Rookie Prospect: Kenneth Gainwell (RB)


Projected Round to Be Drafted:

After looking at the film on Kenneth Gainwell the team at Prop Bet Fantasy grades him out as a 3 out of 5 star NFL prospect. Gainwell's attributes and concerns have him grading out as a day two talent, likely a late second to early third round pick in this springs NFL Draft.


Attributes:

* Football IQ

* Confident Play

* Physical

* Lateral Quickness

* Pass Catcher

One of the things that had us so high on Cam Akers last year was his football IQ, that he developed from being a former quarterback. Well fast forward a year to Kenneth Gainwell, who like Akers, is a former high school quarterback. This football is a key attribute to have for running backs transitioning to the pro level, as they are able to read defensive fronts pre snap. It is also clear that Gainwell plays with a lot of confidence, which is evident when he explodes through holes at the line of scrimmage, and is able to wiggle his way through with a decisive nature. Though undersized, Gainwell isn't afraid to get physical as he lowers his shoulder to initiate contact with defenders. Also Gainwell has the power to make piles move. Gainwell excels as a pass catcher, in fact we think he is the most natural pass catcher out of this running back class. Lastly Gainwell has great lateral quickness in which he is able to make dynamic cuts outside of his frame.


Concerns:

* Size

* Pass Protection


The first concern we have with Gainwell is his size, as he played for Memphis under 200 pounds. We would like to see him put on some size and get to that 205 pound mark. By bulking up, Gainwell will have a better chance of withstanding the punishment associated with the position at the pro level, and be able to remain healthy. Gainwell will also need to show he is able to stay in and pass protect, as he wasn't asked to do that very often at Memphis. He will need to prove he has that ability to truly be viewed as that every down/ featured back for an NFL offense.


NFL Player Comp:

* Miles Sanders (Philadelphia Eagles)


Much like Sanders did, Gainwell found himself behind some talented backs early in his college career. Gainwell then overtook that backfield in 2019 on his way to an unbelievable season. Gainwell also is comparable to Sanders in the fact that they both are effective ball carriers, as well as pass catchers out of the backfield.


Ideal Landing Spot:

* Atlanta Falcons


Last off season the falcons brought in former Ram running back Todd Gurley. At the start of the season that move looked brilliant, as Gurley was scoring and producing great for the Falcons. However, as the season went transitioned into the later months Gurley was a non factor. This is why we feel the Falcons will be looking for an upgrade at the position this off season. Yes, Brian Hill and Ito Smith are there, but neither has shown they can carry the load for this offense. Insert Gainwell who can be that true workhorse back if given the opportunity. His ability as a pass catcher will mesh nicely with what the Falcons have historically done, which would give Matt Ryan yet another dangerous weapon to be utilized.