LaMichael James is ready for the 2012 NFL Draft. But where will he end up? It remains to be seen whether James can bulk up to withstand the weekly punishment the pros put on even the best college players, but there's no denying that he's fundamentally one of the stronger running backs out there for a team to pick up and try and develop into a big-time weapon.
Draft Tek seems to think very highly of James in their latest draft, as he goes to the New York Jets midway through the second round with the 47th pick. Here's the explanation for this pick.
Same pick as last week - but this time James is officially in the draft pool, having annoucned late last week. With an upgrade at Right Tackle from Round 1 (Adcock), the speedy shifty LaMichael James will replace LaDainian Tomlinson as the Jets change of pace back. Expect James to run in the 4.3's at the Combines in February - he will provide a boost to the Jets entire offensive, forcing defenses pay more attention to what was a predictable running attack in the 2011 Season. James had a storybook season for the Ducks in 2010, but he's arguably been better in 2011. Despite missing 2 games, and playing sparingly vs Washington State, he's accumulated 1805 yards, 18 TDs and has averaged 7.3 ypc this season (vs 5.9 ypc in 2010). Whereas LT served as a pass-catching 3rd down option for the Jets, Coach Ryan will look to integrate James into the Jets attack much moreso that Tomlinson, who ran the ball just 75 times in 2011 (but caught 42 balls).
James is a pretty strong all-around back, as he can play in space, play between the tackles, and catch balls out of the backfield. But doing it at college is one thing. Can he replicate those numbers in the pros?
To discuss LaMichael with Oregon fans, head on over to Addicted to Quack. To talk about the possibility of James joining the Jets, head to Gang Green Nation. To talk about the 2012 NFL draft in general, go to Mocking the Draft.