With the 2015 NFL Draft less than two weeks away, a player that many consider a hidden gem is ready to shine in Boise State Broncos running back Jay Ajayi.
Ajayi, 23, is the Broncos London-born Nigerian standout junior running back who rushed for the fifth-most number of yards in college football (1,823) and 28 touchdowns in 2014-15. Ajayi would also have 535 receiving yards and four touchdowns to accumulate a total of 2,358 total yards and 32 total touchdowns.
Ajayi–also called the J-Train–would cap off his collegiate career in rushing for 134 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in a 38-30 win over the Arizona Wildcats in the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl.
While other big-name headliners at the running back position include Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon, Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Indiana’s Tevon Coleman in the same class make it easy to overlook him, whichever team manages to grab him, will be getting perhaps the best dual-threat running back in the draft.
Thanks to the current devaluation of running backs, the need for more receivers out of the backfield in today’s new-age NFL, players like Ajayi will never be without a job. In averaging 5.3 yards a carry for the Broncos, many scouts are drooling over Ajayi’s quick-footness and flexibility.
That in addition to his ability to make explosive and athletic jump cuts could make him an intriguing prospect if he lands in the right system. Despite being 5’11 and 215 pounds, a couple of minor areas where Ajayi could improve upon is ball security—as he has 12 fumbles—and his lack of power in running inside through tackles, may make him a possible end of the first-to-third round target for teams in need of a potential third-down specialist such as him.
Based on this, possible landing spots for him could be the Detroit Lions (loss of Reggie Bush in free agency), Baltimore Ravens(suspension of Ray Rice), New England(loss of Stevan Ridley and Shane Vareen in free agency) Patriots and New Orleans Saints(loss of Darren Sproles in free agency).
Wherever he land, Ajayi will be sure to make an immediate impact, as his prospective team will have landed a potential game-changer in the backfield.