Scouting the RBs: Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky

andrewsAntonio Andrews, the all-purpose back for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, is entering the 2014 NFL Draft process as one of the running backs worth keeping an aye on during Senior Bowl week and beyond.

Andrews is coming off two fantastic seasons in which he totaled 571 carries, 3414 rushing yards, 7 8 receptions and 910 receiving yards.  He scored 30 TDs during the two year span, and even produced in the return game as a punt and kickoff returner.

In short, Andrews can do it all.  

Andrews’ bio page from the Western Kentucky football website gives a great breakdown of his 2013 season:

“Antonio Andrews – a 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl invitee – led the SBC in rushing yards and the nation in All-Purpose yardage for the second consecutive season while also breaking his own school single-season rushing record in 2013. In 2013, he ran for 1,730 yards with a league-best 16 touchdowns while also leading the SBC in scoring with eight points per game. He finished the regular season with the nation’s longest active streak of 100+ yard all-purpose games (25), second longest 100-yard rushing game streak (11) and set school records for 100 yard games in a season (11), career (21), and was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back – the only semifinalist from a Non-AQ conference. He currently ranks as the No. 4 rusher in the nation and set an NCAA record for the most all-purpose yards over a two-year span with 5,770 yards.”

Below is FRG Scouting’s analysis of Antonio Andrews.

NAME:        Antonio Andrews
Pos:              Running Back
Ht:                5’10”
Wt:               218lbs
40:               4.60 (EST)

Strengths:       Versatility, Toughness, Vision
Weaknesses:   Speed, Wiggle, Ball Security

At 5’10” and 218lbs, Andrews is a compact, thick running back who carries his weight well…A tough back who runs with good pad level and delivers a jolt on contact with the defender…Keeps his legs moving through contact…Displays plus vision both in tight quarters and in the open field, diagnosing the cutback lanes quickly and effectively…Has enough pop in his legs to put his foot in the dirt and cut upfield quickly…While an effective outside runner, Andrews is more of a between the tackles guy who will move the chains with the occasional 20 yard sprint…Versatile runner who can make plays in the passing game as well; displays reliable-enough hands to be a viable option as a receiver…Offers special teams experience as an effective punt and kickoff returner.

Andrews won’t run by many defenders, as his long speed is at issue…While he has effective enough feet to slow a defender, he’s tight in the hips and doesn’t bring a lot of “make you miss” to the field…Must become more reliable with the ball re: fumbles (lost three fumbles in Sept/Oct.)…Received a lot of touches during his college career; long-term shelf-life an issue.

On the next level, Andrews projects as a runner capable of leading a team’s backfield rotation.  While not necessarily a franchise-type running back, Andrews does have a skill-set that will transition well to the NFL.  He’s tough, physical and has enough foot quickness to keep a defender guessing.  He reminds me of a poor man’s Frank Gore in that he’ll chew up yards in chunks and be able to wear down a defense as the game goes on.  On film study alone, Andrews is hovering around a late-4th round grade.  If, however, he shows better than expected juice during Senior Bowl week (and times well at the Combine), he could be a player that sneaks into late-Day 2.

GRADE:  6.3 (Late-4th)

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