By: Chip Turner
Rhamondre Stevenson isn’t extremely fast. He’s also not super-elusive; you’re not going to see him break anyone’s ankles in the NFL. He hasn’t turned many heads as a receiver, although he definitely improved during his suspension-limited 2020 season at Oklahoma. He also doesn’t have the most impressive scouting history; he was unranked out of high school, took a year off from football, and then came to Oklahoma as a JUCO transfer out of Cerritos College in California.
So why am I writing about Rhamondre Stevenson?
It’s because while he’s not exceptional at any one thing, he does a lot of things really well. He’s a short-strider with excellent balance who has decent speed to go with good quickness. And while he’s not going to juke anyone out of their cleats, he has enough wiggle to make people miss at the second level. He also has good vision as a one-cut runner who bursts through holes quickly, and gets up to his top speed in a hurry. With a limited workload, he averaged 8 yards/carry in 2019 (with just one more carry per game to qualify, he would have led the nation) and 6.6 ypc in 2020.
Oh, also, Rhamondre Stevenson is 6’ tall and somewhere in the neighborhood of 245 pounds. That’s a “business decision” neighborhood. And unlike a lot of power backs, he’s not a rigid, upright runner. He leans forward into contact with a good pad level, and almost always falls forward for extra yardage. He rarely goes down on first contact; there’s not a soul in the NFL that’s going to want to try to tackle this kid in the fourth quarter of NFL games in 2021, and you’re not going to arm tackle him. Just ask Florida.
Will Stevenson end up on the cover of a Wheaties box? Probably not, but I wouldn’t bet against him. Does he have a spot in the NFL as a power back, or even a feature back in the right NFL system? I certainly think so; he’s a perfect mid-round option for a team determined to establish the run. From humble beginnings to Senior Bowl participant, the Miami Dolphins staff will get an up-close at Stevenson and what he has to offer.
I tend to think it’s quite a lot.