Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns
5’9”, 225 lbs, Towson
Round 3, Pick 30 (94th Overall)
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A subpar 40 yard dash time and a small school kept West from being one of the top three RB’s drafted this year. Anybody who saw him play would come away impressed. He looks like Maurice Jones-Drew out there being a smaller running back who is also broad and surprisingly quick.
West was never really cut out for college as far as the classroom goes. He struggled to get into any of the larger schools because of low grades and test scores. In high school he was a four sport athlete (track) and chose to play football over offers to play both baseball and basketball in college. The kid is just a natural athlete and it shows up on the football field. He’s got a natural rhythm to his play that looks like a high level professional despite being in small school.
The lesser competition is concerning but I don’t think that Terrance West is going to have any trouble with adapting his style to that of the NFL. He’s going to get hit a lot harder and only time will tell if that will hurt his mentality but he’s definitely built for it physically. West doesn’t shy away from contact, a trait that could hurt him in the pro’s but served him well in school. He churns out yards after contact religiously and is always falling forward.
His 83 TD’s in just three years at Towson is remarkable. West has a natural instinct for the endzone and seems to crave the ball in goal to go situations. He also catches the ball quite well out of the backfield. Though he didn’t get a ton of catches at Towson, he has really impressed coaches and personnel directors with his ability in the passing game.
If there is an area for concern though it is in pass blocking situations. Since he was pretty much the entire offense for Towson, there wasn’t a ton of pass blocking being done and when he did he appeared less than interested. The other part of West that is concerning is his lack of effort in learning the playbook and studying defenses. Early reports from Browns training camp say that as well as West looks on the field he is equally struggling with some of the basic concepts of the offense.
The Browns are going to run a cut block offense under Kyle Shanahan in 2014. West ran a zone scheme in school and is a natural fit for this style of running. He was exceptional at finding the cut back lanes and making giants runs off of them. The Shanahan’s have an amazing track record at finding late round RB’s who fit their system perfectly and thus leading them to some terrific numbers. Remember, players like Terrell Davis, Orlandis Gary, Mike Anderson and Alfred Morris weren’t high picks either and made nice careers for themselves.
This year though West will be competing with Ben Tate for the starting RB job in Cleveland or so many will have you believe. The fact is that West isn’t going to start for the Browns until Ben Tate get injured or proves himself to be ineffective. That is the way that it works at the NFL level. West is going to have to prove himself in reading defenses and picking up whatever the QB needs him to.
The Browns are going to be a run first offense and without Josh Gordon will be void of any real playmakers on offense. Both Tate and West could be facing a lot of eight or nine man fronts until Brian Hoyer can force the defense to be honest.
The way it’ll play out in Cleveland is like this. Ben Tate wins the RB1 job and begins the season well in a reinvented scheme. Eventually, like he always does, Tate will get hurt and Terrance West will have his chance to shine. If he has a grasp of the playbook and the offense this kid could be the NFL rookie of the year. If he fails at pass protecting he could wind up not playing very meaningful downs whatsoever.
Fantasy Football Players Championship – 121.23
National Fantasy Football Championship – 139.96
Rushing – 15 games (7 starts) 157 carries, 753 Yards, 5 TD’s
Receiving – 15 games (7 starts) 24 catches, 201 Yards, 1 TD
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