With the 61st pick, in the 2nd round in the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have selected LaMichael James, a running back out of Oregon. James will upgrade a 49ers offense that struggled to score TD's in 2011. He is also the second player selected by the 49ers who has been clocked in the 4.3's, and gives San Francisco an instant home run threat out of the backfield.
Sports Illustrated's prospect scouting database provides a succinct analysis on James, as a prospect:
Positives: Small yet explosive big play threat who picks up big chunks of yardage whenever the ball is in his hands. Solid athlete who can turn it on a single step and has enough speed to beat defenders around the corner or into the open field. Quickly cuts back against the grain, immediately alters his angle of attack and loses no momentum changing direction. Keeps his feet moving on contact and is nifty and elusive. Sidesteps defenders, avoids the trash and creates yardage when seemingly nothing is available. Runs low to the ground with terrific balance and body control. Strings several moves together over the course of a single run and makes multiple defenders miss. Solid receiver out of the backfield.
Negatives: At times does too much East/West running and dancing around the backfield rather than taking it up the field. Easily brought down at the point of attack by a single opponent.
It will be interesting to see how the Oregon Duck fares in the NFL, and if his explosiveness and agility will be something that his new team will look to use in their offense early.
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