The running back position is still one position Colts fan emphasize as an important area of need. While Jennings and Brown have been discussed ad naseum as the two fan favorites, Shonn Greene and Cedric Peerman are both backs who would bring a lot of value to the team in a tandem back role with Joseph Addai. Greene is similar to Jennings and Brown in running style and as someone who can gain yards between the tackles. Peerman may be a little closer to Brown than Jennings as he also excels as an inside runner but shows impressive speed for a player his size. Peerman has received attention from the Colts leading up to the draft, potentially because he has experience as a returner as well. If Jennings and Brown are gone and Greene and Peerman are the only players available at the bottom of the 2nd and 3rd Rounds, respectively, who would you pick?
Shonn Greene - Iowa
5'11", 227 lbs.
4.55 40 Yard Dash, 4.25 20 Yard Dash, 7.10 3-Cone Drill
39 Inch Vertical Jump, 23 Bench Reps
SENIOR SEASON STATS:
307 Rushes, 1,850 Yards, 20 TDs (6.0 Yds./Avg)
8 Receptions, 49 Yards (6.1 Yds./Avg)
6 Kick Returns, 114 Yards (19 Yds./Avg)
2005: Did not play against Purdue in October after spraining his ankle against Illinois.
2006: Sat out the Michigan, Northern Illinois and Northwestern games in October and November with an ankle sprain.
2008: Greene missed the game's final 12 minutes after taking a blow to the head in the September Northwestern game.
Strengths: Stout frame with good overall musculature, but especially in his lower body. Good initial quickness off the snap. Downhill runner who attacks the line of scrimmage. Quick to recognize the hole and takes what the defense gives him. Rare flexibility and use of leverage for a back of his size. Runs with a very low pad level, giving defenders little to hit between his knees and shoulder pads, which is one of the reasons why he bounces off of so many tackles. Very good leg drive to take defenders for extra yardage. Finishes his runs. Falls forward to gain additional yardage to end each attempt. Good vision for the cutback. Surprisingly quick feet to bounce laterally and accelerate into the open field. Stout pass blocker who will provide a pop to the rusher and gives a good effort. At least adequate hands for the reception. Despite his relatively advanced age, should have fresh legs due to only one season as the starter.
Athletic ball carrier with a developing game. Turns on his burst in one quick step, consistently runs north/south and gets a lot of force going up the field. Keeps his feet driving on contact, aggressively puts his shoulders into defenders, and falls forward when tackled, picking up the extra yardage. Displays good footwork in a small area, with the ability to bounce around piles. Attempts to set defenders up and make them miss or runs over them altogether. Very strong in his lower body, and delivers some punishing blows. Works to get as much out of every run as possible. Effectively picks up blocking assignments, squaring into defenders and removing them from the action.
Shonn Greene is a haus folks. If you are looking for a short-yardage back with enough speed and moves to do more, Greene could be the guy. Until I thoroughly researched Greene I failed to give him the credit he deserves. What is incredible is that most Colts fans think he is a 3rd Round prospect. The fact is, this is the best power back in the draft. I know some will question his ability as a receiver as he was not often used in that capacity. However, when the ball came his way in the passing game he was productive with it. Additionally, Greene has the burst through the line to pick up additional yards and always falls forward for an extra one or two. He runs through defenders, drags them and even has a nifty Rhodes-esque spin move that will leave defenders in his dust. With only one year of starting carries on his tires, his age is likely a non-factor.
Weaknesses: Lacks the speed to consistently get to the outside or to be a true breakaway threat. Appears to have at soft hands, but lacks experience out of the backfield as a receiver, with only 11 career receptions (for 72 yards). Only one dominant season, so must convince scouts he will be productive over the long term. Might struggle with a complicated playbook. Turns 24 on August 21.
Lacks the agility to turn the corner or beat defenders around the outside. Loses momentum when he must immediately cut back against the grain. Not a creative ball carrier. Improved his vision and instincts as the season moved on, yet at times slow finding the open running lanes.
