NFL Draft 2016 Scouting Report: RB Kenyan Drake,
*Our RB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked
Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.
*We use the term “Power RB” to separate physically bigger, more between-the-tackles–capable RBs
from our “speed RBs” group. “Speed RBs” are physically smaller, but much faster/quicker, and less likely
to flourish between the tackles.
This was a really strange scouting study. If you only allowed me to look at Kenyan Drake's 5–10 best
plays in college, I'd swear he was a sleeper prospect to not only work in an NFL passing game out of the
backfield, but to also draw more carries/workload… Maybe, eventually taking over as a three-down
running back. The first snapshot view of Drake is a good one.
However, after I dug a little deeper here, watched more play-by-play tape, and looked over his college
career, I was left feeling more negative on his NFL prospects. There are so many conflicting pieces of
data on Drake, with more negative than positive, that I would see him as an undraftable or a late-round
flier pick. The fact that Kenyan Drake was drafted in the top 75 shows how pathetic the Miami Dolphins
scouting system and personnel assessment/valuation group is.
Let's look at the pros and cons on Drake, pros first…
– Drake is a very fluid, quick-footed running back…impressive movement for his size. He gets out of the
gates fast, and he can pick up speed heading down field, leaving defenders in the dust. He's a 4.45 40-
time runner from the NFL Combine, so he definitely has the speed.
– At 6′0.5″/210 he has a decent frame, a little thin, but a frame you can build upon. He could be bumped
to 220 pounds.
– He handles himself well as a receiver out of the backfield. He does a great job catching the ball and
immediately getting his body turned around to head downfield. There's not a lot of wasted movement.
He looks more like a wide receiver in motion than a running back.
– At first, Drake seemed like a really fast, speedy scatback type runner only in a mega-sized 6′0″+ frame.
The size-speed combo is intoxicating, at first. The more I watched, the more I fell out of love with Drake
as a runner of the ball. He runs like he is scared, and I don't mean that as horribly as it sounds.
Everything seems to be at a very frenetic pace, like he's just trying to escape contact at all costs. It kind
of works for him, because he avoids tackles in college with his swift feet. In the pros, I fear that more
talented defenders will have no issue catching up to him and crashing him to the ground for limited
gains. He goes down quick upon contact. He runs with his hand extended out in an almost 'get away
from me' type of move, not a classic Walter Payton stiff-arm.
– People talk about Drake's work ethic in the weight room, and his body does look chiseled, but I can't
explain why he would then only bench 10 reps at the NFL Combine. He may be just born with a weaker
upper body…not a plus translating to the NFL.
– He may have a 'weak' everything. The guy is a walking M.A.S.H. unit. In 2014, he had a horrific ankle
dislocation in a game and was lost for the season. In 2015, he was noted to have a cracked rib, a
concussion, a sprained ankle, quad issues, and then broke his arm on a special teams play. He ended up
getting back to action quickly with a cast on his broken arm, which is a credit to him, but overlooks the
fact that the guy seems to be a walking injury waiting to happen.
– What gets glossed over on Drake, because he plays for the holy Alabama Crimson Tide, the college
team that scouts and analysts love more than life itself, is that he's been in trouble/suspended multiple
times. He was suspended in 2012 for a team rules violation. He was in hot water with the coaches for
some stupid tweets as well. But his 2014 arrest/suspension takes the cake…
Late one night, Drake was in an area where there had been a shooting. The police taped off an area for
investigation. It just so happened that Drake's car was parked in that area under investigation. He
couldn't get to his car. Officers told him he would not be able to get to his car until they finished their
investigation. Drake then proceeded to disobey the officers, went through the police tape, and tried to
get into his car. Of course, the idiot was arrested on the spot. Alabama gave him a minor suspension.
Reading that arrest story, while doing this research, I thought, "This guy has to be a complete moron or
an entitled prick, or both." It's not like he has just one blot on his off-field activity…he has a few.
– Drake is supposed to be some kind of wunderkind for a receiving back out of the backfield, but I think
it's just scouts and analysts in love with themselves over any Alabama prospect. I watch the tape, and
I'm not blown away with Drake's hands as a receiver. Get him the ball, and let him go, and he's going to
make a few big plays for sure. However, I think he's going to drop a lot of passes looking ahead to
pending contact, and I think he's going to have trouble making those big plays in the pros because he's
just average NFL-fast, not off the charts.
At his best, Drake looks like an interesting, useful NFL receiver out of the backfield and a guy who can
run the ball a few times per game. That's at his best. What I think is going to happen – he's going to be
constantly hurt, not going to fight his way back as the team would hope, and then cop some kind of
attitude about it. I think we're all going to forget about Kenyan Drake pretty quickly because of his
personal demons/attitudes, and just 'solid' talents. I could be wrong about that – perhaps he bulks his
body, stays injury- and incident-free, and becomes an asset…but if you're asking me to bet based upon
the research I have in front of me – I'll go against Drake having any major impact in the NFL.
Drake has an impressive 6.8 yards per carry over his college career and led the SEC in YPC in 2013 with
7.5. However, I would point out that much of this is coming from Drake as a change-of-pace insert into
the backfield for occasional touches and getting to work with a dominant O-Line/team that is making
college stars/pro letdowns out of most of their RBs. Any Alabama player is going to look great,
statistically, if they run a 4.4+ 40-time.
Drake is supposed to be this great receiving back, but he had 0–2 catches in 23 of his last 29 games/last
three seasons of play. He's caught 0 or 1 passes in a game in 17 of his last 29 games. His best receiving
game in his career: 5 catches for 91 yards and 1 TD vs. Middle Tennessee State.
At the NFL Combine, Drake was dead last in bench press reps among all RB prospects with 10 reps.
The Historical RB Prospects to Whom Kenyan Drake Most Compares Within Our System:
Ryan Grant is a match that makes some sense…a less physical, always hurt Ryan Grant.