College Eye for the NFL Guy: Marshawn Lynch

NFL scouts think they know him, but they're wrong ...

Marshawn Lynch, tailback, California

WHAT NFL SCOUTS ARE SAYING

Pro Football Weekly: Has not suffered any severe injuries but for a back who splits time, he has missed enough action to concern NFL teams. More complete than Adrian Peterson because he was featured more in Cal's passing game. Is a solid, willing blocker. Good, not great speed to hit the corner. Has a herky-jerky running style and will pitter-patter too much in the hole. Uses too much finesse and would rather run around than through a tackler. A complete, three-down back, Lynch does not need to leave the game and does not have a lot of tread on his tires. Has never shown he can be a featured back.

Street and Smith's: Effective between the tackles. Able to break tackles and gain yards after initial contact. Shows the ability to take it the distance from anywhere on the field. Very patient. Protects the ball. Durable and will play hurt. Must overcome the nagging injuries. Plays much faster than he times and never goes down without a fight. Strong and punishing runner who needs to work on his receiving skills. Never carried a full load with California.

PROBABLY GETTING DRAFTED

First round, possibly second round if teams unexpectedly freak out. He's an unusual cat, very shy to the public and promotion but also a big "team" guy.

GUY WHO WATCHED HIM FOR THREE YEARS SAYS

First of all, it's interesting the level of disagreement between scouts regarding Lynch. I don't know what to make of it. I do think he's an effective receiver and Cal used him to great advantage in their passing game, particularly early in his career. He does get slowed down by a lot of unusual injuries and that is of legitimate concern.

If he stays hungry, Lynch should have a splendid career, particularly if he makes it onto one of the better teams where he can take a few downs off now and then and hopefully limit injuries and fatigue that kept him from being an everydown back in college.

Did I mention he drives a mean cart?

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