Clearly, Greene has not done a great deal to prove his ability as a pass-catcher. He is also not a "break-away" threat when he carries the ball. However, it can be argued that should Greene have had the chance to carry the ball against the Chargers in the playoffs last year, he'd be a shoe-in to pick up the first down and keep the drive alive. With improved vision and more work on his technique he could be a bruising back with the moves to carry a hefty load in the ground game.
PROFESSIONAL SCOUTING REPORT - Dave-Te' Thomas, CBSSports.com
Body Structure: A well-developed, athletic physique with defined upper-body muscles, tight waist and hips, good bubble, thick thighs and calves and low body fat.
Athletic Ability: A well-built athlete, but has just quickness. Compensates with his agility, balance and ability to come out of his stance low to generate enough initial quickness into the holes. Shows good, but not great, strength and has the leg drive to have defenders draped on him to be dragged for extra yardage, as he shows good forward body lean. Has just adequate change-of-direction agility, but shows good flexibility and functional acceleration coming off the snap, lacking breakaway speed.
Football Sense: Good field vision and instincts, but has struggled considerably in school and performs best in a "meat and potatoes" type of offense (needs things simplified). Might not be capable of handling the mental aspects of the game at the next level and there were concerns earlier in his career that he just did not apply himself to the study aspect of learning the nuances of the game.
Character: A hard worker, but approaching age 24, he felt it was best to capitalize on his one good season now. Comes from a split family and was raised by his grandmother, but outside of his academic problems, he has no known off-field issues. Respected by team and staff, responsible, humble and has matured after seeing his career almost come to an end when he was ruled academically ineligible in 2007.
Competitiveness: The consummate team player, never complaining when he had to battle from deep down the depth chart to earn his starting job in 2008. A hard-nosed player, real tough and highly competitive. Plays with good aggression and even though he played behind a very average offensive line, he made things happen running between tackles. Finishes his runs with very good determination and, with his good stamina, he gets stronger as the game progresses.
Work Habits: Knows the importance of preparation and puts in the extra hours studying tapes. Might not do more than is asked in the weight room, but is team-oriented.
Initial Quickness: Good initial quickness, but lacks explosiveness or a second gear to negotiate long-distance runs. More quick than fast. Can make quick cuts at the hole, but loses his power base when he hops up in his stance. Does make quick decisions with the ball in his hands to hit the holes in a hurry. Shows functional cutting ability and does not need to gear down approaching the line, but he does not generate the sudden burst that would allow him to gain advantage getting into the second level.
Acceleration/Burst: A decent short-area burst in his turns, but lacks great acceleration in the open. A good feel for the cutback lane and some bounce in his step, but is best taking the ball up the middle than try to dance to the outside. Not going to run away from too many people. Does a good job of varying his speed, showing good cut-back ability to bounce off tackle.
Instincts/Balance: The thing that you notice immediately about Greene is his change-of-direction agility and body control. When the rush lane is clogged, he has the feel to redirect and bounce outside, but does not have the speed to take the ball to the house down the sidelines. Shows the vision needed to see threats and plays the hand that he is dealt. While he won't explode past the line, he shows patience setting up his blocks and has the balance and body lean to gain positive yardage falling forward.
Inside Running: A physical inside runner whose playing strength is better than his weight-room figures. The short-area quickness to get into the hole and can create if the crease is closed. Shows a good burst in his turns, just lacking suddenness in his change of direction, but has good vision. Can find the hole, but will sometimes run too upright, resulting in him being susceptible to ankle tackles (needs to generate better knee lift).
Outside Running: Tries to bounce outside, but lacks pick-and-slide ability. When he goes wide, he just does not have the speed to turn the corner, as he lacks that extra gear. Can run over second-level defenders impacting on the edge, but will never be able to elude them.
Elusiveness: Not a "make you miss" type, but when he gets a short burst off the snap, he shows quick cutting agility. Can also make the jump cut, showing the vision to avoid. The thing that sets him apart from most is that he has the ability to improvise, but once he gets into the second level, he will generally get caught from behind.
Tackle-Breaking Strength: Not going to go down easy, even from gang tackles. Lacks weight-room strength, but has the lower-body power to push the pile when he keeps his pads down. Good strength, but when he runs high in his stance, his base gets a little too narrow. Enough leg drive to run through arm tackles and very seldom gets knocked back through the rush lanes when he keeps his pad level low.
