Scouting the RBs: Tre Mason, Auburn

mason1Tre Mason, the Heisman Trophy finalist and leading rusher for the Auburn Tigers, is likely to declare for the 2014 NFL Draft.  And when he does, he’ll bring his 1,621 yards and 22 TDs to the strong running back class.  Mason became the Tigers’ starter mid-way through last season, and has totaled over 2,600 yards and 30 TDs since.

Auburn will be playing in the National Championship game versus Florida State in January, and Mason will have a chance to showcase his talents on the biggest stage.  While it’s unlikely that he’ll win the Heisman Trophy, he will benefit from the exposure and attention that comes along with the game’s biggest award.

Mason is an intriguing player who will likely have a wide range of opinions come draft day.  Below is FRG Scouting’s analysis of Tre Mason.

NAME:         Tre Mason
Position:     Running Back
Ht:                5’10”
Wt:               205
40:               4.55 (EST)

Strengths:          Burst,  Patience, Ath Ability, Special Teams
Weaknesses:      Size, Strength

Tre Mason is unofficially listed at 5’10”, but appears smaller/shorter on tape…He appears maxed out at 205lbs…Possesses a good jump cut that compliments his patient running style…Allows holes to develop in front of him and shows adequate burst to maximize running lanes…Good, quick feet that allow him to chew up ground and change direction effortlessly…On inside running plays, Mason gets skinny and manages to scamper through the line…On outside running plays, Mason displays good patience and an understanding of when to get north/south…Possesses enough wiggle to make a man miss in the open field…An asset on special teams with two career KO returns for TDs.

Lacks the necessary power to move the pile or be a short-yardage back…Lacks the strength to hold up in the passing game as a pass protector; consistently gets pushed backward, threatening the pocket’s integrity…Can be too patient at times, making one too many moves in the backfield resulting in minimal or no gain.

On the next level, Tre Mason will enjoy a nice career as a depth runner and special teams contributor.  While lacking the size and strength to be an every-down back, Mason will be able to provide an offense with a nice change-of-pace option and a runner that can spell a starter.  Mason’s patience and vision will serve him well on the next level, and he has a tough and competitive running style that can provide a spark to his teammates.  While he might be limited by some physical shortcomings, Mason will find his way onto the field and be productive in his role as a sub-package player.

GRADE:  6.4 (Low-4th, High-5th)

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