Since his announcement to declare for the NFL Draft, Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara has been climbing up draft boards.
Kamara spent the majority of his Tennessee career overshadowed by former Vol Jalen Hurd. In his two years in Knoxville, Kamara had a total of just 210 carries and 74 receptions. He tallied just four games with more than 100 rushing yards in 24 games as a Volunteer. However, Kamara is still listed on most draft boards between the second and fourth rounds. With such a small sample size, what do scouts see in him?
Kamara will likely be the first Tennessee running back drafted since Montario Hardesty in 2010. He has exceptional speed and acceleration, both of which will translate well into the NFL. Kamara’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is turning lots of heads. Kamara’s style of running is productive — he doesn’t dance around to gain yards — he is a downfield ball carrier. Despite being a backup for most of his career, . Kamara scored a productive 23 touchdowns in his 24 career games.
A lack of experience, blocking trouble and past knee injuries are weakness that could all factor against Kamara at the next level. Overall, he’s a hard running, pace-changing back that has the ability to gain big chunks of yards in the open field. However, injury concerns and blocking could be future problems.
The player that most reflects Kamara’s style is Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Like Kamara, Charles was touted as one of the quickest backs in his draft class with an ability to make big plays in the open field. Physically, Charles is a near-mirror image of Kamara, and he has the sheer athleticism and speed that only a handful of players in the league have. He’s recorded 1,000 yards rushing in five of his nine seasons in the league and is a four-time Pro Bowler. None of this means Kamara’s career will match anything near what Charles has put together, but Kamara undoubtedly has plenty of similarities so far.
The 2017 NFL Draft will run April 27-29. Check the Tennessee Journalist for more SEC-related draft content before, during and after the draft.
Featured image by Ben Proffitt
Edited by Nathan Odom