Tendency to Fumble: Does a good job of protecting the ball, keeping it close to his body. Both of his fumbles came on pitch-outs in 2008, but he can handle pitches and generally runs with the ball secured in both hands.
Receiving Skills: Gets few opportunities as a receiver, even on controlled routes. Does struggle to look the ball in and will generally trap it rather than reach and extend. Unless he can develop a better feel for the passing game, he will find himself on the bench in third-down passing situations.
Route Running: Has problems tracking the ball in flight and, while he runs decent routes, they are rounded (makes soft angle cuts). Knows how to settle in the zone and is a strong runner after the catch, but has to develop moves to set up the cornerback in man coverage.
Blocking Ability: Not asked to block much, but he is a team-oriented type that will face up to bigger defenders. Needs to work on his cut blocking in pass protection, but has the hip snap and power to impact when he makes a proper block. Seems to lack the awareness to get a piece of the linebacker when picking up the blitz.
Compares To: LADELL BETTS, Washington -- Greene is a lot like most Iowa runner -- more quick than fast and best when running between tackles. He disputes the assessment that he is a "one year wonder," but he was not exactly exciting NFL teams with his mediocre performance at the NFL Combine. He has had academic issues throughout his education process, leading one to expect that he will struggle with a complicated play book. He is a marginal route runner and has no sustained speed to threaten as an outside runner. But, between the tackles, he is a load to stop one-on-one.
The only real question mark for Greene, outside of his pass-catching ability, is his intelligence. However, it seems that his primary intelligence issues are in his studies and not on the football field. So long as he can pick up the playbook, I don't see intelligence be an issue because instincts as a runner are far more important and he has shown exceptional instincts with the ball in his hands.
Cedric Peerman - Virginia
5'10", 216 lbs.
4.34 40 Yard Dash, 4.29 20 Yard Dash, 6.99 3-Cone Drill
40 Inch Vertical Jump, 27 Bench Reps
SENIOR SEASON STATS:
153 Rushes, 774 Yards, 7 TDs (5.1 Yds./Avg.)
44 Receptions, 193 Yards (4.4 Yds./Avg.)
5 KR, 108 Yards (21.6 Yds./Avg.)
2007: Suffered a right ankle and foot sprain against Middle Tennessee in October and was forced to wear a protective boot, but later in November, team doctors performed Lisfranc foot surgery that would force him to miss the final six games.
2008: Did not play against Duke in September due to a foot sprain and left the Maryland contest in October when he lost stamina in the third quarter.
Stengths: Short, thick build that appears capable of handling NFL punishment. Quick to the hole. Good lateral agility to make defenders miss. Runs with surprising authority. Can bounce to the outside and has the burst to get to the second level. Might lack elite stopwatch speed, but plays fast and can pull away in the open field. Soft hands out of the backfield. High effort player who makes those around him better.
Well-built interior runner who eludes defenders and creates yardage. Strong, tough to bring down, and uses an effective straight arm to keep defenders away. Displays outstanding vision, finds the running lanes, and follows blocks everywhere on the field. Patient, displays good open field running skills, and is a terrific pass catcher out of the backfield. Gets vertical and adjusts to make the difficult reception, and keeps the play in bounds, trying to pick up as much yardage as possible. Shows a good amount of quickness in his running.
Cedric Peerman may well be a good change-of-pace option for the Colts. He does well running inside, can catch passes, and has enough lateral speed and agility to break runs outside if lanes are closed on the inside. Peerman surprised everyone running a 4.34 at the Virginia Pro Day but if you look at him run on tape it probably will not be a huge surprise. Once he gets into the second level, if he has a clean lane, he has the ability to take the ball to the house. He is physically imposing and looks more capable than the current backs on our team to gain the tough yards.
Weaknesses: Lacks the bulk teams are looking for in a bell-cow runner. May have to be a change of pace back in the NFL due to his struggles in staying healthy. Missed second half of 2007 with Lisfranc surgery on his right foot and missed time last season with a bruised knee. Very small hands, which scouts fear will lead to fumbles. Didn't help his cause in this area with a fumble during the Senior Bowl.
