2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Demetric Feltonby Mason Thompson January 30, 2021 2 comments
In college football, there are many cases where players are a running back and a receiver hybrid. Last year, Lynn Bowden was in this territory, and this year, there is yet another player that could be held in the same regard. Demetric Felton was once a wide receiver once he made his way to UCLA, and then Chip Kelly turned him into a running back. Over the last two years, Felton has had 218 carries to go along with 77 catches. He is a swiss-army knife that can be deployed just about anywhere on the field.
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Name: Demetric Felton
Position: Running Back
Class: Redshirt Junior
Weight: 189 lbs
Felton has good vision. Despite playing at a small stature, he is still solid at running between the tackles. He is at his best when he can run on stretch and zone plays. Felton is always looking for a lane to run through, even if it is tiny.
Change of Direction (8/10)
He can make defenders miss in the blink of an eye. Felton can be labeled as a one-cut running back when he is a running back in the formation. Once he makes his way to the second-level, Felton can make a linebacker or defensive back miss with one sudden move. His elusiveness, paired with his speed in his cuts, makes him a dynamic piece for offenses that can find a way to use him.
Felton won’t be a three-down back in the NFL. Kelly used him as a three-down back due to his receiving ability, but he won’t find a three-down role at the next level. His small frame is the main cause for concern in this regard, along with the fact that teams simply aren’t using one back to carry the full workload anymore.
Receiving Skills (9.75/10)
This is far and away the best aspect of his game. Originally a receiver, he lined up at slot receiver, as well as an outside receiver, to go along with his running back snaps. At the Senior Bowl this week, Felton made it look easy as he ran routes as a receiver against some of the best defensive backs in Mobile. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and has superb route running. He will mainly be used on passes outside of the backfield and on some jet sweeps from the backfield. Along with the routes out of the backfield, he also has his full toolset from the slot.
Ball Security (7/10)
Felton’s ball security wasn’t an issue in college, as he only had a handful of mishaps. Unfortunately, his small frame at the next level could cause some issues here.
Felton is great with the ball in his hands. He can run his way through a lane in the blink of an eye. Once he’s in the open field, Felton is excellent at making the defenders look like fools as he jukes, stutter steps, and spins his way away from them. Felton has dynamic speed that allows him to pull away from defenders and into the endzone.
Felton is a tough as nails player. He was able to play at running back, outside receiver, slot receiver, and kick returner. On the inside running plays, Felton was always dragging players five yards down the field. He wants to be on the field. Felton was seen being the lead blocker on some designed quarterback runs for the Bruins. He would also make an effort to throw a block for one of the receivers for UCLA.
Agile and explosive. He is quick in tight spaces and can fly by defenders once he gets space in the open field. He makes quick cuts in his routes. Felton is one of the more athletic players in the draft and will line up just about everywhere for an offense that finds a way to make the most out of his playstyle.
Once you get Felton off track, it’s pretty easy to tackle him. Again, thanks to his small frame, this is one of the biggest discrepancies in his game. He isn’t a power back by any means.
Pass Protection (4.25/5)
Felton is good at shucking off defenders when he is protecting his quarterback. He always keeps his head on a swivel in the backfield but will get overpowered by stronger rushers.
Though Felton didn’t have a long list of injuries during his collegiate career, he always had a few knicks during his time at UCLA. At the next level, there are bound to be some concerns about his durability. These little injuries could be a little cause for concern thanks to his small frame.
Felton is a dynamic playmaker. He is extremely explosive with the ball in his hands and is great as a pass-catcher and route runner. He will find most of his work as a pass-catcher and a runner outside of the tackles. Felton has some issues with his durability, frame, and balance. He will likely be a day three pick, but a team that runs a Shanahan-Esque offense will likely take him much higher than other teams will. Another team to look out for is the Philadelphia Eagles, who hired Nick Sirianni to be their coach. Sirianni comes from Indianapolis, where Nyheim Hines played. Hines is a great comp for Felton. Felton is currently one of my “my-guys” for this draft cycle.
Final Grade (79.5/100): Mid-Third Round
Player Comparison: Nyheim Hines