Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines senior RB Jaylen Warren’s game, a running back who bears a slight physical and stylistic resemblance to Maurice Jones-Drew but must develop the pre-snap game to maximize his potential.
A transfer from Utah State, Warren has generated strong production for the Cowboys this year and he’s earning the attention of the scouts. Warren is a well-built back with a low center of gravity who presents a tough tackle for opposing defenders.
He has enough speed to reach the secondary and extend plays that can flip the field when he earns the ball in space. When combining these traits, it’s easy to see that Warren has potential as an every-down back.
In order for that potential to become a reality, Warren must develop a better understanding between his offense’s play designs and the way the defense is aligned to stop it. This is where Warren’s skill during the pre-snap process comes into play and could be a pivotal difference between earning pre-draft attention and having a long-term NFL career.
A lack of pre-snap diagnostic skill is a common point of inexperience among college running backs. Still, this play above has a pre-snap/post-snap key with the middle linebacker’s position relative to Warren’s center-guard double-team up the middle that should dictate his decision-making for the play.
It’s a play most NFL starters will approach well that Warren must improve upon.
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