Bo Scarbrough


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By: Mark Leipold


The Pros:

  • Will/Effort
  • Patience
  • Elusiveness
  • Power

Will/Effort – This trait doesn’t often carry much weight with the fantasy gamer, but Scarbrough runs hard, and never takes a play off. He always fights to the bitter end on every run to squeeze out extra yards through contact. 

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Patience – Scarbrough has good patience and is willing to wait for a hole to open up. He doesn’t do it as consistently as I’d like to have seen on his game tape, but the willingness to wait can go a long way to becoming a more patient runner overall. As a between-the-tackles grinder, the holes mean everything, so if Scarbrough can continue to develop his patience, it will serve him well. 

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Elusiveness – Not a trait normally associated with the Bo Scarbrough prototype, but he can shimmy a little bit to evade the arm tackles. On this play, he doesn’t power through defenders as he normally does, but shows a bit of quickness and elusiveness to evade several tacklers. This is definitely one of the more underrated components of his game. 

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Power – You knew it was coming sometime. A GIF is worth a thousand words.

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The Cons:

  • Vision
  • Receiving Game
  • Blocking/Strength

Vision – I’m not sure if Scarbrough looks at what’s ahead of him or if he just plows ahead where the play was called. Watch the first play where there is clearly nothing up the middle, yet he rams right into the back of his offensive line. It was a recurring theme in his game film that he was unwilling to bounce runs outside when there wasn’t a hole between the tackles. In the second clip, Scarbrough actually notices that there is no hole, but he notices so late that he can’t do anything about it.

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Receiving Game – Scarbrough doesn’t have feet for hands, but he doesn’t excel in the receiving game, nor was he asked to catch many passes at Alabama. Without catching balls in the NFL, his absolute upside is Derrick Henry (and he’s not as good as Derrick Henry). It sets him up to be a TD or bust candidate week-to-week in fantasy, as Derrick Henry will be in 2018 when he is over-drafted in fantasy. 

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Blocking/Strength – This is an odd one because I couldn’t find much tape of him blocking, which is due in part to the fact that he hardly played in passing situations. It makes me wonder if we didn’t see him block much because he was bad at it, so I won’t make the declaration that he’s bad at it, but the combination of him not being asked to do it much at Alabama and his 14 reps on the bench press (9th percentile) at 6’1” and 228 lbs. are certainly cause for concern. I’m also not saying that Scarborough is weak (see above), but it’s possible that his power comes from his legs and his upper body strength trails well behind.

 

Summary:

Scarbrough is a nightmare for opposing defenses, testing near the 90th percentile in speed score (adjusted for size), and having excellent burst in the vertical and broad jump for his size. His athleticism makes comparisons to Derrick Henry easy and natural, even if cliché.

He profiles as a very similar runner in the NFL, albeit a lesser version of Henry. A lesser version of Derrick Henry is still not that bad in NFL terms and offers some fantasy upside. 

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Fantasy Impact:

The Derrick Henry hype train is in full force for 2018, but it’s rare that we get excellent fantasy value from RBs who don’t catch passes, which Henry will certainly be, and which Scarbrough also will be. He looks like a solid between-the-tackles grinder that will earn tough yards and probably get goal-line work but will likely be off the field in third-down and passing situations. Given the immense value of passing plays over rushing plays for fantasy output (in PPR, of course, but who plays non-PPR anymore?), being a pure runner is not ideal for fantasy.

Without a touchdown in any given week, the Scarbrough and Henry prototype is destined to disappoint. He’ll be a roller coaster ride week-to-week at best, so I’m not willing to invest more than a late second-round pick in him in rookie drafts. There are too many all-around RBs in this class and several satellite backs that have a chance to expand their roles in the NFL, many of whom I prefer to Scarbrough for fantasy purposes.