James Starks NFL Draft scouting report

James Starks
6'2, 211 pounds | Running back | Buffalo

Strengths:
Is tall with a lean frame to add plenty of strength. Is a good one-cut runner. Likes to make his read, move and work up the field. Shows good vision, especially near the goal line. Gives good effort and keeps his legs pumping after contact. Likes to lower his shoulder and hit defenders. Shows good balance and lean after getting hit. Will be an asset as a receiver – caught more than 120 balls in three years for nearly 1,000 yards. Runs solid routes, but more than anything else, he knows how to get open.

Weaknesses: Doesn't have break away speed. Can be tracked down in the open field because of his speed and lack of elusiveness. A bit stiff in the hips and doesn't change direction very well. Will take too much time before hitting a hole and he doesn't have the shiftiness in his game to make up for it. Will need to add some bulk because of his running style. Tends to be upright too much. Struggles as a pass blocker and will need to be completely coached up in this area. Has some serious durability issues. Missed the entire 2009 season following shoulder surgery. Had to rest some in 2008 due to exhaustion.  

Final word: Starks has been under the radar after missing the entire 2009 season. He could have probably gotten a medical redshirt for the year, but he's ready for the NFL. He could have been drafted following the 2008 season.

Starks runs with a lot of purpose and is tougher to take down than his slender frame would suggest. He's a factor as a receiver and will give some team a very valuable backup running back who has the ability to start. Starks just needs to refine his blocking and learn to hit a hole quicker.

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