Photo of Samaje Perine

Combine Results

Grade
5.68 ?
  • 4.65 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 30 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 33.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 116.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.26 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.37 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.71 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

  • 5'11" Height
  • 30 3/8" Arm Length
  • 233LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands

Overview

Former Wisconsin and current Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon felt good about beating LaDainian Tomlinson's NCAA single-game rushing record in 2014. One week later, Perine (pronounced p-rine) decided he wanted the records, racking up 427 yards and five touchdowns against Kansas. The true freshman had a great year overall, receiving third-team All-American and Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors (as well as first-team all-conference) with 1,713 yards and 21 touchdowns. Perine also earned first-team All-Big 12 accolades with 1,349 yards and 16 scores as a sophomore. Although teammate Joe Mixon took some of Perine's carries in 2016, the junior ran for 1,060 yards and 12 scores in a second-team all-conference effort. His mom named him Samaje (sam-AH-jay) to keep the name "Sam" in the family but add something special. Scouts think his talent is special, as well.

Analysis

Strengths

Has build and toughness to handle a heavy workload if called on. Gets a deep press off line of scrimmage before making his cut. Able to fit into the crevices between the tackles and come out the other side. Very powerful through his hips and thighs. Creates for himself with power. Arm tacklers won't like the results. Drives through initial contact and continues to churn out additional yardage. Pad level is always where it is supposed to be. Delivers a message when he finishes runs. Short yardage winner and doesn't have much wasted motion as a runner. Decisive in his downhill charge but does so with quality vision. Not a typical third down option, but has the soft hands out of backfield to be a solid screen and check-down option.

Weaknesses

All bully with very little ballerina as a runner. Lacks loose hips to make sudden lateral escapes or take advantage of a late opening. Doesn't have the big burst to jet from first to third level. Low-knee action keeps his lower body covered with hands and tackle attempts. Has prolonged gear-down to make open field cuts. Needs a clear path early in the rep. Missing restart quickness when slowed by initial defender. Play speed is very average. Could have troubles getting to the edge against NFL speed. Has had ankle injuries in past that could require additional scrutiny at the combine. All bully with very little ballerina as a runner. Lacks loose hips to make sudden lateral escapes or take advantage of a late opening. Doesn't have the big burst to jet from first to third level. Low-knee action keeps his lower body covered with hands and tackle attempts. Has prolonged gear-down to make open field cuts. Needs a clear path early in the rep. Missing restart quickness when slowed by initial defender. Play speed is very average. Could have troubles getting to the edge against NFL speed. Has had ankle injuries in past that could require additional scrutiny at the combine.

Draft Projection

Round 3

Sources Tell Us

"I love Perine. Great kid, hard worker, reliable. He's a team-first player who will fit into a committee approach or can handle all the work. He will be a solid pro back." - AFC National scout

NFL Comparison

Michael Turner

Bottom Line

Perine is a physical runner who can create additional yardage through power and can be a complimentary "banger" for a team who already has a slasher. Perine doesn't have the burst or play speed to be a dynamic lead back, but he can handle a heavy workload if needed and he should become an immediate short-yardage and goal-line option.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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