Rashard Mendenhall Scouting Report
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Rashard Mendenhall Scouting Report

Position: RB
Conference: Big10
School: Illinois Fighting Illini
Year/Status: Drafted
Jersey Number: #5
Height & Weight: 5'11 - 224 lbs.
Drafted 1.23 in 2008 by PIT

2008 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:
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Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois

Rashard Mendenhall had a breakout season in 2007. No one game showcased his talent better than the Rose Bowl versus USC, where he rushed for 155 yards (9.1 yards per carry) and 1 TD. Mendenhall also caught 5 passes for 59 yards in that game. The junior running back from Illinois was a top recruit out of high school, but had shown only flashes of his potential before this year. Mendenhall's 262 carries for 1681 yards this season helped Illinois control the clock and chew up yardage on opposing defenses. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry this season, behind an inexperienced offensive line. He scored 17 rushing touchdowns in 2007 and also caught 2 touchdown passes. At 5'11" and 224 lbs., Mendenhall has the build of an NFL back. He runs compact and with a good pad level. Mendenhall produces plenty of power when hitting the hole, as evident by his career average of 6.4 yards per carry. He runs with great patience, picking his way behind the line until he finds the hole and bursts through. Mendenhall also possesses good speed for a powerfully built back. He can outrun defenders in the open field and make tacklers miss him in space. Mendenhall catches the ball well out of the back field, having caught 34 passes this year for 318 yards. Mendenhall's decision to declare for the draft leaves him as one of the top 3 running backs available. He should be selected in the first round. Rashard Mendenhall's performance at the NFL Combine was overshadowed by a few other players, but was spectacular none the less. Mendenhall ran the 40 yard dash in 4.45 seconds and did 26 reps on the bench press, displaying the combination of speed and power that have scouts drooling over him. Mendenhall's outstanding combine solidified him as a mid first round pick. Rashard Mendenhall ran only position specific drills at his pro day, but according to NFL.com, looked very sharp. Mendenhall decided to keep his outstanding numbers from the combine in all areas. The only question about Mendenhall is his change of direction speed. He declined to run the three cone drill or the short shuttle at the combine. Mendenhall should come off the board in the mid first round, possibly to Detroit, Chicago, Arizona or Houston.

Last Updated Apr-02-2008 by Randall Weida

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