Scouting the RBs: Bishop Sankey, Washington

sankey3Bishop Sankey, the record-setting running back from the University of Washington, enters the 2014 NFL Draft process as one of the most productive runners in this year’s class.

After a 2012 season that saw the junior runner total 289 carries for 1,439 yards and 16 TDs, Sankey topped those numbers this season with 306 carries, 1,775 yards and 18 TDs (breaking Corey Dillon’s single season rushing record).  The Huskies’ featured back also pulled in 58 receptions over that two year span.

It’s expected that he will declare for this year’s NFL Draft, and there’s no doubt in FRG Scouting’s analysis that he will become an impact player in the NFL.

The following is FRG Scouting’s analysis of Bishop Sankey.

NAME:          Bishop Sankey
Pos:                RB
Ht:                  5’10”
Wt:                  203lbs
40:                   4.55 (EST)

Strengths:          Vision, Feet, Power, Acceleration
Weaknesses:      Long speed, Wear and Tear

Bishop Sankey possesses average overall size for the running back position…Despite unremarkable measureables, Sankey is an effective inside runner who displays good power, leg drive and the ability to break arm tackles and gain yards after contact…Equally productive on outside running plays, displaying the burst needed to get to the corner and turn upfield…Very coordinated and light on his feet, displaying top-tier foot quickness…Able to change directions fluidly and without gearing down; loose in his hips both in tight quarters and in the open field…Possesses very good vision; is able to diagnose and hit running lanes both at the plays aiming point and away from it when the play breaks down….Has enough wiggle to make a man miss while also possessing a toughness about his game that doesn’t shy away from contact…Fast enough to pop a 30-40 yard run…Good in pass protection; quickly diagnoses assignment and is effective at point of impact…Displays soft, reliable hands in the passing game with the ability to secure the football and make a play after the catch.

Sankey lacks top-tier long speed and will not be a home run hitter in the NFL…Relies on the chop block in pass protection; must display a willingness to mix it up more with oncoming rushers…Has carried the ball a lot during his career at Washington with 623 career carries…Needs to add another 5-10 lbs to maximize skill-set.

On the next level, Bishop Sankey projects as a feature back prospect who could come in and start for an NFL team from day one.  He possesses all of the traits needed to succeed in the NFL, ranging from his plus vision and feet to a natural quickness and tough running style.  His ability in the passing game (both as a receiver and in pass protection) is also appealing, as he projects as a player that can stay on the field all three downs.  Sankey is likely to be knocked a bit because of his size, but he runs much bigger than his 203 lbs would suggest.  He reminds me a lot of Doug Martin (RB, Tampa Bay) with his combination of quick feet, deceptive wiggle, and natural running toughness.  Martin is roughly 5-7lbs bigger than Sankey, and it would serve him (Sankey) well to bulk up a bit.  Sankey’s career carry totals are a definite negative, as his legs will be able to handle only so many carries.  But there are few runners in this class that have as well-rounded of a skill-set as him.  Sankey is the kind of runner that will be able to gain the tough yards inside while also popping some big plays along the way.  He’s a good one, and he shouldn’t last long on draft day.

GRADE:  7.9 (high-2nd round)

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