A prized recruit despite missing his entire senior season with a broken fibula McFarland decided to decided to stay in state passing up on offers from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Georgia and Florida. Still recovering from his broken leg McFarland Jr. reshirted during his first year on campus making it two years since he played in a game. But McFarland Jr. didn’t have much rust as he shined during his redshirt freshman season rushing for 1,034 yards and 4 touchdowns including back to back 200 yard outings against Indiana and Ohio State. Now entering his sophomore season Anthony McFarland is NFL Draft eligible and we’ll take a look at his traits and outlook whenever he does enter the draft.
Where McFarland Wins
Speed and explosion are the names of McFarland’s game as he is able to rack up yards and gut defenses. McFarland is able to show good burst off the line and hit the hole hard at top speed. If he’s given a running lane or the edge he has the speed to exploit it and get to the second and third levels in a hurry and you have to hope you have a good angle on him. But McFarland is far more than just a straight line speed runner as he does show the ability to make a cuts and veer through traffic to get to open space. A big part of that is he does show good vision and is able to see the holes and even see down the field to running lanes that he needs to get to.
Concerns about McFarland
While McFarland does enjoy good breakaway speed and explosive burst he’s a limited runner who seems to fit mainly in a zone blocking scheme. That’s not a bad thing as going to one of those teams may allow him to thrive, but it also eliminates some teams from considering him. Based on his 5’9 198lb frame and running style he does not look like someone you are going to run between the tackles on a regular basis. And lastly the NFL is a passing league and the premiere backs are those who can be weapons out catching the ball. We don’t know how good McFarland is as a receiver with only 7 catches this past season while not even running many routes.
Anthony McFarland’s NFL Draft Outlook
Anthony McFarland Jr. has the traits to be a successful running back in the league. His combination of speed, vision and explosive burst reminds me some of Jamaal Charles, Dalvin Cook and even Devonta Freeman. Last year Darrell Henderson was taken with the 70th pick (early round 3) and that is exactly where McFarland Jr. could go at his current rate, but if he can show that he can also be a weapon in the passing game there is no reason that he can’t go in the second round or even sneak his way into the bottom of the first round.