This year I wrote the player rankings and evaluations for the USA Today 2012 NFL Draft magazine. It's on newsstands now and available online here. Leading up to the draft, I'll be reprinting some of my quick reports here.
Vick Ballard, Mississippi State
Height: 5'11, Weight: 220 pounds
Strengths: Ballard has a good frame and nice quickness and speed for his size. Ballard, a junior college transfer, is good at playing the cut back lane and utilizing his vision. Will be an asset on a team that uses zone blocking principles. Hits the hole in a hurry. Team captain in 2011.
Weaknesses: For a bigger back, Ballard goes down too easily on first contact. Pitter-patters behind the line too much. Needs to hit the hole with more confidence and strength. May exclusively be a zone running back, which Mississippi State ran. That limits his value in the draft. Struggled in State's big games against Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.