Samaje Perine, RB Oklahoma
Height: 5’10 5/8″
Weight: 233 pounds
Hand Size: 10″
40 Yard Dash: 4.62 (unofficial; average of combine and pro day)
Bench Press: 30 reps
Vertical Jump: 33″
Broad Jump: 9’8″
NFL Comparison: Rashad Jennings, Eddie Lacy, Jordan Howard, Arian Foster, Robert Turbin
In the clip above, you’ll see everything you need to know about Samaje Perine in one run. He’s rocksteady, and one of the most nimble bulls you’ve ever seen in a china shop.
Perine has nifty feet, good balance, above-average vision, and nice burst in small space. He’s also a powerful finisher, who, at the very least, will almost always fall forward, occasionally creating dynamic yards after contact.
Registering a bit below the averages in the three-cone and shuttle drills utilized to measure agility by NFL scouting departments (but not horrible for a guy his size), he sometimes plays like a guy who weighs more like 240 pounds or more. However, Perine has more wiggle than you might imagine.
A willing blocker, a hammer at the goal line, and a functional route-runner and pass-catcher, Perine has all the hallmarks of a workhorse three-down back except big-time speed. Our impression is the NFL which is stuck in its ways will view Perine as the “thunder” in an RBBC.
Much like Jordan Howard, he’s a guy that gets much better with volume. We can only hope he gets the same opportunity Howard did, but that’s far from a foregone conclusion – as is the notion that Howard will maintain status as a workhorse over the course of a full season (John Fox told us as much at the NFL Combine). Not many NFL teams view these types like that. A Brandon Jacobs-role appears a more realistic expectation to us. Of course, that type of production can and will be very valuable in fantasy leagues.
Due to the depth of this running back class, Perine is likely to represent good value to a team in the early-middle rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. He should also represent nice value in our fantasy leagues. Expect to spend an early RD2 rookie draft pick on Perine in dynasty formats.
A talented one-cut runner, primarily out of the shotgun and pistol formations at OU, we’ll need to see what team he lands with in order to finalize our Rookie Dynasty Rankings. For now, we are comfortable investing in Perine at his industry ADP in the second round of early traditional four-round rookie drafts.
Quotable From the Combine:
Proposed to his girlfriend via magic trick – role model as a magician?
“Not really (laughs). It was kind of a spur of the moment thing.”
A fallback career after NFL?
Know the answer to question before he asked?
“I had a pretty good idea.”
“I told my agent that I wanted to do some magic to propose to my now-fiancee. He got back to me with the guy who did it, he set something up and we did it. It didn’t take any preparation. The guy who’d done it, we’d only met then.”
“Orange County with ProActive. Probably about 15-16. Small group.”
At Oklahoma, any role model or influence as RB?
“Not really. I got guidance from Joe Washington. He was there just about every day but as far as molding myself into someone, I just wanted to be myself and run how I felt comfortable running.”
How Joe Mixon handling his situation?
“I imagine he takes it with a grain of salt and just works harder.”
Him not being allowed at Combine?
“It was tough. But at the end of the day we both have our problems and have to find our own was of dealing with them. He’s done a great job of dealing with them. He hasn’t stopped working. I talked to him a couple weeks ago and he’s working for Pro Day. But it’s a tough deal and I don’t wish that on anyone.”
At OU, how used along with Mixon?
“Kind of complimentary. We both had a little bit of everything – speed, power, whatever you needed, we had it.”
Decision to come out as junior?
“I just felt like I’d accomplished everything that I could at OU. I had a great career and just wanted to end it on a high note.” (4,122 yards, 49 rush TDs, 6.0 ypc)
Toughest defensive player he ever faced?
“I would probably say Montravius Adams (Auburn DT). He was a specimen. Just his quickness and for being that big, being that fast off the ball. I’d never seen anything like that.”
Path to here?
“I just take everything in stride. I haven’t really sat back and thought about preparing for the biggest thing possible, just taking it day by day.”
HS coach influence?
How started playing?
“Third grade. I saw a flyer for Pop Warner signup and told my Mom I wanted to do it. She said, ‘OK’ and I’ve been playing ever since.”
Second thoughts (hers)?
“Of course. She still does.”
Every time she sees a concussion story?
“Fortunately I’ve never had any.”
Biggest memories, good and bad?
“Of course, losing is my worst memory. My best memory is just this past year, rushing for 200-plus yards on them.” (214 vs Texas, 239 vs. Okla State)
Key to it?
“My line blocking. They did a fantastic job the whole game.”
Input from teams?
“They asked me what I weighed in at and what I felt comfortable at.”
NFL guys compared to?
“If I had to choose one, I’d say Marshawn Lynch. Very physical.”
Approach to things, advice?
“Everybody knows I go into everything I do level-headed. So I don’t really don’t get much advice from people. They just tell me, ‘good luck, do what you do and try your best.’”
Ever envision self setting Oklahoma rushing record?
“Absolutely not. With all the great backs there, you don’t ever think that you’re going in as a freshman and going to be the top dog by the end. It’s still surreal, and I haven’t really wrapped my head around it yet, but sooner or later that’ll sink in and I’ll just sit back in amazement. It just speaks volumes about my offensive line through the years.”
Could you be NFL 3-down back?
“Absolutely, just because I’ve done it. When coach Reilly came in, he told us we were going to spread the ball out and create open space, and I think I’ve done a good job showing I have the power and the speed to break away if I have to.”
“My greatest athlete is definitely my power. I probably said that when I was heavier. I couldn’t get away from everyone but now that I’ve slimmed down a little, I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”
Match up with a LB in hole? What happens?
“I’m running him over.”
NFL player most like?
“Marshawn Lynch, just the physicality of it.”
What remember about the 427-yd game?
“Honestly I don’t really remember much, just because ever since that day I’ve been training, taking everything day by day. It was a great moment but I enjoyed it more for my offensive linemen since it’s more a tribute to their hard work. All I had to do was run.”
Ezekiel Elliott impression as a rookie?
“He did amazing but I really don’t watch much sports outside our own film.”
“If you look at and his work ethic throughout high school and college, he was an extremely hard worker. If you find a guy who’s a hard worker, it’s going to pan out.”