Monday - Oct 19, 2020

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SCOUTING PROFILE: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Josh Jacobs, Running Back, Alabama, #8

Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 216 pounds
Birthdate (Age): 2/11/1998 (21)
Arm Length:  n/a
Hand Size: n/a
40 Time: n/a

College Stats

Year Rush Att. Rush Yds. YPC Long TD Rec. Rec. Yards TD
2018 120 640 5.3 59 11 20 247 3
2017 46 284 6.2 45 1 14 168 2
2016 86 564 6.6 56 4 14 166 0

Critical Factors

Athletic Ability

Very good overall athlete. Shows very good quickness and explosiveness when he decides to turn it on. Good agility and elusiveness as evidenced by very effective jump cuts in open field to make defenders miss. Solid balance to keep his feet despite traffic all around his lower body.

Mental Processing

Displays solid mental processing and instincts by reading the defense after the snap and knowing where to slither through the second level to maximize the yards he gains.

Competitive Toughness

Is the definition of a competitor by running super hard even with a giant lead in the fourth quarter of games. Finishes every play with authority and looks to gain every yard and advantage he can over the opposing defense. Always is fighting for extra yards.

Play Speed

Reads plays quickly for the open running lane. Shows the speed to get the edge on outside runs and turn the ball upfield despite running to the short side of the field.

Play Strength

Very good play strength and toughness to run over defenders and through tackles consistently. Rarely goes down on first contact. Keeps the legs churning and can push a pile in short yardage and goal line situations. Always seems to be falling forward at the end of a run.

Position Specifics


Good patience to wait and set up blocks at the point of attack and down the field. Good vision to be able to see open holes and cutback lanes quickly. Uses good jump cut well to avoid rushers in the backfield and rarely gets tackled for a loss. Can be a little too patient at times, passing up a decent running lane while looking for a bigger hole. Has a tendency to dance too much behind the line of scrimmage if no hole is readily available.


Very good burst to get up to full speed within a couple of steps. Knows when to be patient and when to use burst to get through the hole quickest. Gets up to full speed very quickly once he sees the open running lane.

Finish/Yards after Contact

Excellent finisher at the end of his runs often punishing any defender who tries to make a tackle on him. Uses low center of gravity well along with his naturally hard running style to run through arm tackles with ease. Shows good power to run over a linebacker coming downhill to fill a gap without losing much momentum. Punishes defenders by lowering shoulder even when running out of bounds along the sideline.

Passing Game

Displays solid, natural hands to make catches away from his body, including making multiple one-handed catches on screen passes. Solid concentration to make catch on middle screen amongst all the lineman traffic over the middle. Adequate route runner who can be slow and lazy at times if he knows he is just an outlet or checkdown guy.


Was not used as a blocker in pass protection very often. Did show solid awareness of where the pressure was coming from the few times he was in pass protection. Was able to do enough to allow his quarterback to at least get at pass off. Marginal use of hands and technique when taking on defenders. Like most young running backs will need to improve that at the next level.

Ball Security

Solid ball security as he never put the ball on the ground in the games I watched. Solid awareness to cover the ball with two hands when he is about to run through heavy traffic. Does get a little loose with the ball, allowing it to get away from his body when trying to make a defender miss or hurdle a defender.


Jacobs is a third-year junior who never started a game in his 42 career games at Alabama. He was a key contributor early in the season as the main kickoff returner throughout the year as well as a blocker on the punt coverage team early in the season. He displays a good overall package of size, athleticism and attitude to be successful in the NFL. He can step in right away and be a starter for a team due to solid vision, very good burst and good play strength and competitive toughness. Does not have a lot of mileage on his legs due to being in a loaded backfield throughout his college career. Overall, he should be an earlier key contributor and starter from the jump as a rookie.

Grade: RB1 – Top-15 pick.

Projected Round: First Round. Likely Top-25 pick.

About Nicholas Perlich

Nick is our NFL Draft Specialist and breathes all things draft.