Marcus Lattimore could prove to be a bargain in 2013 NFL Draft
It appears that Marcus Lattimore will decide to enter the 2013 NFL draft. Lattimore’s 2011 and 2012 seasons ended with serious knee injuries. His right knee injury this October was particularly serious. The South Carolina star tore three ligaments in his knee and dislocated the joint. His 2011 knee injury was a torn left acl.
The Gamecock captain is a hard-working young man with a fantastic character. He will attack your rehab aggressively. Several quality NFL running backs suffered serious knee injuries in college and continued to have productive professional careers. Frank Gore tore his right glute and then his left knee in consecutive seasons at the University of Miami. He slipped into the third round of the 2005 NFL draft and turned out to be a steal. Gore has been one of the best running backs in the NFL in his career. It has also been consistent and durable.
Willis McGahee’s left knee was shattered by a blow in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl National Championship Game against Ohio State. McGahee’s knee injury was as severe as Lattimore’s recent injury. McGahee was still picked in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft despite facing a daunting rehab. The former Hurricane running back recovered enough from the devastating injury to make a couple of Pro Bowls and has had a good NFL run that continues to this day.
Jamal Lewis tore a ligament in his knee at the University of Tennessee. He was still a top first-round pick in the 2000 NFL draft. Lewis rushed for nearly 11,000 yards in his NFL career and was not plagued by injuries. Marcus Lattimore may have to wait for the 2013 season to rehab his last knee injury. Your draft status will be largely determined by how well you are progressing. He’s unlikely to be a first-round pick due to back-to-back knee injuries and the running back position has been devalued in recent years.
Lattimore is a great downhill runner who can run between tackles. It doesn’t have great speed, but it is surprisingly changeable in the open field. Lattimore is also quite versatile. He can catch the ball and will hamper a lightning linebacker in pass protection. Lattimore has a nose for the end zone and rarely puts the ball down. A team can find itself with a pretty good power backup to aid its running game. His rehab will have to go very well to convince a team to spend a second-round pick on him. It is likely to go to the third round or later depending on the medical evaluation. Marcus Lattimore could be a good pick for the patient NFL team.