Colt Scout: RB Brian Leonard

(Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty)

The Colts found middle linebacker Gary Brackett at Rutgers University. Will Brian Leonard be the next Rutgers player to be added to the Colts roster? Jerry Langton explains why the Colts are likely to have some interest in him and why he'd be a good fit in Indy.

Brian Leonard, RB
Rutgers

Numbers:
6'1 (6012), 233 pounds, 4.56 – 4.62 forty-yard dash

2005 Stats: 173-740 (11 TDs) rushing, 55-568 (6 TDs) receiving

Who He Reminds Me Of: Greg Jones (right), a former second-round pick by Jacksonville who is contending for the starter's role, although Leonard is a far better receiver.

The Player: There's very little nuance to Leonard's game. He's remarkably strong for his size (like guard strong), has respectable speed, excellent vision and surprising moves. Leonard may weigh a ton, but he cuts like a 180-pounder. Still, he doesn't have a second gear, he won't make a defender stand still with a fake and he won't spin anyone around. While Leonard won't remind anyone of Marshall Faulk, he can be very effective in different ways. He runs low, takes on defenders and breaks all the very best tackle attempts. It's almost impossible to make him fumble, and his thick legs never stop moving. As effective as he is in the run game, he is even more valuable in the passing game. He's a strong blocker who can negate the blitz, he has excellent hands, understands how to hurt defenses and he punishes would-be tacklers. Leonard isn't about embarrassing a safety with his speed or moves, he's all about destroying him.

How He Fits: Most draft types consider Leonard something of a mix between a halfback and a fullback and think that he'd succeed in the NFL as a fullback if he gained some weight. I disagree. I see Leonard as a king-sized running back in a single-back offense who could also line up at fullback, H-back or tight end to confuse defenses. He's a killer blocker, especially on the move, and can catch the ball on any kind of route. But he's more than that. Although big backs who bowl over college defenses often experience a rude surprise once they enter the bigger, badder NFL, I don't see Leonard as one of them. He runs so low and with such power that he'll pack a wallop no matter who he faces. He doesn't have the straight-line speed, quickness, creativity or explosion to be a primary ballcarrier in the NFL, but he could still be a big-time contributor. I'd love to see Leonard crashing through lines on third-and-short or punishing tired and demoralized defenses while protecting a fourth-quarter lead. The Colts prefer smaller, faster backs, but I'm sure offensive coordinator could find all kinds of frightening things to do with a talent like Leonard.


Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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