Photo of Jay Ajayi
Grade
5.96 ?
  • 4.57 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 19 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 39.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 121.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.10 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.10 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.10 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'0" Height
  • 32" Arm Length
  • 221LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands

Analysis

Strengths

Good size and great feet. Former soccer player with sudden feet. Able to string together multiple moves at a time. Varies speeds as a runner and can call on second gear when he sees daylight. Hips and feet always in sync thanks to soccer background. Shows enough wiggle to make defenders miss and can create and improvise if creases aren't offering much. Runs with wide base and generates leg drive to push. Plays with bend and bursts through the hole with low pad level. Reliable yards-after-contact back. Accelerates into contact on second level. True weapon out of backfield with adequate hands and good feel for maximizing each catch in space. Twists and turns and fights to fall forward. Asked to be physical, downhill runner between tackles and he obliged. Shows good blitz recognition. Showed mental toughness and character, coming back from deep in the doghouse for October 2011 arrest.

Weaknesses

Gets too cute at times looking to sift laterally from gap to gap as he approaches line of scrimmage. Needs to run with more urgency to perimeter. Can get out-flanked when opportunity to turn corner was previously available. Average feel through the hole. Runs into defenders he should be able to avoid. Heavy workload in 2014 with 398 total touches (28.4 per game). Ball-security concerns with 11 fumbles over last 597 carries. Pass-protection technique needs improvement. Tore his ACL in 2011. Was arrested for stealing sweatpants in 2011 and faced long road of severe punishment from then-coach Chris Petersen.

Sources Tell Us

"Of all the backs in this draft, Ajayi might be my favorite because he can do everything you want from a back and you don't have to find a complementary back to pick up the slack for him in any one area." -- AFC scout in charge of grading running backs

NFL Comparison

Marshawn Lynch

Bottom Line

While the comparison to Marshawn Lynch might be a little much considering Lynch's exploits in the NFL, Ajayi's running style and body type are very similar to Lynch's and Ajayi features an improving stiff arm and physicality that has become Lynch's calling card. Ajayi has the ability to play all three downs while mashing in short yardage and near the goal line. Scouts have been quietly circling Ajayi as a second-tier running back who offers tremendous value on the second day (Rounds 2-3) of the draft.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.