2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ty Chandlerby Mike Fanelli April 4, 2022 1 comment
The 2022 NFL Draft is full of talented running backs. However, one name not getting enough national attention is North Carolina’s Ty Chandler. Growing up in Tennessee, Chandler committed to Tennessee University as a four-star recruit, according to 247 Sports. He was the fifth-highest ranked running back in the country and the 67th overall player. After four years at Tennessee, Chandler transferred to UNC before the 2021 season to replace Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, who went on to the NFL. Chandler averaged six yards per rushing attempt in his lone season at UNC. Is Chandler a one-year wonder or just starting to scratch the surface of his potential? Let’s dive into it.
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Name: Ty Chandler
Jersey: No. 19
Position: Running Back
School: North Carolina
Class: Redshirt Senior
Weight: 204 lbs
Games Watched: Virginia (2021), Miami (2021), Wake Forest (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Chandler showed great ability to find the open lane and hit it quickly. He doesn’t waste time looking for a second option. When Chandler sees the open lane, he hits it. While he sometimes struggles when things get clogged up in the middle of the offensive line, Chandler is dangerous in the open field. Furthermore, once he hits the second level, Chandler is dangerous. He quickly sees the secondary lanes downfield and sets up defenders in space.
Contact Balance (7.5/10)
Despite his average size, Chandler has solid contact balance. When he is hit by a weak tackle attempt, Chandler will shake it off. Even when he runs with his pad level high, Chandler typically bounces off or slips out of weaker tackle attempts. That said, if a defensive lineman gets their hands on him behind the line of scrimmage, Chandler likely ends up tackled for a loss. However, if the offensive line can get him to the second and third levels, Chandler will likely break a tackle or two.
When he hits the hole, Chandler comes out quicker than the defender can get into it most of the time. However, he lacks elite explosiveness. When he hits his top gear, it doesn’t come immediately. Typically Chandler needs an extra step before hitting top speed. While this is less than ideal, it shouldn’t cause him trouble in the NFL. Several times in the games watched, Chandler got to the edge and showed the explosiveness needed to get away from the defender.
Long Speed (7.75/10)
Despite his 4.38 40-yard dash time at the combine, the long speed doesn’t show up on tape. In the games watched, there were several times when a defender caught up or chased down Chandler. Part of his speed problem is his pad level. Once he gets into the second level, Chandler tends to get upright when running. Part of his successful 40-yard dash time was practicing for it. Chandler kept his head and shoulders down during the drill, which didn’t always happen in the games watched.
Short-Area Burst (7.75/10)
While Chandler scored relatively high in this trait, his high pad level hurt him. He didn’t display a plant his foot in the ground and cut quickly level of burst in the games watched. While he showed some explosiveness cutting, he doesn’t have the burst some running backs in the draft class have, like Kenneth Walker. That said, Chandler has good burst and can get up to top gear in a few steps.
Change of Direction (7.5/10)
Again, the pad level impacts his score here. Chandler can quickly cut and change direction when his pads are low. He can start outside on a stretch run, then quickly turn 90 degrees and get upfield when his pads are down. On the other hand, Chandler tends to slow down when changing direction when his pad level is high. Hopefully, this can get fixed with good coaching because Chandler is a joy to watch once he hits the second and third levels.
This trait is easily Chandler’s worst. While he is a capable runner in short-yardage situations and at the goal line, he will never be confused for Nick Chubb on fourth down and one yard to go. That said, Chandler has strength in his game. Whether it’s a strong lower body when slipping out or bouncing off weaker tackle attempts, or with a strong stiff-arm move on a cornerback, Chandler is far from a prototypical scat back.
Ball Security (9.25/10)
There is very little concern with this trait for Chandler. In his five-year college career, Chandler had only five fumbles. He had zero fumbles in two of those years and had only one last year at UNC. The only fumble from 2021 came early in the game against Wake Forest. Chandler had both hands wrapped around the ball, but the defender made a great play and pulled it free. While he didn’t get a perfect score here, NFL teams have nothing to worry about with ball security when it comes to Chandler.
Receiving Ability (7.75/10)
While Chandler had only 73 receptions in five years, that doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of catching the ball. For his career, Chandler averaged 1.26 receptions per game. By comparison, Jonathan Taylor averaged only 1.02 receptions per game during his career at Wisconsin. While that doesn’t mean Chandler is the same level of prospect as Taylor was, it proves that limited receiving work in college doesn’t mean much. In the three games watched, Chandler had one drop on a bad low throw by Sam Howell. Outside of that one play, Chandler showed natural soft hands.
Pass Protection (3.25/5)
Unlike many college running backs, Chandler showed the willingness to stick his face into an oncoming blitzer and take him on. Furthermore, he would square up and take the blitzer head-on rather than diving at their knees and praying that it works. That said, there were several times in the games watched where Chandler would square up against the blitzer and still get pushed back. Furthermore, he missed a few blitz pick-up assignments. However, some NFL coaching should improve that quickly.
Overall, Chandler isn’t an elite back and is not in the same class as Breece Hall, Isaiah Spiller, or Walker. However, it becomes an open debate about who is the best running back in the draft class once you get past the top three. Chandler’s name should be part of that conversation. While Chandler will never be an elite goal line runner back, that is the only true weakness in his game. That said, he likely will never turn into a pro bowl caliber running back. Chandler will probably be a day three selection. However, whatever team selects him will get a potential steal. He could turn into this year’s version of Elijah Mitchell depending on where he lands.
Rookie Projections: Role Player with Upside
Third Year Projections: Potential Lead Back
Final Grade (77/100): Late Third-Round Pick
Player Comp: Elijah Mitchell
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