J.K. Dobbins is a versatile weapon at the running back position. What sets him apart from his peers and what is holding him back from being the top RB prospect in this year’s draft?
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State, is highly regarded as a top prospect in this year’s draft class, but he is rarely in the conversation as the top running back. Despite being highly productive in both the passing and running game through all three years of his college career, he is still discussed as a jack of all trades and master of none. How does this affect his profile as a dynasty fantasy football asset?
Rushing for 4459 yards over a 3-year college career is no joke. Add in his 645 career receiving yards on 71 receptions and we are talking about a highly productive player. It is true that he was a focal point of the team’s offense, leading the team in rushing all three years of his career and contributing in the passing game despite the talented cast surrounding him earlier in his college career.
What’s more impressive is that he was able to rush for over 2000 yards, at 6.7 ypc, in his final season when the offense became much more run-oriented after the loss of some of the talent in the passing game. J.K. Dobbins contributed 2003 of the team’s 3770 total rushing yards in his final season. Ohio State only passed for 3686 yards compared to the 5100 yards passing they accrued the year before. He was able to rise to the occasion as the focal point of a re-invented offense and carry the load while still remaining involved in the passing game.
J.K. Dobbins’ most obvious trait is his burst. He uses it in all phases of the game, whether it’s hitting a hole between the tackles when it opens up, turning up-field when he gets the corner outside the tackles, or catching the ball and either changing direction or just getting downfield. This allows him to be dangerous in all areas of the field and in all phases of the game.
His hands are another elite trait that serves him well. He is a natural pass catcher, using his hands to catch the ball away from his body. This helps increase his catch radius to account for errant throws and earns the trust of the quarterback to rely on him in critical situations. He may not be the most refined route-runner at the position but he can still be a reliable security blanket.
There is not a lot to be concerned about regarding J.K. Dobbins. He is an effective runner, both inside and outside, an excellent option in the passing game and projects to have sufficient draft-capital to earn some role in an NFL offense from day 1. His biggest weakness on film is a lack of ability in pass protection that could keep him off the field early on. This is common among many RB prospects and he should be able to correct it.
Many use the term jack of all trades in a negative connotation, indicating somebody is not the best at anything. You can still be elite in an area without being the best and J.K. Dobbins is an excellent example of that. His greatest strength is his ability to do most everything that is asked of him, making him a dangerous weapon that can be used in a variety of ways to disguise offensive looks. In today’s NFL, this holds a tremendous amount of value and I expect it to pay dividends to fantasy owners.
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