UCLA Athletic Department

PRO 2023 Rookie Spotlight: Zach Charbonnet, RB UCLA

Rookie Spotlight: Zach Charbonnet, RB UCLA
Height: 6-0
Weight: 214
Hands: 9 7/8″
Arm: 32″
40 yard dash: 4.53
2023 Age: 22
NFL Comparison: Rachaad White, David Montgomery

Offensive Market Share Metrics (Final Season)

Rushing Attempts: 39%
Receptions: 13%
Scrimmage Yards: 26%
Scrimmage TDs: 22%
Total Production Percentage: 25%

As a high school prospect: Class of 2019; 4-star


– Led the nation in 2022 for all-purpose yards per game (168)
– Ran for at least 100 yards in 8 of 10 games played in 2022
– Doak Walker Award semifinalist
– Feature-back size
– Great first-level vision; very decisive and intentional
– Three-down skillset and receiving chops (93rd-percentile target share)
– Excellent at surviving first contact both as a runner and as a receiver
– Flexible and natural in framing the football as a pass-catcher; can catch outside his frame
– Tough finisher, natural inclination to fall forward
– Broke out as a freshman at Michigan despite entering college with minor injuries
– Projects as a go-to player at the goal line


– Nowhere near as elusive at the second and third levels of the defense as he is at the line of scrimmage
– Decent, but not home-run speed
– Functional lateral agility can appear lacking in the open field despite decent-to-slightly-above-average cumulative testing numbers in the 30-cone (7.16 – good) and short-shuttle (4.46 – average) at UCLA pro day

Scouting Notes:
Zach Charbonnet was a star runner at UCLA and a centerpiece of the Bruins offense over the last two seasons who was used in a true bellcow, three-down capacity after spending his first two seasons at Michigan. He had a relative breakout in Ann Arbor as a freshman, then only had the shortened COVID season in 2020 before moving back home to the Los Angeles-area via transfer to UCLA. On film, there is much to like about Charbonnet’s skill set. He’s a natural pass-catcher who is more than a dump-off specialist — he’s got near-10-inch, soft hands, runs good routes, and shows the flexibility and instincts to make skillful catches outside of his frame before turning upfield. As a runner, Charbonnet is a decisive, one-cut back who thrives in zone concepts. He has truly great vision and is aggressively decisive and intentional when penetrating the lane as it develops. He is extremely hard to bring down around the line of scrimmage. He has a natural ability to shed tacklers through his hips and thighs without losing balance as his knees piston-pump. It’s unlikely an NFL coaching staff would take him out at the goal line. Per PFF, “Charbonnet converted 78.4% of his carries with three yards or less to go the past two seasons while recording the fourth-most conversions in college football over that span (69).” For as good as Charbonnet is getting up to speed and getting through the junk of the trenches, his lateral agility does not translate as well in the open field, where he can get bogged down coming into interactions with second and third-level defenders. Lacking complete home-run speed, Charbonnet is not going to be the type of player who can turn a little hole into a house-call, but he’s not going to leave much meat on the bone, either. He was tied for 6th place among 251 FBS RBs in 2022 for rushes for over 10 yards (44), and was 5th among those same 251 players in designed runs of over 15 yards (24).

Fantasy Outlook: Charbonnet is a Top 5 RB in this class and Top 3 could be argued from a pure athletic and production-profile standpoint as we project potential NFL usage. With the right NFL landing spot, and given his well-balanced skillset and prowess at the goal line, Charbonnet will be in focus as a rookie not only as a dynasty stash, but as a redraft asset as well. For pre-NFL draft, 1QB dynasty rookie drafts, Charbonnet should be in consideration very soon after guys like Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are off the board, and depending on your dynasty roster makeup and team needs.


  1. Great off-season thus far gents!

    Would you move Dotson/1.11/3.06 for Elijah Moore/1.06/3.03/KJ Osborn?

    I also own Amari Cooper and David Bell on this Dynasty squad.

    I feel like Moore could be comparable to Dotson and Im getting extra value on top. Osborn was WR7 the last 5 weeks last season and the jump to the 1.06 is pretty large too.

    1. The trade is fine on paper, the only thing I don’t like is so many eggs in the CLE basket, but without that issue, the winning side is the side that gets the 1.06.

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