Jets would both be a good fit as the early-down option.

Finally, for a comparison, I think the hope is Marshawn Lynch at the top end, they’re comparable in size and athletically, but his tape isn’t at that level, though the speed and power are there.

Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama, 23 years old

Brian Robinson Jr. is a boring, solid prospect who the fantasy community isn’t in love with, but I think the NFL will be. That’ll happen as a fifth-year senior who only saw 100 plays per game the last couple of seasons before this one.

The reason is simple — it’s hard to get on the field over the likes of Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, and Najee Harris. Rather than transfer out, Robinson waited and balled out as a senior.

Tape Evaluation

Robinson’s film doesn’t pop to quite the same level as his predecessors, but he’s going to be a solid pro RB. He runs with great power, moving piles forward for additional yardage. Robinson takes a bit to get up to speed but shows some wiggle at the second level to make guys miss. He has a three-down skill set too, showing well as a pass blocker with soft hands as an outlet receiver.

The weaknesses Robinson has are mainly athleticism. He ran a 4.53 40 yard dash, without doing agility drills. This speed shows on tape, as Robinson doesn’t break many long runs. He also can run upright at times and struggles to make guys miss behind the line.

My guess is the agility is average to below average, but Robinson would be a solid early-down NFL runner who can play on all downs without tipping run or pass.

Comparisons, Draft Capital, and Role

Robinson is viewed as a near-lock to go earlier than most expect. The mock draft compilation tweet I included above has him as a borderline round-three pick, but that’s where he likely goes. He’s minimum an early-down guy, maybe for the Jets, or a solid backup to Leonard Fournette in Tampa. Once he gets on the field, he’ll stay in a rotation.

My favorite comparison for Robinson is Damien Harris. The comparison feels lazy, but that’s the type of role I see him in. Athletic enough and could play three downs but the inside grinder role is his strength. analyst Lance Zierlein has Robinso compared to Chris Carson, which is another fitting comp and you know what type of player you’re taking. He’s likely a safe, low upside RB2 for your fantasy team.

Tyler Allgeier, Brigham Young, 21 years old

Tyler Allgeier is going to be a divisive prospect in your draft. Gauging interest from people, some have him borderline round one in rookie drafts as RB4, others as a mid 3rd rounder outside the top ten.

The NFL will likely tell us who’s right, but I can see some of each when watching Allgeier play. He didn’t test as well as many hoped at the combine, running a 4.60 forty, though at 224 pounds.

Tape Evaluation

In the majority of games I watched, Allgeier showed solid burst and was able to get to the edge. I have some concerns if he can do this against NFL athletes weekly. Allgeier is well built as an NFL grinder and early-down runner. Allgeier’s got solid vision and is decisive in picking a running lane. He’s also a willing blocker and can help some as a pass catcher too.

The slower forty time above definitely shows on film against stronger opponents. He occasionally dances behind the line too much and due to the lack of acceleration tends to lose yardage when doing this.

I do question the burst to get outside and see that as a potential issue at the next level. This gives me the biggest pause, though Robinson can absolutely stay between the tackles and have a decent career.

Comps, Draft Capital, and Role

My final feeling on Allgeier, unlike the others, fully depends on the landing spot. He absolutely has a ceiling of being a three-down runner but I think he starts as an early-down grinder. Allgeier seems likely to go in the fourth round and try to show what he can do.

I can see multiple outcomes for Allgeier, from a backup like La’Mical Perine to a stud like James Conner. My gut is the former but I might gamble on him in spots.


The RB class is tough to peg, and these three guys will help shape how it’s viewed. All have a minimum of early-down roles, and upside to be competent three down guys. My gut is they go in the order presented here, in which case that’ll be my order of preference too.

His landing spot (to get opportunities) matters most though, and all fall in the same tier of RB and offer intrigue as second or third-round rookie picks.

Thank you for reading my article! Please remember to follow me for more content via Twitter @FFFBallers  and @IDPGuys as well as check out my IDP Guys author page and the IDP Guys website.

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