The Buffalo Bills will certainly look to address the quarterback position early in the 2018 NFL draft, but they also need to nail the selections they make in the mid-to-late rounds in order to fill out a roster that hopes to make a second-straight playoff appearance. One such prospect the Bills would be wise to utilize a Day Two pick on is Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage.
Kalen Ballage’s ability to be a total weapon wasn’t as effective in 2017 – Kalen only had 760 yards from scrimmage running and receiving with six touchdowns, compared to his 1005 yard 2016 with 15 touchdowns – however the tools are there to be a great compliment to a 1a back in the NFL.
Ballage is 6-foot-1 and 229 pounds and runs a 4.46 40 yard dash. My dude can move. While his ability as a running back (see below) is at times hit or miss depending on the type of play, the tools are there for Ballage to be an effective component in a scheme, similar to an Alvin Kamara or Jerick McKinnon.
Ballage is a better runner on the outside than in the scrum down in and down out; however, he’s got the strength and explosion to make a team pay if he can get those legs pumping:
Getting Ballage to the perimeter is a great thought – as his speed once he turns that corner is going to make a lot of NFL defenses pay.
Ballage has spent most of his time being outside of the line trying to receive than trying to block. And to me, in the NFL on third down the play wouldn’t be to have him at running back – rather he’s better as a receiver in the slot or outside to force the defense to make a decision on how to cover him.
Receiving Ability/After the Catch
Potential fit With Buffalo Bills
Ballage would be a great fit in the scheme on offense because of his versatility. In fact, given the way the running back room is aligned for 2018, Ballage would actually be a better fit as a slot receiver for the Bills at this time. His ability to play in the backfield and catch in space would be an asset to whoever is under center for Buffalo.