The 2018 NFL Draft Prospect series breaks down draft-eligible players, highlighting their college production as well as their NFL potential. Daily fantasy players should know about NFL rookies before they’ve played a down of professional football because they are among the most misvalued assets in all of DFS. People who know NFL rookies have a significant DFS edge. The draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, from April 26-28.
This piece is on Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough, who has declared early for the draft. For the total list of all players leaving school early, see our underclassmen tracker.
For more on all the other backs in the class, see our 2018 NFL draft running back rankings.
Updated as of Mar. 4.
Redshirt Junior | 6’1″ and 228 Pounds | Born September 29, 1996 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.52 sec | bench reps: 14 | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: 4.34 sec | vertical: 40 in | broad: 129 in
An Alabama back, Scarbrough is likely to be drafted earlier than he probably deserves, especially after he displayed great sized-adjusted speed and explosiveness at the combine. His production is paltry in comparison to that of other big-bodied runners likely to be drafted, but over the last decade the NFL just hasn’t been able to get enough of the Alabama backfield. Here are all of the previously draft-eligible Alabama backs over the last decade to have at least 500 yards rushing in a college season (as well as the years and rounds in which they were drafted).
- Glen Coffee (2009, third round)
- Mark Ingram (2011, first round)
- Trent Richardson (2012, first round)
- Eddie Lacy (2013, second round)
- T.J. Yeldon (2015, second round)
- Derrick Henry (2016, second round)
- Kenyan Drake (2016, third round)
Scarbrough has never had a full-on breakout season, but neither had Drake before his top-100 selection. Scarbrough has a legitimate chance to be a Day 2 selection.
A member of the 2014 recruitment class, Scarbrough opted not to enroll at Alabama till January of 2015, so he technically was a redshirt junior even though he was on campus for only three years. As a freshman he served as a depth back behind Henry, Drake, and Damien Harris, rushing the ball just 18 times for 104 yards and a touchdown with most of his production coming in the second half of blowout victories.
As a sophomore Scarbrough formed a committee with Harris and was arguably the more important member of the timeshare, rushing 125 times for 812 yards and 11 touchdowns. He specifically got hot to end the season, as he turned 63 rushes into 454 yards and six touchdowns in the four final games, and he had 16 carries for 93 yards and two scores in the College Football Playoff Championship against Auburn before exiting the game in the first half.
Entering the 2017 season, Scarbrough was generally thought of as the superior player to Harris, given that he was powerful enough to be the goal-line back and explosive enough in 2016 to average 7.2 highlight yards per opportunity (Football Study Hall), but he regressed significantly as a junior. Despite having 141 touches to Harris’ 147, he had 386 fewer yards and three fewer touchdowns than his teammate, and he was far less explosive with just 4.5 highlight yards per opportunity. Over his two final seasons, Scarbrough averaged just 57 yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. That kind of production tends not to inspire a lot of NFL teams — and Scarbrough offers little as a receiver (21 career receptions for 131 yards) — but he’s a big-bodied Alabama back who entered college as a five-star recruit. Given his combine performance and the draft history of Crimson Tide backs, he might be able to sneak into the second half of Day 2.
Photo Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports