Not to worry, NFL scouts not surprised by Leonard Fournette’s Combine numbers

Leonard Fournette
Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

NFL Scout Chris Landry is in Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine helping NFL teams in the evaluation process. 

I am compelled to address the Leonard Fournette weight and vertical jump issues due to the approximately 900 text messages asking for a comment on the issue. As far as the weight is concerned, as NFL league scouting executives we not only study each player’s weight but their body fat percentage along with any medical issues to determine a players best weight to compete at.

While Fournette’s weight is not ideal, his body fat percentage was fine and his weight will be what his eventual NFL team wants it to be. The fact that he ran such as fast time in the 40-yard dash was expected by most of us in the scouting community as he is a build-up speed back that can really motor.

As far as Fournette’s vertical jump being below the standard for the position, it again was not that surprising as it mirrors his athleticism on the playing field. He has a big, truncated lower body-build that translates to strong, gradual power-built speed. He is not explosive in short spurts, but long spurts.

In other words, he lacks the stop/start quickness and needs the starting room to build into this speed/power mode. His broad jump, 3-cone drill and short shuttles reflect that as well. But so does his film. You don’t see him juke people or jump-cut inside the hole.

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He lacks great run vision and instincts. He is a downhill, man-blocking scheme power-runner. Teams that run that style and are committed to it have, and will, continue to love him. For those looking for the versatile 3-down back that has better lateral agility and is a bigger weapon in the passing game have been, and will, continue to look elsewhere.


On the other hand, Dalvin Cook’s tape suggests better athleticism than he showed during the workout. It is something that we as scouts will have more work to do on, but it is not the drastic disappointment uniformed draft pundits suggest as they lack the experience in evaluating and only serve to gather information for their media entities regardless of their lack of qualified opinions.

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Chris Landry is a veteran NFL scout who has worked for the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. Previously, he ran the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and served as an assistant at LSU. Landry is a consultant for multiple NFL teams and major college programs.

If you want true evaluations of scouting recruiting, you can receive them from amateurs or from someone who has been a major-college recruiting coordinator and NFL scouting director and now serves as a scouting/coaching consultant to major-college programs and NFL teams. Have access to your own NFL and college scouting department for less than a yearly magazine subscription. By joining today, you’ll receive 25 percent off for a year; use the code = Gridiron.

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