Downtown Rams Draft Profile: Pittsburgh RB James Conner

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Our new massive series here at Downtown Rams will give you players that catch our eye. We will bring you bring you draft prospects, see where their fit is with the Rams and of course give you a player comparison

Who is the 6-foot-2 and 235 pound RB James Conner?  

Likely, a future fan favorite and a pretty darn good running back. Conner has been through hell and back. Trust me when I say that, he actually has torn his MCL and has battled cancer all to end up as the all-time rushing touchdown leader in ACC history. Try that on for size! Conner isn’t just a feel good story, he’s a legit football player. He was a captain at Pittsburgh and showed versatility and ability to punish defenses on the ground and through the air as a receiving back. I turned on the tape for Mr. Conner and I was blown away. He’s not a flashy and elite athlete, but I would bet you he has a long successful NFL career.

 

Strengths:

Great running back build

Deceptive speed

Power 

Vision

Football IQ

Great hands

Relentless and is guaranteed to run through arm tackles

Leader

Has starting RB potential

 

Weaknesses: 

Lacks home run speed

Runs too upright at times

Health concerns (Cancer & Torn MCL)

 

How does he fit with the Rams?

Conner fits with any team. Here is the deal, he may not make a ton of sense with the Rams due to the idea of there being too many cooks in the kitchen, but the fact of the matter is this. Conner is a football player who will give you his all and will be reliable enough to keep him on the field even over a guy like Todd Gurley. Conner based off the technique and knowledge of the game he possesses is likely to come in right away and be impactful, given the chance. Expect him to have a similar impact to Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard. He’s obviously not as athletically gifted, but that’s the type of production I expect to see Conner have.

 

2013-2016 Career Stats 

668 carries, 3,733 rushing yards, 5.6 yards per carry, 52 rushing touchdowns, 30 receptions, 412 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns

 

Draft Grade

4th round – 6th round 

 

Player Comparison

Stephen Davis 

The former Carolina Panther, Washington Redskin and St. Louis Ram — Stephen Davis is a good comparison for James Conner. Both, have that upright run style, deceptive speed and run with physicality and brutality. Davis had a good career in the NFL, his issue was the injury to his knee that ultimately claimed his career in 2004 after leading the postseason in rushing the year before. After his knee injury in 2004 he was never the same, hopefully Conner doesn’t deal with that. Davis actually started off as a fullback in Washington, so if Conner struggles early on he could follow Davis’ footsteps. Conner has a greally good chance to be the kind of back Davis was before he hurt his knee. They both compare well, but Davis was two inches shorter. Overall if Conner ends up having the career Davis did, then it’s safe to say he was a success. 

 

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