Fumble Rate For RB Prospects

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Fumble Rate For RB Prospects

Postby GeMatt » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:20 am

When breaking down running back prospects, evaluators examine several traits, most notably athleticism, power and vision. But one skill that can be overlooked is ball security and overall dependability toting the rock. High interception totals are worrisome for quarterbacks and fumbles are the same for running back prospects, players who are expected to touch the ball approximately 20 times per game.

It's no coincidence that some of the best running backs in the NFL also rank among the league's best at holding onto the football as Matt Forte, Arian Foster and Le'Veon Bell led the NFL in ball security in 2014. Among the top-10 rushers in the NFL last season, the average fumble rate was 140.3, in other words, an average of one fumble every 140.3 offensive touches.

Ball security can be improved, but when it comes to NFL Draft prospects, fumble rate can be a telling statistic. Knile Davis entered the NFL with a poor fumble rate out of Arkansas and for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014, he had four fumbles on 150 offensive touches, fumbling once every 37.5 touches.

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah has the worst fumble rate among running backs in this year's class, fumbling once every 35.4 offensive touches. It should be noted that his fumbling totals decreased every year, but a concern nonetheless.

Below is the career fumble rate for running back prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft class:

35.4 – Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
52.2 – Kenny Hilliard, LSU
54.4 – Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
62.2 – T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
62.6 – Jay Ajayi, Boise State
63.2 – Matt Jones, Florida
72.3 – Tevin Coleman, Indiana
74.5 – David Cobb, Minnesota
77.5 – David Johnson, Northern Iowa
80.0 – Javorius Allen, USC
85.0 – Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.)
87.3 – Mike Davis, South Carolina
91.5 – Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
92.7 – Karlos Williams, Florida State
123.2 – Jeremy Langford, Michigan State
125.0 – Terrence Magee, LSU
134.4 – Zach Zenner, South Dakota State
136.0 – Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn
156.3 – Dominique Brown, Louisville
191.7 – Todd Gurley, Georgia
619.0 – Malcolm Brown, Texas
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