Kenyan Drake was considered a four star recruit coming out of Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Georgia. He committed to the University of Alabama. During his college career, he was consistently behind other highly recruited players. Eddie Lacy played his final college season in Drake’s freshman year, while T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry were the primary runners for Alabama from 2013-2015. Lacy and Yeldon were both taken in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft, and that’s where Henry is often projected as well. As a role player in college, Drake does not have that pedigree, but he showed explosive plays and strong athletic talent in the pre-draft process, which makes him a projected late round pick.
|January 26, 1994
|Bench (225 lbs.)
|20 Yard Shuttle
|3 Cone Drill
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd. split)
|60 Yard Shuttle
|University of Alabama (2012-2015)
|77 att, 408 yards, 5.3 ypc, 1 TDs
|29 rec, 276 yards, 9.5 ypc, 1 TDs
|22 att, 112 yards, 5.1 ypc, 4 TDs
|5 rec, 159 yards, 31.8 ypc, 2 TDs
|92 att, 694 yards, 7.5 ypc, 8 TDs
|12 rec, 135 yards, 11.3 ypc, 1 TDs
|42 att, 281 yards, 6.7 ypc, 5 TDs
|0 rec, 0 yards, 0 ypc, 0 TDs
- Limited reps in college backing up TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry
- Used heavily as a change of pace back on runs to outside, not much inside runner
- Needs to develop patience as a runner, attacks line too quickly
- Able to bait defenders and follow blockers to edge on a regular basis, needs to develop interior running and nuance with footwork
- Great burst and acceleration to get to edge and get through the line past a group of defenders
- Very fast, has the ability to accelerate past second level defenders
- Excellent short area quickness and ability to string multiple moves together to make defenders miss
- Needs to develop consistent pad level to drive defenders backwards
- Severe issues with ball security displayed throughout tape
- Limited work as a blocker but successful in blocking reps
- Fantastic potential as a receiver after the catch. Showed some nuance on downfield routes.
- Occasionally got ahead of himself with concentration drops
This article has multiple pages, examining different traits that Drake displays, and discussing whether or not those traits bode well for his transition to the NFL game. The first three pages deal with his running traits, while the fourth page covers his work in the passing game and includes projections for Drake in the NFL.
In order to watch Drake, I went to Draft Breakdown, which has five of his college games.
Kenyan Drake is an electric runner who often shows strong burst, great speed, and a knack for making players miss with short area quickness. However, he lacks refinement in the more technique-oriented aspects of the game. Drake shows severe problems with vision and decision making prowess, and sometimes has issues with pad level.
Drake often appears to be acting too quickly. He lacks patience in his game. This is an issue because he often gets ahead of himself, and ends up in a bad situation because he didn’t think his actions through.
To be successful at the next level, he will need to work on his ability to take in what is going on around him, understand what his blockers are going to do in front of him, and execute based on what he sees.
The first play is an excellent example of Drake making a poor decision because he isn’t seeing the field or is too confident in his ability. Multiple defenders get into the backfield, yet Drake bends the run with a step to his left after the handoff. This puts both defenders in advantageous positions, and it means that Drake can’t get out of the backfield. It’s possible he was following the blocking scheme, in which case he needs to realize he should abandon that plan because it got blown up, or he’s overconfident in his ability to make those players miss, and tries to bait them. Neither is good.
Despite its relative lack of success, the second play is an example of good process and vision by Drake. It’s a well-defended run. There’s not room on the front side of the zone run, with a defender coming down the edge. There’s not a lot of room on the cutback either, but there’s more. He presses the hole well and cuts back for a solid gain.
The third play is another positive from Drake. He cuts off an offensive lineman, fakes out a defender, and works his way to the edge. His movements are more exaggerated than they need to be, but he gets the job done.
The fourth play shows Drake doing a good job of pressing inside, but also shows a lack of processing speed. Once he bursts around the edge, he wants to kick it even further outside but seems surprised by a DB there, which he really should have seen in his peripheral vision. He does the smart thing and chooses to fall forward, but this shows that he isn’t seeing the field well.
The fifth play is a bad play from Drake. His blocker gets knocked back but frankly there’s no excuse for running full speed into the back of your blocker. Drake needs to anticipate holes opening, not run towards a space that is closing.
Drake can burst past players in the backfield, burst well through the line of scrimmage, and burst well to the edge. He has more than enough skill at accelerating past defenders. He may not possess elite burst, but it’s one of his strengths.
On the first play, Drake does well to accelerate past backfield penetration even if he can’t get past a corner who was in good position. On the second play, he just barely fails to get past an LB and gets tripped up by his shoelaces. One issue he had getting to the edge was that defenses often expected sweeps when he was in the game, and were therefore in position to stop him. He will need to develop a game running on the interior to prevent this from occurring at the next level.
On the third play, Drake shows great acceleration to the edge. The ability to stop on a dime and dump the defender on the ground without even needing to touch him is also spectacular. The fifth play shows fantastic burst through the line and the final play shows him getting the edge again.