NFL Draft Scouting Reports

Michael Warren II: 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Joey Ricotta | April 22nd, 2020

Michael Warren II, RB, Cincinnati #3

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 226 LBs

Eligibility: Junior

Games Watched: UCLA (2018), Ohio State (2019), Memphis x2 (2019), Boston College (2019), East Carolina (2019)

Make sure to check out all of our other scouting reports here.

Elusiveness: 8.5/10 Defenders have trouble gauging what he’s going to do. He has the ability to dish out the boom or shake and bake, which leaves tacklers with an uneasy feeling that sometimes forces them to get off balance. 
Vision: 10/10 Elite vision. Warren sees holes before they are even there, displaying terrific anticipation and patience to blast through when the moment presents itself. Finds running lanes in small spaces that look to be filled.
Strength/Power: 9.5/10 STRONG. Finishes runs hard and leaves a lasting impression on wimpy tacklers. Do not try to arm tackle him, he’ll make you look foolish and then proceed to do the Michael Jordan shrug as if he wasn’t sure what he just did. Go easy on them, Michael. He gets a 9.5 out of 10 because most of his strength and power comes from his lower half, which is perfectly fine for a running back.
Durability: 9/10 Very durable and capable of being a feature back. He’s been used as a feature back with a lot of work at Cincinnati, but needs to improve on third downs to become a full-time NFL back. 
Receiving Ability:  8/10 You’re in good hands with Allstate….and Michael Warren as well. Okay, just kidding, the hands aren’t quite that good. But, they aren’t bad and he can be used as an all purpose back if needed. He wasn’t used a ton in the passing game, so the stats are a little unjust. 
Football IQ: 8.5/10 Smart to an extent. He follows blockers, processes quickly, and reads holes very well. On the other side, he needs to get better at reading defenses and knowing assignments in pass-pro. 
Motor: 10/10 High effort player and runner that takes on any challenges tossed his way. He doesn’t shy away from contact or take the bare minimum of what’s given to him, always strives for extra yardage and works hard. 
Blocking: 6/10 At times, he has struggled to pick up blocking assignments. He doesn’t seem to know where to place his hands against pass-rushers. Good speed and power will take him on and do damage while he’s flatfooted. There’s room for growth, but because most of his power is from his legs, he isn’t able to gain an advantage by moving downhill in pass-pro, like he is as a runner. For that reason, he needs to work on mechanics. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and throw himself at defenders, when he knows which one to  go after. But it isn’t all that effective and he needs to pick up assignments quicker. 
Balance: 9/10 Good balance, which helps him stay on his feet, change direction swiftly, and not get pushed back in between the tackles. If he falls, more times than not, it’s forward.
Fluidity/COD: 9/10 Moves well for his size. Lacks top-end speed, but is very shifty and creative, especially in small spaces. Definitely has some tricks and spin moves in the arsenal as well. 
Overall:

87.5/100 I think Warren is one of the more underrated backs in the draft. He profiles nicely and I could see him being a starter at some point. The blocking needs to improve, and maybe he’d like to get a bit faster, but he has early-down capabilities and can be spread out as a receiver if needed, especially to avoid keeping him in the backfield as a blocker. Early downs and short yardage situations are still best, but there’s room for him to grow into a workhorse role. 

Round Grade: Fourth Round

Projected Draft Position: Late Fifth/ Early Sixth Round

Pro Comparison: A combination of Alexander Mattison and Josh Jacobs

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