A running back who figures to get a lot of teams attention in the coming weeks is Wisconsin running back Montee Ball. Ball is a 5'11 215lb running back who had a great career at Wisconsin. According to CBSSports.com Ball ranks as the 4th overall running back prospect, and the 78th overall prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft. Montee Balls pre-combine 40 time has been clocked at 4.57. Ball projects as a early second day selection, and could potentially challenge to be the first running back taken.
Montee Ball has been one of the better college running backs the last two seasons. In 4 years at Wisconsin Ball totaled 5,140 yards rushing, 77 rushing TD's, and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. Ball as also added 59 receptions for 598 yards and 6 TDs. Ball had a great junior season in 2011. Ball totaled 1,923 yards on the ground and 33 TDs. He also added 24 receptions for 306 yards and 6 TDs. He totaled 2,229 yards from scrimmage and 39 TDs. His senior season wasn't that bad either. He totaled 1,830 yards rushing and 22 TDs.
NCAA's career touchdown leader (83) ... second in school history and tops among returning rushers in the country with 5,140 career rushing yards ... first all-time at UW with 83 career touchdowns and 77 career rushing touchdowns ... averaged 5.60 yards per rush, third in UW history ... second all-time at UW with 26 career 100-yard rushing games ... third in school history with 5,738 career all-purpose yards ... second with 924 career rushing attempts ... first in school history with 500 points ... scored at least one touchdown in 21-straight games (55 total TDs in that span) ... became first player in history to run for at least 100 yards in three consecutive Rose Bowls also became first player ever to score TDs in three different Rose Bowl games
Honors and Awards
Doak Walker Award winner ... Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year ... Grange-Griffin Big Ten Championship Game MVP ... consensus first-team All-Big Ten ... first-team All-American (AP, ESPN, AFCA, Walter Camp Foundation, Pro Football Weekly) ... second-team All-American (CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated)
Heisman Trophy finalist ... consensus first-team All-American ... finalist for Doak Walker Award ... Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year ... Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year ... winner of Chicago Tribune Silver Football ... won the Archie Griffin and Jim Brown Awards from the Touchdown Club of Columbus ... unanimous, consensus first-team All-Big Ten ... won team's Jimmy Demetral Team MVP
NFL.com Draft Profile on Montee Ball:
Reliable, hard-working zone back. Presses the line of scrimmage, and generally has good vision and feel to find the cutback lane or cut away from penetrating defenders. Willing to run into compressed spaces and doesn’t worry about contact. Hard runner. Stays patient behind pulling guards and fullbacks, has enough quickness to break off a run if the space is available to him. Lowers his pads on contact, keeps his legs moving to gain extra yards against glancing blows. Effective cut blocker in the hole and willing to stand up to blitzers when protecting the quarterback. Natural receiver, adjusts to throws over the middle and in the flat, continues downfield fluidly. Sidesteps or stiff-arms oncoming defenders in space after the catch. Good balance and low center of gravity, can sink low and spin out of tackles. Quick enough to get around the corner on perimeter runs.
Smaller back with a lot of wear on his tires. Possesses average overall size and straight-line speed. One speed runner who another gear to accelerate once in space, and doesn’t have elite agility to elude quicker defenders. Lacks burst in and out of cuts. Does not have pure power to move piles or free himself through better tackle attempts. Volume runner who isn’t overly creative or powerful, and benefits from plenty of clear entry runs into the second level. Cited in May 2012 for trespassing after failing to leave a porch when asked during Wisconsin’s annual Mifflin Street Block Party. Injured after being assaulted by multiple assailants on campus in August 2012.
NFL COMPARISON: Stevan Ridley
CBSSports.com on Montee Ball:
With more than 600 touches on his collegiate resume, Ball has put a lot of tread on his tires and shocked many when he decided to return to school for his senior season. But as long as he stays healthy, he will be one of the highest-rated backs next April and could hear his name in the first few rounds.
COMPARES TO: Curtis Martin, ex-Patriots/Jets -- While perhaps not possessing any one dominant trait, Ball's all-around game brings back memories of another No. 28 - the 2012 Hall of Fame inductee Martin.
NEPatriotsDraft.com Scouting Report on Montee Ball:
+Excellent size and bulk, very well put together.
+Strong upper body, uses arms to fight off would be tacklers.
+Balanced through the hole, low center of gravity.
+Looks in excellent shape, gets better as the game progresses.
+Quickness and agility have improved over his career.
-Not an explosive guy in tight areas, builds power/speed more gradually.
-Will not wow you on the stopwatch, probably a high 4.5, low 4.6 guy.
+Runs very angry, not afraid to be physical.
+Attacks the hole with a vengeance, finishes each run.
+Has a nasty stiff arm and can straight run you over, not a guy that you arm tackle.
+Not a dancer, isn’t going to lose yards on many carries.
+Has some elusiveness in the open field, showed an improved juke move from 2011.
+Patient runner, sets up blocks well.
+Record setting production at the collegiate level.
-Hard running style brings up durability concerns – multiple concussions in his history.
-Inconsistent vision, has often missed cutback lanes or opportunities to bounce the ball outside.
-Huge workload – closing in on 900 career carries at Wisconsin.
+Effective running routes split wide and from the backfield.
+Comfortable in the screen game, sets up his blocks and gets north/south.
+Catches the ball with his hands, looks it in before cutting.
+Makes the correct reads in blitz pickup.
-Inconsistent in blocking effort and technique.
+Team Captain for multiple years.
+Hard work ethic, praised by teammates and coaches.
+Respected in the locker room and off the field.
-Trespassing citation and some fights where he was cleared of any wrongdoing are negligible concerns.
Montee Ball is a guy i'm interested in. He obviously has had a great collegiate career, but will his game translate into the NFL? He has had the benefit of playing behind that great Wisconsin offensive line, so you have to think about that. My main concern is the amount of carries he has already taken. He's up 924 career carries in college, that's alot of wear and tear on his legs. I would be okay with drafting Montee Ball, but i'm just worried that he will start to wear down quicker than some other prospects. He is talented though. The Broncos could take him as high as #28 to late second round.