Running Back Notes: Day 2 of Senior Bowl Practices
Byron Lambert, Rosterwatch.com
Dan Herron from “THE” Ohio State looked really solid today for the North squad. He looks like a classic Big Ten RB. The notes I had on him from the National Scouting Weigh-In were “thick guy and solid legs/base”. Those attributes showed up on the field today. “Boom” Herron will tell you personally that his trademark is his physical running style. The good news is he also flashes the ability to catch the ball, run with burst and elude some tackles.
Vick Ballard, Mississippi St. Bulldog and South squad RB, has been the best overall RB from either squad after the first two days of practice. Shows a nice blend of power, balance, speed, and hands. As the week progresses we still need to get a feel for how good of a blocker he is. So far so good though, he gets the tough yards and made some big plays with his hands and feet. Ballard says he is doing everything possible to make sure he stays on the field for all 3 downs.
Chris Rainey, RB South Squad from the University of Florida. Rainey has been unimpressive in his first two days. He is small and doesn’t really look that fast. In his evening press conference coach Shannahan gave Chris a more glowing endorsement, saying he thought he looked pretty good in a variety of roles. Today, Shannahan put Chris in the backfield, had him running routes and catching passes with the WRs, and was on punt return duty. We also thought Rainey was unimpressive in the press conference. He did not like Percy Harvin comparisons, says he wants to be a RB, and came across a bit cocky. When it comes to being a competitive athlete though, there is a chance these could be good traits.
Cyrus Gray, Texas Aggie, went home from the Senior Bowl. I asked his former teammate, WR Jeff Fuller, if he had the scoop. Fuller was a little vague but it sounds like Gray failed his physical due to an existing issue with his collar bone. Most likely related to an injury he had late in the college season. Speculation is a slow healing stress fracture. Cyrus is planning on rehabbing to be healthy and ready for the Combine next month. This is unfortunate because his measurements at the Weigh-In (5’10” – 198 lb) were sufficient enough to ease concerns he was just a utility back. We were hoping to see Cyrus’ skills on display, the guy is talented.