By Adam Aniba
Draft Prospect Spotlight; Rhamondre Stevenson
Washington waited until Round 3 of the 2020 draft to address running back by drafting Antonio Gibson, who was predominately used in the receiving game while at Memphis. Used as a two-headed attack along with J.D. McKissic, the duo had marginal success in 2020. Both Gibson and McKissic are best utilized in the passing game, although Gibson showed the upside to be a dominant runner in 2020. If Ron Rivera's past in Carolina was any indication, he isn't done adding to the running back room yet.
With more pressing needs at other positions, it's unlikely Washington selects a running back during rounds 1-2 of the draft, leaving the window open for a late Day 2-3 possible addition. In this installment of Draft Prospect Spotlight, Oklahoma Rhamondre Stevenson was evaluated and is projected as an ideal round 3-4 running back for OC Scott Turner's system.
3rd-4th Round Grade | RB | Oklahoma
Height: 5 feet, 11 5/8 inches
Weight: 227 lbs
Wingspan: 75 inches
Arm length: 30 inches
Hand size: 9 inches
Career Stats (19 games) 165 att 1,180 yards rushing 13 td's 10.6 ypc with 28 rec 298 yards 10.6 YPR
2020 Stats (6 games) 101 att 665 yards rushing 7 td's 6.6 ypc with 18 rec 211 yards 11.7 YPR
During his time at Centennial HS in Las Vegas, NV, Rhamondre Stevenson was named Las Vegas Sun Player of the Year and 1st Team All-State in 2016 as a junior, recording 1,457 yards rushing on only 171 att for 19 td's.
During his two seasons at Cerritos College (2017-2018) Stevenson gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic backs on the JUCO level with 2,612 yards rushing on 290 carriers for 19 td's and a 9.0 ypc, with another 213 yards receiving for 2 td's, drawing the attention on Oklahoma HC Lincoln Riley.
Stevenson was given the opportunity to be a rotational back in Riley's system in 2019, showing the same hard nosed running he displayed on the JUCO level. Unfortunately, prior to the 2020 Peach Bowl vs LSU, Stevenson was suspended by the NCAA for a drug test violation. The suspension would carry over to the following season limiting the Sooner RB to only 6 games. For those concerned over Stevenson's potential for further drug related issues, it was clarified that Stevenson tested positive for marijuana, which is no longer a suspendable offense under the NFL CBA.
During Oklahoma's Pro Day, the Sooner running back showed why NFL teams looking to add a "change of pace" back, should consider drafting him; Broad Jump: 9.4", Vertical: 31.5", 40-Yard: 4.63 sec, 20 Shuttle: 4.47 sec, Three-Cone: 7.02 sec Bench: 15 reps.
Tale of the Tape
Shifty with little wasted movement
Above average receiver with soft hands
Although he won't outrun many in the open field, his elite understanding of cut-back angles will lead to big runs on the next level
Ideal zone runner, but has the quickness and decisiveness to be utilized in a multitude of schemes
Quicker than fast
Difficult to bring down on initial contact
Although a bit of an upright runner, he can get small in tight spaces
Fit in Washington
With Washington and Rivera using 4 signal callers in 2020, an investment in the run game seems imminent. Gibson will likely get more opportunities in the passing game with a bigger role in the offense and could use a bruising power back to help shoulder the load. Sooners running back Rhamondre Stevenson is viewed as a slower back, whose upside is best suited in a situational role in a zone run scheme. Some of that might be true, but fit and coaching can be a large determining factor for a young prospect, particularly at running back.
Although veteran RB J.D. McKissic showed promise with another veteran in Lamar Miller being added, the draft will be an opportunity to add later round talent that slipped for one reason or another. When Washington's pick in the 4th Round #124 comes up, the Sooner running back would be a great value if still on the board.
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*Measurements from the Senior Bowl and Draft grades cross referenced with The Draft Network*