Jhurell Pressley (RB, New Mexico)
This kid is how you define special yet underappreciated. If you ignore the school and look at this kid’s pure skills and abilities you would see he is arguably one of the top RB’s in this draft. His college numbers are so impressive yet somehow we don’t hear his name when they talk about this classes RB’s. He is coming into the draft as a redshirt senior and will be mature at 24 years old which I believe is a good thing. Jhurell is how you define an athletic freak and his skill set shows it. He can do a lot of things for every organization in the NFL; he isn’t just a RB, he can also be a special teams ace. He has played successfully as a gunner on punt teams, is talented as a returner, and is versatile on kick off, punt, and kick off return teams. Pressley is also experienced working out of the wildcat formation.
Pressley SOMEHOW wasn’t invited to the NFL combine. He is 5’10”, 206 LBS, he ran a 4.38 40 yard dash, 4.06 second short shuttle, and a 6.92 second 3 cone in his pro day. According the some of these so called “experts” Pressley is a 6th round pick who can be a backup in the NFL. Let me tell you how WRONG they are. Pressley has impressed me nonstop. Before I get into his stats, we were fortunate enough to interview him (available here). He is a classy kid with a great character to him. He won’t be one of those off the field issues guys that have been getting into the NFL lately. Jhurell is a monster athletically I mean he is built like Ray Lewis out of college yet he is a RB with great speed. His ability to see the holes and burst through them reminds me of Devonta Freeman. We all saw what happened Freeman didn’t really get a shot to show his skills they drafted Tevin Coleman he got hurt, then Freeman explodes and now everyone knows who he is. GM’s or Coaches or heck even players in an organization reading this, tell your GM and drafting experts to focus on Jhurell before your organization becomes one who misses out on a future star.
I am going to post his numbers in college and they are impressive yet to me they don’t even speak the full story and let me tell you why afterwards. His career stats at New Mexico are as follows. He posted 2,724 Rushing yards, in only 394 attempts, averaging 6.9 yards per carry, 35 career rushing TD’s, 202 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, 11.2 yards per reception. In 2014 he ran for 1,083 yards and posted a monstrous 9.5 yards per carry. Lance Zierlein is baffled by the lack of coverage that Pressley has received so far heading through the draft process, and so are we.
If you're curious about Pressley as a player, watch the tape. Jhurell Pressley has great vision on the field. He fights hard for every yard. Jhurell Pressley is a big play threat who can break a long run any time the chance is given. At worst, he projects as a third down back and return man in the NFL, but his work ethic and talent makes me think that he will develop into something far more. He is extremely passionate about the game, having played since six yeas old. He is an extremely hard working, driven prospect who describes football as his life. His career was threatened by a bad blood clot that nearly ended his career. He overcame that challenge, comparing it to one a fight. In his words, " I took on this blood clot like a fight. I lift my chin, plant my feet, and took a brace as I knew that this will be a long fight. As a player it put my life into perspective to know that any day can be your last snap." This is not a player that will crack when facing adversity. Happily, the blood clot was removed and is no longer a threat, but an experience like that will definitely make a player mentally strong.
Jhurell is a great kid and a great player. His character, his physical talent and skills, and his versatility mak him a player who should be seen as a top prospect that could shine. Now look I know the big names are continuously getting pushed out by the media but I need to ask why is Jhurell not one of those big names?!?!? Look GM’s meet this kid, watch his film, look at his stats, look at all the other ways he has contributed to his team. This kid in my eyes talent wise should go as one of the top 3 backs and is a top 2 round pick. The negatives people say about him are crazy, they worry about his wear and tear, yet AP who has been running nonstop through his whole career is past 30 and still is producing crazy numbers. These scouts look for the simplest answers to a reason to say no to a player. He is as versatile as they get, he is extremely athletic, and he is excited to learn whatever offensive scheme he gets in and will show how talented he is. He doesn’t have problems with handling the ball either, aka little to no fumbles on the way. He is an extremely tough player, both mentally and physically, and works hard to overcome challenges whenever and wherever they might arise. He will be an asset to any NFL roter.
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