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Bleacher Report – Vikings

RB Kamara set to visit the Vikings; ‘Advanced’ stats say he’d be a fit

By Matthew Coller

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 11.34.55 PM

It doesn’t take a detective to look at the Minnesota Vikings’ list of meetings and figure out they are intrigued by this year’s draft class of running backs.

This week, Tennessee star Alvin Kamara will meet with the Vikings’ brass. They have also met with (or are expected to meet with) Toledo star Kareem Hunt, Oklahoma star Joe Mixon and Sooners’ No. 2 Samaje Perine.

Told ex-Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara will be among next week’s #Vikings draft visitors. I’ll continue to say MN will take a RB at some point. pic.twitter.com/mPndTzXH7B

— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) March 31, 2017

Kamara’s name stands out because he is considered to be one of the top running back prospects and is projected to be picked somewhere between late in the first round and midway through the second.

His NFL.com profile reads like Kamara has the potential to be a franchise running back:

“Ascending, competitive runner who has flashed explosive NFL talent at various times over the last two seasons. A committed runner with excellent balance who finds yardage that isn’t blocked for him. While he has never logged 20 carries in a single game, he has the talent to play on all three downs if he can prove his durability.”

Traditional statistics only tell us so much in college football. Every NFL prospect has good stats. Kamara, for example, averaged 6.2 Yards Per Carry over his two seasons as a starter for the Vols. But 59 running backs in the NCAA picked up more than 6.0 YPC. Certainly all of them are not top NFL prospects. So what stats can we look at to separate the best potential picks?

Pro Football Focus’s tracking stats and grades point to Kamara as an attractive prospect. They rank him fourth among running backs, behind three clear-cut first-round talents in Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette.

Kamara is second in the PFF stat “Elusive Rating,” which is a measurement of tackles broken plus yards after contact. Among prospects slated for the first or second round, he is also only a shade behind Cook in Yards After Contact and just ahead of Joe Mixon.

Yards After Contact Per Attempt:

Dalvin Cook: 4.19

Alvin Kamara: 3.78

Joe Mixon: 3.75

D’Onta Foreman: 3.54

Kareem Hunt: 3.46

Here is a chart of how all of his ratings match up with other prospects in all of his PFF ratings:

By the numbers, Kamara stacks up very favorably in nearly every facet of his game. One of the classic traits of the West Coast Offense, which new OC Pat Shumur will presumably be implementing in full force this offseason, is a running back who can be a weapon in the passing game. If Kamara has the ability to be a threat beyond just check downs and dump offs as his “Yards Per Route” stat suggests, he could be especially attractive to the Vikings.

They may also be intrigued with his role on third downs with the Vols. Kamara caught 16 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns on third downs last season. He was also the closer for Tennessee, averaging 7.6 Yards Per Carry in the fourth quarter.

Kamara might very well be the pick if he’s available. Todd McShay’s last mock draft had him going in the first round, but CBS Sports and NFL.com rank him as a second-rounder.

The post RB Kamara set to visit the Vikings; ‘Advanced’ stats say he’d be a fit appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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