Montee Ball RB Wisconsin #28
Size/Athleticism: Prototypical build for a workhorse running back. Well built and conditioned to take a pounding. Very average athleticism. Speed is adequate, but nothing special and he lacks the agility to be a serious home run threat out of the backfield.
Vision: He’s a very patient runner and does a great job following his blockers and not over-committing before holes open up. His vision makes him a very reliable runner, who you can count on to pick up positive yardage on nearly every play. He rarely deviates from the script and simply takes what’s given to him. However, this also means if the offensive line doesn’t open up a gaping hole, he’s not going to break off a long run.
Power: Very much a North/South runner. At his best when running between the tackles and has the size to take the pounding. He’ll run right through the arm tackles, but once he’s wrapped up he goes down. He lacks the elite strength to consistently push the pile and break out of a strong wrap-up tackle.
Speed/Agility: Basically a one-move runner. Has the open-field speed to break off some long runs, but not real elusive. He’s not that type of running back that creates much for himself and needs the offensive line to pave the way. He takes a few steps to gain momentum and lacks the agility to make guys miss in the open field. Below average start-and-stop ability. Once the hole closes up, he lacks the ability to make a second move and create something out of nothing.
Passing Game: A reliable receiver out of the backfield. Not a threat to break off many big plays as a receiver, but displays good hands and can be an asset in the short passing game. One of the better blockers in this class. Does a great job staying low in his blocks and doesn’t shy away from stepping up against defensive ends.
Intangibles: Cousin Darius Hill played at Ball State and was briefly a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Arrested for trespassing at a party in May, 2012 – a very minor infraction and shouldn’t factor into his evaluation. Coaches speak very highly of his work ethic. He’s a team leader on and off the field and has the character NFL coaches will love.
Durability: Knocked out of a game in 2011 with a “head injury” but returned to the game and did not miss any further time. Enters the league with a lot of wear and tear on his tires. Carried the ball over 300 times in 2011.
Comments: Ball put up some ridiculous numbers at Wisconsin, but he is, at least partially, a product of the system. He played in a run-first offense and behind a dominant offensive line. He definitely has the skills to play at the next level, potentially as a starter, but he lacks the elite measurables to project as a can’t-miss prospect. While he does everything well, he just doesn’t doesn’t stand out in any one area. He’s sort of a ‘tweener in terms of his style – he’s not big enough to be a powerful downhill runner, but not elusive enough to be a threat running to the outside.