PROSPECT SUMMARY - LARRY ROUNTREE III
Larry Rountree III projects as a depth piece in an NFL stable. Rountree III offers a reliable approach to the position and an effective NFL build to endure the wear and tear of carries against pro defenders, but he’s a one-speed runner whose ability to create chunks after contact appears to only be modest. Rountree III doesn’t offer a lot of value in the passing game and therefore his ability to serve as a niche back appears to be limited as well. Rountree III has been a staple of the Missouri offensive backfield for the past four seasons; he leaves for the NFL with nearly 746 carries under his belt. He’ll be able to handle high workloads in a pinch, but his effectiveness will prompt an NFL team to have more dynamic options on hand in order to ensure more explosive plays in the running game.
Ideal Role: Bottom of roster depth RB.
Scheme Fit: Inside zone heavy rushing attack.
Written by Kyle Crabbs
Games watched: West Virginia (2019), Alabama (2020), LSU (2020), Kentucky (2020), Florida (2020), Georgia (2020)
Best Game Studied: LSU (2020)
Worst Game Studied: Georgia (2020)
Vision: He takes his track without much flair or over-exaggeration to press the line of scrimmage. His anticipation for second-level flow and waiting out B-level defenders is only adequate and more often than not he’s going to take the alley that presents itself and then look to jump-cut out of traffic from closing tacklers. I appreciate his commitment to executing and finding designed soft spaces. He bows his track appropriately out of the mesh point in IZ.
Footwork: Rountree III doesn’t illustrate particularly dynamic feet, and as a result, he’s not capable of a lot of the steep angle cuts and redirections that create added yardage onto runs. There’s not a lot of examples of him busting hard out of a gap he’s pressed and he’s generally quick to press the line to not give himself a lot of chances to spring out of his momentum.
Contact Balance: He tries to run bigger than he is, which works well for him on sloppy tackle challenges but often results in anticlimactic sticks at the end of plays where he’s looking to challenge tackles and goes down in a stalemate. He’s been cut down by slice tackles way too often for a 210-pound back. He doesn’t run especially low to the ground, so contact around his hips and thighs will get him off the rails.
Durability: Rountree III has carried an impressive workload with him throughout the course of his Missouri career and he’s also shown flashes (Kentucky 2020) of being able to handle an immense workload on a single day. Nevertheless, he’s a runner that should only be used in rotational reps, even if a starter goes down in front of him.
Explosiveness: Rountree is a one-speed runner who will struggle when pressing the LOS to stress or strain linebackers. His ability to sharply cut is modest and creating gains with agility or power figure to pose challenges at the NFL level.
Versatility: You’re not going to find any value here on third downs. He’s not overly impressive in protection and just as importantly you’re not going to defeat coverage. He took a handful of returns during his early years at Missouri, but he doesn’t project well here moving forward into the pros. He could work through gap/power or IZ rushing systems, but the ceiling is modest either way.
Elusiveness: He runs tough and with the right attitude, but Rountree III doesn’t offer the short-area agility, wiggle, or contact balance to rip up defenders. Where he’s most effective here with his free arm to extend and bump to create some added space. He’s leaped over trash around his feet and made some chunk gains too, but he lacks the short-area wiggle or long speed to shine here.
Ball Security: There are a fair number of mishaps on his tape and even more near-misses where he’s been bailed out by having a limb down or bobbling and securing the ball on the way to the ground. He won’t have a long leash when he gets on the field, so securing the football is essential to his sticking power on a roster.
Passing Down Skills: Only a smattering of opportunities here, but you’ll want an option on third down that offers more ability to run away from leverage in check-downs and a more natural hands receiver. Rountree III isn’t overly polished in protection and needs more focus on his initial punch and avoiding getting overextended.
Discipline: He’ll stay the course and take what he can. Expecting much more than expected gains based on front and alignment is going to leave you wanting more, which is why he’s a low-ceiling depth piece. But at the same time, he’s not gone rogue and lost his unit a lot of yardage, either—so what you see is what you get.
Prospect Comparison: Ke’Shawn Vaughn (2020 NFL Draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
TDN Consensus: To Be Determined
Kyle Crabbs: 67.5/100