By: Tanner Elliott
6’1” 215 lbs
Ohio State University
Sermon shows on film he can make guys miss in multiple ways. He has the ability to juke, stiff arm, truck, spin, or even hurdle defenders at any given moment; that many backs have all these abilities. It was always interesting to see what move he was going to use to avoid an approaching defender. As he has a ton of different ways to make defenders miss, it makes sense that he gets extra couple yards at the end of his runs. It didn’t matter if it was first and ten or third and one, Sermon never stopped churning his legs to get those hard-to-find yards. He loves to run north to south, and his play benefits from it. Once he finds a hole, he hits it and doesn’t look back. His ability to forego flashiness and just run north to south is a trait a lot of good NFL backs have.
Sermon’s lack of production in the pass game is certainly concerning, as most backs in the NFL are now asked to catch passes out of the backfield. This isn’t a huge concern, as Sermon could always be subbed out during passing situations, but that would hint that the offense is passing the ball. He was used in the passing game some, but only had 12 catches last season, with six coming in one game. His speed is also very concerning, as Sermon was hawked down quite a few times in college. He did have some breakaway runs, but he was almost always caught from behind.
Sermon and Jones-Drew are very similar runners, but Jones-Drew was more of a threat as a receiver. Both players could make someone miss anyway they please and can get you those extra yards. Sermon is taller and less stout than Jones-Drew, so he will not be as much of a wrecking ball, but Sermon is a bit more agile than Jones-Drew.
Sermon is a player who could make an immediate impact on a team, and eventually evolve into a lead back. He has a high floor, but his ceiling is not as high as some other backs in the league. If he is able to capture a role in the passing game, then he’ll turn some heads in the NFL. He should expect to hear his name called in the third or fourth round of the upcoming NFL Draft.