The 2018 NFL Draft is over, but we are not done reviewing the draft just yet! In the coming days, BTB will release film reviews on each player drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. This article features seventh-round pick Bo Scarbrough out of Alabama.
The identity of the Dallas Cowboys is clear. When NFL defenses come to town or host America’s Team, they will know that the Cowboys will rely heavily on their rushing attack. After upgrading their offensive line in the second round by drafting Connor Williams, the unit up front looks solid. Add in all-world running back Ezekiel Elliott and you have the basis for a high-powered run game.
Rod Smith has emerged as a nice backup player for the Cowboys’ offense in 2018. Tavon Austin has been added to the roster and he might get some running back snaps, too.
Now, we have another new addition to the running back room. In the seventh round, the Cowboys decided to add depth and value by drafting Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough.
At 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, you know what you are going to get with Scarbrough. He is not the most athletic running back. He will not be shifty within the trenches although he can make an occasional cut, but mostly he will simply bulldoze defenders and use his power to move piles of defenders. Imagine NFL defenses on their heels of exhaustion from having to deal with Elliott only to see Scarbrough come onto the field later in games.
A player like Scarbrough benefits most when there are clear running lanes in front of him and he does not have to create space. Fortunately for Scarbrough, he is coming into the perfect situation that already has an established offensive line.
Let’s take a look at some of Scarbrough’s snaps to see what makes him special.
Despite his size and preconceived notions about his athleticism, Scarbrough has quicker feet than most players his size. This clip shows he can make something out of nothing. With the point of attack clogged, he changes direction and makes it to the first-down marker. As a short-yardage back, he has skills.
Something to love about Scarbrough is his ability to fire out of his stance. When he can get a good head of steam, it can lead to him bullying defenders, like he does in this clip above. He moves his tackler backwards and falls forward for yards.
Scarbrough is a one-cut runner. Once he recognizes which lane opens, he immediately cuts that direction and runs with full force. As said earlier, he does not have the shiftiness to move in and around the trenches, but he can be dangerous once he processes the defense.
Because of how much power and force he gains while running upfield, Scarbrough can simply bounce off defenders, leading to him picking up extra yardage.
Scarbrough is at his best when he is given a runway for him to get going. In this clip, he is given a lot of room to operate with, allowing him to get to top speed. When that happens, five Washington defenders are unable to bring him to the ground.
Perhaps the run of Scarbrough’s collegiate career, this long gain is a visual of what he can bring to an NFL offense. Scarbrough has vision to go along with his power. If he can get past the line of scrimmage with a comfortable rushing lane, he can make defenders miss downfield.
Another example of Scarbrough’s one-cut ability. As soon as his read is determined, Scarbrough’s hips fire upfield. He runs with the ball close to his chest in traffic.
While Scarbrough adds a powerful dynamic to go along with Elliott’s and Smith’s skillset, he does not offer anything within the pass-catching department. In terms of catching out of the backfield, look for recently-acquired Tavon Austin or Smith to handle that department.
It will be interesting to see what Scarbrough’s role will be in 2018 if he makes the roster. The Cowboys will obviously give a huge workload to Elliott. Smith is deserving of reps too after his performance during the Elliott suspension. Dallas has also mentioned that they want to get Austin the ball a lot throughout the game as well. That’s a lot of mouths to feed.
If and when Scarbrough trouts out on the field, it will be easy for defenses to key in on inside run plays. His presence will likely telegraph the Cowboys intentions, but if they are utilizing him in short yardage situations the defense would know that anyway. Scarbrough, if he’s active on the team, will likely have a limited, defined role.
He is not a finished prospect yet, but if he can stay away from injuries, something he has struggled with for many years, Scarbrough could become a really nice rotational player in the Cowboys’ offense.
Games Watched: Georgia (2017), Clemson (2017), Florida State (2017), Fresno State (2017), Washington (2016), USC (2016), Florida (2016), and Auburn (2016).