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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Asim Rose

  • The Draft Network
  • January 31, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY - ASIM ROSE

Kentucky running back Asim Rose projects as a rotational back at the NFL level. Rose is a one-speed runner who won’t consistently break chunk gains off at the NFL level but has the desirable size and illustrates sufficient contact balance to serve as a tough between-the-tackles runner if a team relies on a series of backs to collectively handle backfield duties. Rose ended his college career on a high note, being named the 2021 Gator Bowl MVP despite only finishing as the team’s second-leading rusher this past season. Rose entered the 2020 season with an added emphasis on making an impact in the passing game, but his overall profile is that of an early-down back and I don’t foresee many landing spots that would offer him a featured role. He finished the season with just 10 receptions for 83 yards (and 30 receptions in 44 career games). Rose finished his career 10th on the all-time rushing list at Kentucky. Rose has a top-shelf profile off the field, having achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and serving as a guest speaker for the local Boy Scout troops in his spare time. 

Ideal Role: Bottom-of-roster depth RB.

Scheme Fit: Inside zone heavy rushing attack.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Auburn (2020), Tennessee (2020), Florida (2020), North Carolina State (2020)

Best Game Studied: North Carolina State (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Tennessee (2020)

Vision: Rose does well to anticipate the need for a move in the backfield, but his ability to generate false steps and his success in creating gaps is fairly limited. He’s attentive to landmarks to press for in zone and generally does well to stay on schedule in the backfield. 

Footwork: Rose has modest foot speed but his steps are calculated and, if playing in shallow angles, can work around trash underneath his feet. He will stay balanced coming out of the mesh point and is well balanced in the backfield to spring into action if lateral cuts make themselves available. 

Contact Balance: Rose is a bigger-bodied back and his ability to absorb blows will allow him to fall forward and gain some added yardage on his between-the-tackles runs. He’s not overly fluid or sudden with his lower half, however, so his body contortions won’t result in regained footing with consistency. 

Durability: Rose enters the NFL without ever having been charged with serving as the primary ball-carrier and a significant number of games played without a major workload. There should be little concern with durability at the pro level, especially when factoring in a more specialized role in a pro running back stable. 

Explosiveness: Rose has one gear and his slow-burn long speed will allow defenders to challenge him to the hole, which makes him a better fit for zone systems that allow him to let defenders declare before cutting into a gap. His odds of breaking through the second level of the defense with any level of consistency are low. 

Versatility: Expect him to step into a short-yardage role if he’s going to collect snaps early in his pro career. I wouldn’t task him with playing on third downs as a pass-catcher and his overall athleticism makes him doubtful as a special teams contributor as well. 

Elusiveness: Rose is not an overly imaginative runner and his elusiveness comes down to either power or shallow wiggle with a head fake. The success here comes from being able to run through soft challenges, but his consistency to break pursuit angles will be tested by NFL athletes. 

Ball Security: Ball security has been an issue throughout the course of his last several years going back to 2018. He’ll have a short leash in this regard moving forward and too many rapid occurrences could lead to a roster transaction that isn’t in his favor. His big frame and big body provide a significant strike zone for tacklers to rake and attack the football. 

Passing Down Skills: Rose entered the 2020 college season hoping to add more to his plate in the passing game, but he simply lacks appeal as an athlete to run away from coverage or separate down the field. He’s got below average receiving production and I would expect his pro team to prioritize getting a more dynamic and natural pass-catcher for passing down reps. 

Discipline: Rose will follow the script in the backfield and is not going to wreck drives with negative runs that attempt to break contain or double back across his frame. He’s a fairly north-south runner who understands his limitations. 

Prospect Comparison: Ke’Shawn Vaughn (2020 NFL Draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Kyle Crabbs: 63.5/100

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