2014 NFL Draft Video Breakdown: Is Tyler Gaffney ready to be a workhorse pro back?

He's already played pro baseball, so this draft thing is old hat to the Cardinal's offensive MVP in 2013


- Tyler Gaffney is tough. Period. He took a beating in this game and came up a big smile every single time. Old-school line coaches will love having a back like Gaffney on their team.

- Pretty good vision for the way a play is developing. Always seems to find a crease for a few extra yards. Falling forward instead of falling backward is a good way to stay in the NFL.

- His feet never stop working. He breaks tackles and moves piles and gains extra yards because he won't go down until he's taken down by two or more guys. That applies really well at the goal line, where's he's hard to keep out of the end zone.

- Good receiver out of the backfield. Takes a screen pass and turns upfield quickly in this game, and has put some nice routes and catch-and runs on film. Had a beautiful wheel route for a TD against Army this year and an awesome TD catch-and-run against USC back in 2011.

- More athletic than his grinder film shows. Can show some break away speed at times (Pac-12 championship game, USC), and ran the 40 in a pretty crisp 4.56 at the combine.


- Doesn't have a ton of lateral moves. Mostly a straight-line runner. Some teams like a little extra shake-and-bake in their backs.

- So-so pass blocker. Probably not good enough to handle a blitzing NFL linebacker on his own right now. I would expect coaches to work on this a lot with him.

- Has the ball ripped from him by Ifo Ekpre-Olomu in this game. Gotta protect the football from the bad men on D in the NFL.


Gaffney is a strong, powerful, straight-line runner who's capable of handling a role as a backup at the NFL level. He's mostly a one-cut runner who (obviously) applies most naturally to a power system, but I think a team that runs a lot of zone could also find him to be an intriguing prospect. After the way he put the team on his back a year ago, I think he'll definitely be drafted and find a few carries in the league this year. I would expect him to be about a 5th or 6th round pick - maybe he'll take Toby Gerhart's old backup spot with the Minnesota Vikings?

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