Over the next several days, there is going to be plenty of chatter and rumors about who the Miami Dolphins are zeroing in with their first round pick. We’ve heard names such as Amari Cooper, Kevin White, La’El Collins, Dorial Green-Beckham, Marcus Peters and so many more. We’ve also heard about Todd Gurley and the Dolphins brass has made no secret about how much they love him. In fact, during their pre-draft press conference, assistant general manager Eric Stokes raved about him and his work ethic.
"He’s a talent. He’s definitely a player that his ability stands out and shines. He’s an exciting guy to watch. We’ve enjoyed working through that process with him and seeing him. From there, we’ll see where things shake out.”
Throughout his career at Georgia, Gurley rushed for 3,285 yards, hauled in 615 receiving yards and had 42 total touchdowns. When you go deeper and look at his overall game without just the stats, it becomes more impressive. The following scouting report is courtesy of Justin Capriotti (Twitter: @JCapSports). Capriotti was a scouting analyst for the PhinManiacs Draft Guide, which you can purchase here for only $5. There are over 300 scouting reports and will help you tremendously this weekend during the NFL Draft.
Todd Gurley is an all-around workhorse back and without his injury concerns, would have an argument as a top ten selection. What makes Gurley special is his balance and power. He’s able to run through arm tackles like they’re nothing. He has a good sense of how to run in short yardage situations and will never go down easy.
The biggest concern about Gurley are his injuries. After an impressive freshman campaign, an ankle injury sidelined him for all of October during his sophomore season. Gurley was frustrated but tried his best to not let it get the best of him.
"I don't dwell on it too much," Gurley told the Times Free Press back in December 2014. "It is what it is. I missed some games, but I could have been out the whole year. I guess I'm lucky I was able to come back and still play."
Then, this past season, in his first game back after being suspended for taking money for autographs, he tore his ACL in the fourth quarter against Auburn in October. Deciding that it was time to rehab and break free from the college ranks, Gurley then declared for the NFL Draft a few weeks later.
There is no doubt that Gurley is a hard worker and will make a huge impact on any team that he lands with. Georgia head coach March Richt had high praise for his running back in a column in USA Today back in 2014.
"Todd's been fantastic. Without a doubt, one of the best running backs I've ever seen, have ever coached. Practiced hard and played hard. Loved the big games, and played his heart out for Georgia. [I'm] just really proud that I had an opportunity to coach him."
Miami Dolphins tight end Arthur Lynch also had high praise for Gurley. A few weeks ago, I asked Lynch what his thoughts were on the incoming rookie and whether or not the Dolphins should draft him.
"One of the best I've ever played with, true game changer. What Dolphins player/fan wouldn't want him?"
With Gurley in the fold, opposing coaches will have a hard time figuring out how to scheme against him and that's what makes picking him so enticing. If you're talking about an offensive lineman, does a coach have to scheme against that player? Sure, it may make their blitz packages a little tougher to execute but there are many other ways to bring pressure against other parts of the offense. Gurley can run the ball down a team's throat and can catch the ball out of the backfield. While he has the power to run over defenders, he also has the speed to break the long one.
Last week, Luis Sung (@FLSportDebater), the Assistant Director of Content and Production here on PhinManiacs.com, laid out his case for drafting Gurley and stopped short of saying that the Dolphins should pick him. Sung brought up the same points though - Gurley is everything and so much more you want in a running back but the ultimate question comes down to whether or not he can stay healthy.
That's also the biggest question for teams around the NFL as they decide whether or not to spend their first round pick on a player that many are calling the next Adrian Peterson, in terms of pure talent on the field.
This column was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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