Does not play with 40 time or show the ability to beat defenders around the corner. Lack of height could be an issue with several teams.
The biggest concerns about Cedric Peerman involve his health and ball-security. Anyone who knows Bill Polian knows that he is not keen on RBs, no matter how well-rounded and capable in short and long running situations, if he is unable to hold on to the football he has no place on the Colts. If he can improve in this capacity and shows the willingness to work hard in that area of his game, he may have a chance to become a change-of-pace runner in the NFL.
PROFESSIONAL SCOUTING REPORT - Dave-Te' Thomas, CBSSports.com
Body Structure: Has a shorter-than ideal frame with very small hands. A tight build with good muscle development, good width to his shoulders and chest, tight waist, cut/muscular legs, but limited room for further growth without impacting his timed speed.
Athletic Ability: Outstanding timed speed, but it does not always translate to the field, as he has a bit of a hitch coming out of his stance, preventing him from generating good explosion into the holes. Hands are extremely small and durability is a major concern, as he has battled with foot problems the last two years. Small, but well-built athlete who is a shifty runner with good hands as a receiver. Good quickness and balance, but lacks the suddenness or change of direction skills to bounce the ball wide for big runs (only four runs for more than 20 yards as a senior). Has the body control to be very effective catching passes out of the backfield or in the slot, making him a possible better prospect for the receiving unit.
Football Sense: A good learner and a tireless worker. Has the ability to digest a complicated playbook and will not have problems with the mental aspect of the game.
Character: A player whose work ethic and character is unquestioned. Everyone you talk to says that he is well-spoken, respected by the team and staff, mentally tough, a leader by example and a good student with no off-field issues.
Competitiveness: For a player with his strength and timed speed, you would figure that he would be more productive with the ball in his hands. Mentally tough, but his durability is questionable and 1,779 yards rushing in 42 games (42.66 ypg) is not the makings of a first-team running back. Enough strength and tenacity to face up to the larger defenders as a blocker and shows good leg drive to generate the power needed to break arm tackles, but needs to use his athletic tools more often.
Work Habits: A good program player who filled in capably as a kickoff returner waiting for his starting opportunity. Team oriented and very coachable. Takes a lot of pride in his work habits and served as a good team captain, leading by example.
ATHLETIC REPORT: GRADE: 5.73
Initial Quickness: Has the timed speed to get a quick start to the hole, but has a bit of a hitch in his start (hops up a bit in his stance) that erases some of his explosiveness. Better running straight ahead, as he does struggle with his balance when having to suddenly redirect or bounce to the outside. Does not show quick cut ability in the open, which negates his speed, especially when he has to gear down and start up again.
Acceleration/Burst: Has the speed to make the initial tackler miss, but you just don't see him selling his moves or generating a sudden burst to escape. Looks inconsistent coming out of his cuts, as he is not going to sell his routes and get behind the defensive back to settle in the soft area of the zone.
Instincts/Balance: Has the vision to locate threats, but needs to stay on the hip of his blockers better, as he sometimes outruns his coverage. Does a good job of squaring his shoulders and lowering his pads to break arm tackles. Strong legs help him get through trash and he does run with good authority, also demonstrating good ball security (two fumbles in 2008 came on poor handoffs from the QB).
Inside Running: Might have great timed speed, but it does not translate to the field consistently. However, his frame is also built for power, and he does fairly well moving the ball inside. Not a player that will run over the larger defenders, but he is tough and feisty taking the ball up the gut to get good yardage after initial contact. Keeps his legs churning through the holes, but will get pushed back often when he gets too upright in his stance.
Outside Running: This is where Peerman needs to be more productive. Blessed with that rare speed runners can only hope for, but fails to generate the second gear to escape when bouncing wide. Much better running between tackles, as he might win a few track meets, but he isn't a shifty runner with the burst and acceleration to turn the corner. Has good vision and adequate speed to gain yardage working around the edge.
Elusiveness: Has that make them miss type of timed speed, but does not show the body torso or hip wiggle to elude when turning the corner. Shows the vision to avoid, but you just don't see him make the jump cut. Better using his speed to break free through the pile playing in between tackles.
