Darius Anderson – The Forgotten Running Back of The 2020 Class

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Darius Anderson had an up and down college career. He has a skill set that is NFL ready, was he forgotten?

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Darius Anderson was a semi-successful collegiate player if you look at him from a production standpoint. If you watch his tape though he has a very intriguing skill set that was just stuck on a team with real poor offensive output. Did TCU kill Anderson’s chance at an NFL career, he did not even receive a combine invite. Let’s take a look a little deeper at Anderson.

Darius Anderson College Bio

Career Stats

  • 43 games, 430 carries, 2,418 rushing yards, 5.6 yards per carry, 18 touchdowns
  • 43 receptions, 224 receiving yards, 5.2 yards per reception

Anderson was used sparingly his freshman year as a runner but made the most of his opportunity. He only had 27 carries but totaled 229 rushing yards, good for 8.5 yards per carry. His first career touchdown was against Texas and went for 70 yards. He finished that game with a season-high 103 rushing yards.

In Anderson’s sophomore season he played in 11 games and made three starts. He led TCU with 768 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. Anderson ranked third in the Big 12 averaging 6.0 yards per carry. He was on his way to becoming a 1,000-yard rusher when he was injured in a game against Oklahoma. Due to his play his sophomore season, he was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

His junior season was mostly a down season for Anderson, as he was actually second on the team in rushing and his yards per attempt dropped to 4.8 yards. The lone bright spot was when he lit up a Nick Bosa led defense for 154 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. His senior season was much better—he upped his yards per carry average back up to 5.5 yards and had just under 1,000 all-purpose yards.

Darius Anderson Strengths

Darius Anderson has great contact balance and rarely goes down on the initial hit. He has flashed exceptional lateral agility but does not showcase it consistently. Anderson is more of a “one cut and go” runner. He is very patient and has good vision—when a hole opens up, he plants his foot, drives, and blasts through it with explosiveness as you see here in these two clips:

Though he was not asked to do much in the receiving game, he showcased sticky hands and does a great job catching away from his body. He is very aware of spacing in his screen routes and runs routes in the flat well. Anderson lit up a 2018 Ohio State team that included Nick Bosa for 154 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

Darius Anderson Weaknesses

The worry with Anderson is consistency. He did not have a single collegiate season with more than 151 carries. Anderson did not show much elusiveness in the open field, though I do believe the athleticism is there. He also seemed to disappear from the game plan too often, though this could be due to TCU having a terrible season.

Overall Analysis

Anderson showed, especially his senior season, that he has the three-down running back skill set. With good patience and above-average vision and burst, he is a very good runner between the tackles. His senior year proved that he can be useful in the passing game, as he hauled in 22 receptions for 128 yards.

Anderson made noise at the Senior Bowl this year, similar to Deebo Samuel, who used that game to boost his stock and get drafted in the second round last year. Anderson never saw enough reps in the backfield to get a great idea if he can be an every-down back, but the traits needed for that role are apparent. He should be able to make a roster and compete for reps.

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