For the first half of the 2015 college football season there was no better running back than Leonard Fournette. The LSU running back gashed everyone until he ran into the Alabama defense in November. Against Auburn, Mississippi State and Syracuse Fournette ran for over 200 yards in three straight games in September. Through eleven regular season games and a bowl game Fournette ran for 1953 yards. If LSU’s game against McNeese State would’ve been played #1 would’ve easily gone over 2,000 yards for the season.
Last night in the Alamo Bowl against Texas Tech Fournette ran for 212 yards and four touchdowns. He even caught a pass for 44 yards another TD, bringing his total to five for the night.
Had Fournette had a big game against Alabama on Nov. 7th he would’ve probably won the Heisman. Bama stacked the box and held him to a season low 31 yards on national television. The Tide’s running back, Derrick Henry stole the spotlight from Fournette rushing for 210 yards and three touchdowns. As we all know Henry went on to win the Heisman and Fournette and the LSU offense sputtered the rest of the year.
Fournette is only a sophomore and will have to come back for one more year at LSU. If the Tigers have a decent season and Fournette has another big year it’s possible he could be the #1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In recent drafts NFL teams aren’t reaching for running backs. Quarterbacks and offensive linemen seem to be the trendy picks in the last few years to get early. But with Fournette’s speed and size any team at the top would be crazy to not take a look at him. Some scouts have compared him to Adrian Peterson and Herschel Walker. The only other running back that is even in consideration this early as a first round pick in 2017 is Nick Chubb and he will be coming off a nasty knee injury next year. In reality it’s too early to tell where Fournette will go because injuries happen and other players could stand out during the season and make waves at the NFL Combine.
Teams like the Browns and Titans who will pick first at the Draft in 2016 would love to be able to pick Fournette. Unfortunately they will have to wait a year. And given the Browns history they could be at the top of the draft to get him in 2017.