Photo of Ben Malena
Grade
5.09 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 5'8" Height
  • 193LBS. Weight

Overview

2013: Started in all 13 games and had 10 rushing touchdowns. 2012: Played in all 13 games and started eight. 2011: Saw action in 13 games and started in season finale after injuries to Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael. Had 87 yards rushing and two touchdowns in Meineke Car Care Bowl against Northwestern. 2010: Saw limited action as running back and kick returner.

Analysis

Strengths

Has a shredded physique. Accelerates smoothly. Quick laterally. Scoots through creases and rips off yards in chunks. Good hands to catch throws off his body. Trustworthy in pass protection and alert in blitz pickup -- demonstrates good vision and blocks bigger than his size. Special-teams experience. Was a 21-year-old senior. Special intangibles -- hardworking, highly respected, team-first leader who is passionate about the game and competes.

Weaknesses

Is undersized and not built to pound between the tackles. Has some hip tightness. Limited power. Doesn't string moves together. Can do a better job pressing the line and being more decisive. Needs to learn to avoid direct contact. Can be more protective of the football -- carries too loosely and does not always cover up on contact.

Draft Projection

Priority free agent

Bottom Line

Compactly built, quicker-than-fast short stepper whose size limits his role, but he has the agility, elusiveness, hands and competitiveness to make someone's decision to cut him a difficult one, especially given his special-teams utility. Will interview well, be an asset in the facility and challenge for a complementary/third-down role.
-Nolan Nawrocki
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.

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