NAME: L.J. Scott
SCHOOL: Michigan State
POSITION: Running back
JERSEY: No. 3
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
Vision –Very inconsistent. For every positive rep of slow-playing his press up into the LOS, there’s a play where he out-runs his blockers or rams into the back of a blocker. As a result of inconsistencies, will not offer a lot of consistent gains against stout/disciplined fronts.
Feet/Change of Direction –Feet look heavy in instances when needing to step through or around traffic between the tackles. Struggles to plant hard and drive away from his forward momentum, instead requires more step frequency to offer changes of direction.
Durability –Pretty inconsistent workload throughout the course of college career. Durability came to a head in 2018 with an ankle injury that cost him the vast majority of his season. Has had stretches of playing bell-cow back but never for a full season.
Balance –Contract balance is effective, does well to absorb body blows and pinball back into some space. Capable of recollecting his base/feet after blows and continue pressing up the field. Lateral balance requires a more lethargic pace, however.
Pass Protection –Has all the required tools to be an effective pass protector but comes off as soft and passive, particularly when needing to step out onto the edge vs. free rushers. Won’t use hands and feet freeze when defenders look to juke around him.
Elusiveness –Surprising amount of creativity with the first arriving defender, can give a little shimmy or hard head fake. Doesn’t have great long speed by any means. Lateral quickness is limited and needs momentum to play with elusiveness.
Receiving Ability –Has gotten a fair amount of play as a screen down defender and also gotten targets on swing routes, wheel and flat patterns. Does well as a check down to flip his eyes up field and create a miss for some additional yardage.
Short Yardage Skill –Pads and thick frame compliment aggressive push forward and does well to get momentum falling forward when tasked with converting short yardage. Needs to pick his feet up to stay clear of grabby defenders below the waist so he can step through trash.
Football Intelligence –Don’t get a sense that he has a consistent feel for the game. Can be very streaky from game to game and possession to possession. High experience but seems to have regressed as a player vs. his breakout season as a freshman.
Effort –Needs some added effort as a pass protector to keep his QB upright. Most definitely runs hard with the ball in his hands and looks to put his shoulder down and churn out that final available yard.
PLAYER COMPARISON – Jeremy Hill
BEST TRAIT – Short Yardage Skill
WORST TRAIT – Vision
BEST FILM – Washington State (2017)
WORST FILM – Arizona State (2017)
RED FLAGS – Durability
L.J. Scott has the opportunity to be a supplemental back at the NFL level. Scott is proficient in falling forward and grinding out a tough yard or two out of the backfield, his heavy hitting pads offer the chance to push piles and be an effective short yardage back. That said, Scott lacks the vision and the feet to be a featured back and his lackluster polish as a pass protector negates his ability to have a solid set of contributions on 3rd downs. Unlikely to thrive as featured RB.