Jordan Scarlett: Fantasy Scouting Report
One of the best kept secrets of the 2019 running back draft class is former Florida Gator Jordan Scarlett. Scarlett is a name that will start to generate some serious buzz with a strong combine. Jordan Scarlett is a name every dynasty league manager should be excited about.
Weight: 210 pounds
D.O.B: 07/09/1995 (age 23)
One of the best running backs in the 2019 NFL Draft class is somehow still going under the radar. Jordan Scarlett is an explosive, decisive back with good vision, that is going to be a steal for whatever NFL team drafts him. Scarlett had offers from various schools including Wisconsin, Clemson, Georgia, and Alabama but ended up staying in state and going to Florida. Scarlett was impressive enough as a sophomore that many expected he would end up declaring as a junior. Unfortunately the talented back got caught up with multiple teammates in a small time credit card fraud scheme. Scarlett ended up suspended for the entire 2017 season along with Cleveland Browns 2018 fourth round pick Antonio Callaway. Florida welcomed their talented runner back with open arms for the 2018 season. However with a new staff in place Scarlett was forced to split touches with Lamical Perine.
Impressive in the SEC
Jordan Scarlett’s 889 rushing yards in 2016 were the most by a Florida freshman or sophomore since 1995. To put this in context fellow SEC backs Sony Michel, Leonard Fournette, Alvin Kamara, and Josh Jacobs all ran for less yards. His 4.97 yards per carry was higher than Kerryon Johnson. Scarlett’s seven rushes of over 20 yards in 2016 placed him above fellow SEC backs Kerryon Johnson, Alvin Kamara and Sony Michel. His 21 rushes over ten yards placed him higher than Josh Jacobs, Leonard Fournette, and Alvin Kamara.
Scarlett maintained his game while suspended and improved to 22 rushes over 10 yards in 2018 despite seeing less carries than in 2016. His seven rushes of over 20 yards tied him with Najee Harris and Elijah Holyfield, and placed him higher than Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs in the SEC. Scarlett’s 5.9 yards per carry in 2018 placed him higher than Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, Benny Snell Jr., and Damarea Crockett. His 776 rushing yards placed him higher than Josh Jacobs and Damarea Crockett.
Scarlett has the full complement of tools you want to see from an elite back. Scarlett as mentioned above and proven with his big runs is an explosive back with good speed. He has good vision and is decisive to the hole. He has prototypical size and runs with good pad level and power.
— Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext) February 12, 2019
In this run Scarlett shows off his tackle breaking ability, contact balance and elusivity. Scarlett was among the nations leaders with 0.32 missed tackles forced per attempt. This placed him sixth in the FBS and third among draft eligible backs behind only two names everyone has been hyping in David Montgomery and Devin Singletary. Scarlett starts between the tackles on this run before bouncing into the outside and highlights his dynamism in the open field. As evidenced by his 3.99 yards after contact per attempt Jordan Scarlett could become a yards after contact monster in the NFL.
Plays like these are why I love Jordan Scarlett. Can cut on a dime and maintain acceleration. A rare trait that always gets me excited. This run only goes for 10-11 yards but highlights the elusivity he offers due to his cutting ability.#NFLDraft #DraftTwitter #NFLDraft2019 pic.twitter.com/OiuPIwxX4f
— Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext) February 12, 2019
Scarlett forced 43 missed tackles in 2018 and plays like this highlight how he was able to get it done. He possesses elite cutting ability and good contact balance. His ability to maintain his acceleration out of his cuts is what has me excited here. It is a rare trait that often separates good backs from the great ones. Scarlett saw 67.8 percent of his yards come after contact highlighting a talent that will serve him very well in the NFL.
This is one of my favorite inside runs from Jordan Scarlett, he shows off his elusiveness and contact balance, and even makes a first round pick this April. in Devin White whiff on the tackle. #NFLDraft #DraftTwitter #NFLDraft2019 pic.twitter.com/UoUe0sY00k
— Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext) February 14, 2019
In Jordan Scarlett we are talking about a strong, powerful runner who can make even the most impressive defenders miss in tight spaces. I am looking very forward to his agility and burst score numbers as I feel they will confirm what we see here on tape. In this run Scarlett made a 2019 first round pick in Devin White completely blow his tackle attempt. His elusiveness and contact balance are shown off once again and help to exemplify why I am so high on Scarlett as a pro prospect.
Jordan Scarlett is going to find his way on the field on third downs. Scarlett has good size and is a willing and able pass protector. His receiving counting stats are not going to wow anyone due to the fact that there were only eighteen total receptions by Florida backs in 2016 and 31 in 2018. This is why tape is important. Scarlett flashed natural hands at Florida and was thought highly enough as a receiver to see snaps out wide.
This play helps us identify that Scarlett is indeed NFL ready as a receiver. He may never be Alvin Kamara or Christian McCaffrey in the receptions department but he has 50+ a year upside given the requisite volume. His ability to not only operate as an outlet or checkdown receiver, but downfield increases his passing game value exponentially. Scarlett is a big play threat any time the ball in his hands and could become a PPR monster in the right system.
This is where things get tricky. My first thought as a player comparison seems a little hyperbolic, especially for someone not many are talking about. The best kept secret in the 2019 NFL Draft reminds me of Todd Gurley. He does not seem as athletic as Todd Gurley which gives me more of a Todd Gurley lite focus. He has the upside to become a dominant NFL running back and does indeed have RB1 tools. Both backs played in the SEC but Gurley was much more impressive and productive. Gurley dwarfed Scarlett’s 1,846 career college rushing yards. Gurley had 1,385 as a true freshman and finished with 3,285.
Todd Gurley: 6.4 yards per carry, 14.17 carries per TD, 9.5 yards per reception.
Jordan Scarlett: 5.4 yards per carry, 28.67 carries per TD, 7.6 yards per reception.
As we can see from the comparison Scarlett is not close to the college prospect that Gurley was. However things could have been much different had he chosen to accept the offer from Wisconsin or Georgia. Due to the glaring production differences Scarlett is projected as more of day two talent who will go on day three due to an excess of talent in this years draft. Scarlett has the talent to be a top-15 running back in the league, but will need the opportunity to realize his potential.
The combine is going to be huge for Jordan Scarlett. If his ESPN recruiting profile is accurate, he ran a 4.48 40 yard dash coming out of high school. As with most pro athletes Scarlett should be able to shave some milliseconds off of his high school time. Based on his film I expect Scarlett to excel in the 20 yard shuttle and post a top tier agility score. If these projections hold true he has a chance to sneak into day two or early day three.
The earlier he gets drafted increases the chances he will be drafted by a team that wants him to be more than just a depth piece behind an established and entrenched starter. Scarlett would arguably be the most talented running back on up to thirteen NFL rosters as they stand today. With that said Scarlett can still become dynasty relevant in a change of pace or committee role.
Jordan Scarlett will be a late round pick in most rookie drafts. He should last until the late third or early fourth in rookie drafts before the combine, and most likely the NFL Draft. In dynasty startups he appears to be going undrafted as there is no current ADP info on him. Scarlett may not win a job right out of preseason, and thus will likely begin his dynasty career as a flex2 option. He has long term RB2 upside with RB1 potential in a workhorse role. Jordan Scarlett is a name to target at the end of rookie drafts. He is a name that is sure to generate some sleeper buzz as the offseason wears on.