CJ Verdell aligns at running back mostly from the pistol. He is a good athlete who plays with good balance and agility. In the passing game, he is willing in pass pro. However, due to his diminutive size, he isn’t always effective. This could also limit his value on passing downs in the NFL. However, he does a good job catching the football as a safety valve and is a legit threat when he gets out in space due to his lateral quickness and speed. In the run game, he runs with a good base. He is a short but not small back who sometimes has a propensity to get outside to use his speed. He has good vision and footwork to make weak-arm cuts against defenders. In the NFL, he would suffice as a change of pace back who could be a good complement to someone with a different type of skill set.
Ideal Role: Change of pace, complementary back.
Scheme Fit: Heavy zone-blocking run scheme.
Written by Drae Harris
Games watched: USC (2020) UCLA (2021), California (2020), Fresno State (2021)
Best Game Studied: Fresno State (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Cal (2020)
Vision: He runs with good vision and instinctive feel. He knows when to cut back on a defender’s weak arm. He also is good in zone-read situations from the pistol.
Footwork: He runs with good footwork. He keeps his feet churning upon contact. He also displays quick feet to add to his elusiveness in space.
Contact Balance: He is a short but not small running back. He runs with a good base and low center of gravity. He has surprisingly good balance upon initial contact.
Durability: He has been somewhat durable in college. However, due to his diminutive stature, limiting his touches in the NFL is the key to maximizing his talent.
Explosiveness: He has good explosive speed. He quickly gets up to top speed when out in the open field. He is rarely caught from behind and is a big-play threat whenever he touches the football.
Versatility: He lacks true versatility. He should be predominantly used as a change of pace running back who complements another piece.
Elusiveness: He displays elusiveness when he gets to the second level. He has very good lateral quickness and agility, making him tough to tackle in space. He also has breakaway speed to hit the home run.
Ball Security: There is nothing currently alarming about his ball security. However, due to his stature, this is something that should be monitored in the NFL.
Passing Down Skills: He has the ability to catch check-downs and be a threat in space. However, pass pro will be an issue for him in the NFL due to his size.
Discipline: He runs with discipline in spurts. However, you can see his penchant for the big play by wanting to get outside on runs.
TDN Consensus: 68.00/100 (Sixth Round Value)