CJ Verdell aligned at running back for Oregon's spread offensive attack. He is a short but not “small” back who has a compact build. He is a violent, downhill runner who gets north and south in a hurry. He runs bigger than his size would suggest and does a good job finishing runs. He keeps his feet churning upon contact and runs with a low center of gravity. In the passing game, he is a threat out of the backfield and can make some things happen in space. He struggles in pass protection and will need to improve there to have a bigger role in the NFL.
Ideal Role: Backup, change-of-pace RB.
Scheme Fit: Wide zone running scheme.
Vision: He runs with adequate vision. He typically sticks his foot in the ground and gets north and south. He doesn’t look to dance, but generally takes what the defense gives him.
Footwork: He displays the footwork necessary to be a productive back in the NFL. He shows this with his open-field moves in space.
Contact Balance: He runs tough and shows moments of good contact balance. This is suitable for the collegiate ranks. However, due to his size, his contact balance projects as an issue at the next level.
Durability: He projects as having less than ideal durability. He is not a “big back” and he has a physical and violent running style. He may be susceptible to a lot of straight-ahead hits.
Explosiveness: He demonstrates good explosion with the ball in his hands. He is a downhill runner who runs physical and violent. He also does a good job of finishing runs.
Versatility: He lacks true versatility due to his size. As a result, he is likely a backup RB in the NFL. He may also add some value as a third-down back.
Elusiveness: He is more of a downhill, north/south runner. However, he has moments of making defenders miss in space. He also shows the short-area agility to make LBs miss in the hole.
Ball Security: His ball security has been good at that level. However, he is not a big back. As a result, ball security may be an issue for him in the NFL.
Passing Downs: He has some effectiveness as a route-runner in the passing game. However, his pass protection is an issue. He will need to improve in this regard to have value on third downs.
Discipline: He needs to improve his discipline as a runner. There are moments where he remains play-side and others where he tries to create big plays instead of taking what's given.