Chris Warren recruit scouting report: Running back or athlete?

Chris Warren at the Dallas NFTC - Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

Warren has the size to grow into another position in college.

Chris Warren is one of the top multi-positional athletes in the nation, and the blue-chip recruit from Texas is garnering interest from top-tier college football programs around the country.

Warren attends Rockwall (Texas) Rockwall High School, and is considered one of the better prospects in the football crazy state. He can play multiple positions, but is listed as a running back by both Rivals and Scout.

Listed at 6'2 and 220 pounds, Warren is a consensus four-star recruit. He's also a consensus four-star, as Rivals, Scout, 247Sports and ESPN both rate him at that level. Scout, 247Sports and ESPN all rank Warren in the top 15 of his listed position -- athlete for the latter two, running back for the former -- while Rivals does not yet have rankings for the running backs in the class.

Warren claims offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and UCLA, among others.

Fans can follow him on Twitter at @ScorealldayCW25.

Already a jumbo back at 220 pounds, the biggest question surrounding Warren is whether he will be able to stick at the running back position in college or whether his future lies somewhere else, like H-back, linebacker, or potentially even defensive end.

His weight may be the primary determinant of that and Warren is at a college-ready weight for the running back position, as his frame is relatively filled out as he finishes his junior year of high school, making the ideal weight for him somewhere in the 230 pound range, unless he ends up being one of those prospects who can stack muscle on muscle or ends up at defensive end.

Most schools are recruiting Warren as a running back, even though he lacks elite speed and lateral quickness for the position -- he ran a 4.62 40 at a Nike event last year, along with a 4.4 shuttle and a 36-inch vertical leap that is his most impressive measurement of athleticism.

For his size, however, that 40 time is perfectly legitimate, as Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde ran a 4.66 at the NFL Combine recently -- there's no reason that Warren can't be a successful ball carrier in college with those testing numbers.

As with most bigger backs, Warren's best skill is his ability to break tackles, whether up around his shoulders or around his legs, as a result of his pure size and strength. He also shows nice balance to stay upright when taking glancing blows.

He also could project as a short-yardage running back who spends some time as a fullback in two-back sets, as Warren spent some time blocking as a sophomore and showed a willingness to get physical on one scramble play during that same season.

The biggest area for improvement that he has as a running back, besides trying to maximize his explosiveness, is to better protect the ball in the open field, as Warren often runs with it out away from his body without the ideal points of contact with his bicep and his chest.

Of course, Warren could also play defensive end, though his height is not quite ideal for the position. The fact that he doesn't mind doing the dirty work of blocking makes his projection on defense more favorably and there is some evidence that he can use his hands from his time playing time there as a sophomore.

Warren may have the most upside as a defensive end because he doesn't have the ideal measurables for the running back position, but if he does continue taking handoffs in college, he'll have to continue breaking tackles to produce at a starting level.

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