Todd Gurley came to Georgia highly touted, the four star recruit was the fifth-ranked RB in his class. He split a lot of time with other RBs in the backfield during his college career, but was poised to break out in 2014. Unfortunately, off the field problems (he was caught accepting money for autographs) and an ACL tear caused him to miss much of his Junior season. Still, he decided to come out for the 2014 draft, and is considered on of the top talents at RB.
Todd Gurley started his college career as a true freshman backup. His backup role last one game. In that game he rushed for 100 yards on 8 carreis and scored 2 TDs while also scoring on a kickoff return. After that, he was the starter. He matched Herschel Walker as the only Georgia true freshman to rush for over 1000 yards.
In the first game of his sophomore year, Gurley demolished Clemson, a team he seemed to have something personal against. In two career games facing the Tigers, he ran the ball 27 times for 352 yards and 6 TDs. That’s 13 yards per carry. Unfortunately, he injured his ankle against LSU and ended up missing 3 games in the middle of the 2013 season, which brough his season stats down. He finished just short of 1000 yards on the year, with 989 total.
Todd Gurley started off his third season on a tear, rushing for an astounding 773 yards and 8 TDs in his first five games of the season. However, he was found to have received improper benefits by the NCAA when reports of him selling autographs surfaced, and was suspended four games. In his return against Auburn, he helped the Bulldogs demoralize the Tigers 34-7, but tore his ACL during the game. This ended his college career, as he decided to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. While he attended the Combine, he did not let doctors there examine his knee (at the advice of Dr. James Andrews) and also was unable to participate ina ny exercises other than the bench press.
In order to watch Gurley, I went to Draft Breakdown, which has seven of his college games.
|DOB||April 13, 1993||Bench (225 lb)||17 reps|
|Weight||222 lbs||Broad Jump||DNP|
|Arms||31-1/2″||20 Yard Shuttle||DNP|
|Hands||10″||3 Cone Drill||DNP|
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd split)||DNP||60 Yard Shuttle||DNP|
|University of Georgia (2011-2014)|
|2014||123 att, 911 yards, 7.4 ypc, 9 TDs|
|2013||165 att, 989 yards, 6.0 ypc, 10 TDs|
|2012||222 att, 1385 yards, 6.2 ypc, 17 TDs|
- Physically punishes defenders
- Makes statements with physical finishes to runs
- Top end speed allows him to consistently outrun defenders into the endzone. Doesn’t get caught from behind.
- Does a good job keeping his legs churning and pushing the pile.
- Excellent at putting his foot in the ground and cutting upfield
- Has the ability to turn a broken play into something special
- Doesn’t stiff arm often but can use it
- Has great burst when running through holes. Covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
- Has the patience to wait for holes to open up
- Has good vision for cutback lanes
- Powerful between the tackle runner
- Massive injury concerns. Missed three games in 2013 and tore his ACL ending his 2014 season.
- Can cut block and also square up defenders in pass protection. Overextends himself on his punch, causing issues.
- Has run every route an RB would be asked to do and adds value after the catch
One of the aspects of Gurley’s game that impressed me most when watching him was his speed. He’s not Chris Johnson fast, but he definitely has near elite speed for a RB. He might not be the fastest RB in the class (I would say it’s Tevin Coleman), but he’s faster than the other top prospect in this class, Melvin Gordon. I would project him in the mid-to-low 4.4s had he been able to run at the combine. I never saw him get caught from behind during the games I watched, while it happened to Gordon multiple times.
Defenses made stopping Gurley a priority, and for good reason. However, that also caused them to overcommit on a number of cases, which led to gaping cutback lanes. Gurley was very good at finding and exploiting these holes, consistently ripping off big gains. He also possesses the ability to explode upfield once he plants his foot in the ground and makes the cut.