Player: Leonard Fournette
Comparison: Adrian Peterson
Best Fit: New York Jets
Leonard Fournette’s name has circulated Draft circles since he was the No. 1 Recruit coming out of high school. He evolved from returning kickoffs with his elite speed and decisive cuts to an impact lead running back. Over his three seasons, Fournette averaged an absurd 6.2 yards per carry. When you think of LSU running backs, names like Spencer Ware and Kevin Faulk come up, but many LSU Tiger faithfuls who've watched the team for the past 50 years believe he's the best RB in school history.
It goes beyond LSU greats because Fournette is a freak athlete at 6’1 and 230 lbs. He shouldn’t be able to run a 4.35 40-yard dash, top 20.5 mph, bench 315 lbs, squat 600 lbs., and this was all recorded during his high school career. Fournette was a track & field star in high school much like Ezekiel Elliott and Adrian Peterson. At that size, Leonard was able to beat sprinters on a regular basis.
All of those peripherals form into a huge bruising back with the speed of a Bo Jackson or Herschel Walker. His running style is so violent that no arm tackle is good enough to bring him down. Watching his tape, Fournette hits the hole at top speed because they ran a lot of toss running plays at LSU so he can build momentum when he catches the ball, and barrel through linebackers and run straight by DBs.
Despite, the fact his hype has him in Canton already. Fournette does come with some risk. During much of his 2016 campaign, Leonard was hampered with ankle injuries. Many believe that this issue is a chronic ankle injury that can be only fixed through surgery. With the NFL Draft scheduled for April 27th, he would be ready for training camp at the end of July if he decided to get the problem fixed permanently. Adrian Peterson had the same concerns coming out of Oklahoma and look how he shut up critics. There aren’t any other weaknesses, Fournette is a man amongst boys during his College career.
For the 2017 Draft, many of mocks have his talent going to the New York Jets. Who are in desperate need of a franchise player like Leonard, should turn out to be. Even though they have line issues, run blocking was a strength of the Jets line. Since 2010, the New York Jets have gone with a defensive player in the first round. The last time New York selected RB in the first round was in 1990, Blair Thomas from Penn State. This type of RB talent doesn’t come around often especially one compared to greats like AP, Bo Jackson, and even LeBron James because of his freakish body type. NFL will be a great test he should excel at.