Tackle-Breaking Strength: When Peerman stays low in his pads, his balance and leg drive gets him good success in breaking tackles. Will rarely get knocked back when he keeps his pad level down. Problems occur when he too high in his stance, as he gets narrow and the result is that bigger defenders can engulf him, as he does lack the ideal size to move the chains. Has more strength than most small backs and shows a good burst and power behind his runs, using his leg drive to break tackles when he generates a lower center of gravity.
Tendency to Fumble: Good ball security most of last season. He does not have a fumble issue, though, protecting the ball well, especially when taking it through the wedge as a kickoff returner.
Receiving Skills: Has very small hands (8 inches), which is a concern for a few NFL teams. Has natural pass catching ability and uses his leaping ability to get to the ball at its high point (none of the passes thrown to him were deflected in 2008). Might be better served as a change of pace, third-down back or a slot receiver due to his pass catching skills.
Route Running: This is a tough area to grade Peerman in, as most of his passes were on screens or flares. Needs to be more explosive getting into his patterns, but there is enough here to utilize him as a third-down back.
Blocking Ability: Even with his impressive weight room numbers, Peerman fails to generate much force behind his hand punch. There is nothing special in his blocking at this at this point, as he needs to generate better hip snap to get into the defender.
Compares To: JOSH SCOBEY, ex-Seattle -- Like Scobey, the football gods blessed Peerman with great speed, but with just marginal production on the football field. His strength makes him an efficient inside runner, but he has problems generating the burst needed to be effective taking the ball to the corners. Like Scobey, the one good value right now might be on the kickoff return unit.
Peerman's scouting report indicates that he has a hitch step coming out of his stance, which negates some of his burst and speed. He would need to be coached out of this habit or suffer the same kind of problems Colts fans are disgusted about with Joseph Addai. Additionally, Peerman needs to work on his balance to be more effective as an outside runner. It would seem, however, that his endless work ethic and competitive nature could allow him to develop enough as a player to be effective as a change-of-pace option for the Colts. Additionally, his experience as a kick returner would bring immediate value to the team as a rookie.
SENIOR BOWL PRACTICE RECAP - TFYDraft.com
Monday Practice Notes: Of those in today's North practice, Peerman looked the most comfortable running between the tackles, catching the ball out of the backfield, and showed some good vision on cut back runs when they developed.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Runs very hard between the tackles, good power, and showed good hands as a receiver out of the backfield on the passes thrown his way.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Does a nice job of keep his feet moving and picking up extra yards after initial contact. He didn't really do anything to stand out today, but in most cases, his line wasn't giving him much room to work with.
Thursday Practice Notes: Peerman shows good vision and the ability to pick his way on the inside and weave through the traffic. Once he gets outside of tackle and must change direction he really loses a lot of speed and momentum.
Analysis: Peerman ran hard all week and showed power on the inside. His ability to catch the ball was also prevalent this week. He's really best in a straight line and struggles cutting back or turning the corner. Peerman established himself as a late round/situational runner.
It's clear that Peerman would bring a new element to the Colts running attack. Someone who can effectively run inside the tackles and has the speed to break long runs when holes are there, whilst also having the tackle-breaking ability to keep plays alive and pick up extra yards.
ANOTHER SCOUTING REPORT - MockingtheDraft.com
Shonn Greene and Cedric Peerman have different running styles. While both excel more inside the tackles, Greene is a bit more of a bruiser while Peerman does more inside with his burst and explosion through the line. Greene is not as developed as a receiver out of the backfield. Peerman brings special teams value as a potential kick returner. Greene brings more to the team in a pile-moving capacity on short-yardage and goal-line situations. Neither player has a huge fumbling concern, so ball security should be okay. There is a clear distance between the two players in ability, Greene would likely require a 2nd Round pick while Cedric Peerman should be available late in the 3rd Round. Which of the two backs would you prefer? Shonn Greene in the 2nd Round or Cedric Peerman in the 3rd?
Greene in the 2nd Round or Peerman in the 3rd?
Shonn Greene in the 2nd Round (18 votes)
Cedric Peerman in the 3rd Round (98 votes)
116 total votes