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Scouting Profile: Running Back Samaje Perine

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 13, 2017

Despite being behind Joe Mixon on the Oklahoma depth chart, Samaje Perine made an impression when given the opportunity.

Samaje Perine, Oklahoma

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 233 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.65 seconds
3-Cone drill: 7.26 seconds
Broad jump: 9’8”

For a running back who had limited opportunities to make an impression, it’s remarkable that Perine is as highly-touted as he is. There aren’t many backup running backs that can make it into the consensus top-eight running backs, but Perine is one of them.

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While playing for Oklahoma behind Joe Mixon, it’s easy to get lost in the mix, but Perine did enough to stand out as a player who deserves day two consideration in the NFL Draft. He’s a powerful running back that carries his body low to the ground, creating a hard target to tackle, especially when you consider he weighs close to 235 pounds. Did I mention that he did 30 reps on the bench press, while no other running back did more than 24?

There are a lot of prospects who think they’re a different running back than they are, but not Perine, he knows exactly what he is. When he’s handed the ball, he stays with his blockers, not trying to bounce runs outside very often. He’s got extremely solid lower body strength. Those who try and arm tackle him might as well take the rest of the play off, because it’s not happening. He’s very spry for a player of his stature with the ability to make someone miss, but make no mistake about it, he will run you over if necessary.

As far as Perine’s receiving skills go, there isn’t much to go off, as there were multiple factors stacked against him contributing in the passing game. One being the fact that Mixon dominated the passing game, and two, his quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t check down all that often. From the small sample size, it doesn’t appear that he’s incapable of catching the ball. He is a willing blocker, though he misses his assignments at times, leaving his quarterback vulnerable.

There are a lot of solid fundamentals to build on with Perine, and he could someday turn into a three-down running back if he can sharpen up his blocking and prove that he’s able to catch the ball out of the backfield. Until then, he’s going to provide someone a solid goal line presence with the ability to take over if the starter goes down with an injury. He can also give you a fullback-type presence on the goal line, blocking for the primary back.

Potential landing spot

If the Raiders don’t lock up someone like Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch in free agency, Perine could be a solid addition to the group they have in place. Between him, Jalen Richard, and DeAndre Washington, they’d have one of the better trios in the league. There are plenty of teams who’ll have the opportunity to draft Perine, as he projects as someone to last into at least the third round. Another team who may want to consider him? The Texans.

NFL comparison

When watching Perine plow over defenders and then juke them on the very next play, I was reminded of Christine Michael. But the more I watched, the more he reminded me of C.J. Anderson. While they aren’t used much in the receiving game, I believe they’re both capable. Both carry a solid speed/power combo despite their tank-like bodies, and have the ability to evade tacklers with good footwork. Similar to Anderson, Perine may not get a starting job right out of the gate.

To read up on some of the other high-profile NFL Draft prospects, check out the links below:

Leonard Fournette – (RB, LSU)
Joe Mixon – (RB, Oklahoma)
Christian McCaffrey – (RB, Stanford)
Dalvin Cook – (RB, Florida State)
Alvin Kamara – (RB, Tennessee)
D’Onta Foreman – (RB, Texas)
Wayne Gallman – (RB, Clemson)

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.


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