This kid’s name says all you need to know about what you expect from a running back! Kenneth Gainwell of Memphis is a really interesting prospect.
Key Numbers: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
|HT: 5’11”||WT: 191||Wingspan: N/A||Arm: N/A||Hand: N/A|
Odds and Ends
Originally from Yazoo City, Mississippi… Played just two years of college ball after opting out of 2020… Redshirted after first four games as a freshman… Started at QB for three years at Yazoo City HS where he led the team to the State Finals… Accounted for 104 touchdowns during his career there… Was majoring in Criminal Justice when he opted for the Draft… Ran for 1,459 yards and 13 TDs in 2019. He also added 51 receptions as well.
What’s to Like
Love the versatility as he can line up just about anywhere in the formation… Very patient runner who will not rush to turn it up earlier than needed… Smart player, knows when to get out of bounds or stay in bounds… Really impressive burst through the line… Catches the ball well and gets up field with it… An ideal wildcat QB because of his patience and decision-making… Wicked spin move that creates space and eludes tacklers… Carries the ball high making it difficult for defenders to pop it out.
Will need to work hard on route running if used out wide as he was in college… Looks very much like a former QB when blocks. That has to get better period… He doesn’t consistently make people miss… Pass protection is going to need serious work… Is a bit thin in terms of his frame, could use some added bulk… Not a guy you are going to immediately depend on in goal line or short yardage situations.
There are some really serious comparisons between Gainwell and current Dallas (and former Memphis ) Running Back Tony Pollard. He’s done a very nice job any time he’s gotten the call for the Cowboys and Gainwell could find himself a similar role. I’m not sure how well he’ll run traditionally between the tackles but he could be really effective in outside zones. I really like his potential as a third down back early in his career because he can line up in the backfield or out wide and he catches the ball well too. The potential is there for him to be a three-down back.
My Draft Grade
I will not be a bit surprised if this kid goes much earlier than expected. Yes, he’s had a year away from football but perhaps this will actually benefit him. He is literally a threat anywhere he lines up on the field. Good offensive coordinators will find ways to use him as a runner, a receiver and even a thrower from time to time. Those threats put serious pressure on opposing defenses. Throw in his ‘home run’ threat and I think he goes in the late second round.
Film Watched: vs Ole Miss (2019), vs Penn State (2019), vs Temple (2019), vs Tulsa (2019)
Stats courtesy profootballnetwork.com