Appalachian State has sent just one running back to the NFL via the draft in program history (Darrynton Evans, 2020). In fact, only two offensive players have been selected in the last decade. Will RB Camerun Peoples end the drought in the 2023 NFL Draft, or does his scouting report project him to take the UDFA route to the league?
Camerun Peoples NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Running Back
- School: Appalachian State
- Year: Redshirt Senior
A multi-sport star for Clay Central High School in Alabama, Peoples played basketball, football, and baseball as a freshman. He took over starting RB duties on varsity his sophomore year, but as will become a theme of his scouting report, he missed half the season due to an injury (ankle).
Yet, by the time Peoples’ senior campaign rolled around — as Drake once said — like a sprained ankle, boy, he wasn’t nothin’ to play with. Taking 230 carries for 1,672 yards (7.3 ypc) and 21 touchdowns, as well as returning kick and punt returns for scores, Peoples garnered second-team all-state honors.
An Alabama native, the Crimson Tide were his dream school, but his immense production was a bit “too little, too late.” As a result, Peoples was only a two-star recruit, with Illinois being his only Power Five offer.
After mulling it over with family, he decided to take his talents to Boone, North Carolina, committing to Appalachian State. And much like his high school career, it took a while for Peoples to find his stride. He redshirted as a true freshman, then tore his ACL in 2019.
But when he finally hit the field in 2020, he hit it at full speed. Peoples ran for 1,124 yards and 12 TDs, leading the Sun Belt in rushing and earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors despite missing one game. He even set a bowl record of 317 rushing yards vs. North Texas in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.
A second-team all-conference member once again in 2021, Peoples missed two games but still produced a 166-926-14 rushing line. The injuries persisted last season, as Peoples sat out three contests, but he was a team captain and generated 593 yards and five TDs on 101 carries.
Although his final collegiate campaign paled in comparison to his previous two outings, Peoples still earned coveted invites to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. But did he do enough to warrant NFL Draft attention? Let’s dive into his scouting report to find out.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Camerun Peoples
Strengths: Big, strong ball carrier with outstanding vision. Patiently waits for blocks to develop, displays terrific instincts, and possesses short-area quickness. Tough, hard-charging, and rarely brought down by the initial hit. Powerful and carries defenders for extra yardage. Consistently falls forward when tackled. Works runs and slides off defenders to pick up yardage. Sells ball fakes.
Weaknesses: Not a creative ball carrier who will improvise if things break down. Lacks the ability to dart around the outside. Caught just 11 passes over the past three years. Has watched his production drop every year since 2020.
Overall: Peoples is a downhill ball carrier with a punishing style. He possesses solid playing speed and fits a power gap system in addition to offering potential as a short-yardage or goal-line runner.
Camerun Peoples Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 217 pounds
- Arm Size: 32 5/8″
- Hand Size: 9 3/4″
- Bench Press: 19 reps*
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.61
- Vertical Jump: 37″
- Broad Jump: 10’1″
- Three-Cone: 7.57*
- Short Shuttle: 4.56*
Note: Numbers marked with an (*) are from Appalachian State’s Pro Day.
Appalachian State RB Camerun Peoples Smith Current Draft Projection
On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Peoples ranks 215th overall as the RB18 and holds a sixth-round grade. However, Pauline is higher on the App State RB than most, with many draft analysts and media pundits giving him a UDFA/PFA designation. On Mock Draft Database, Peoples is a projected seventh-round pick. Just a couple of months ago, he ranked in the 400s.
Due to poor testing (particularly his 40 time and agility drills), limited special teams and pass-catching experience (11 career receptions), and his age (will turn 24 during his rookie season), Peoples’ ceiling is likely Pauline’s sixth-round grade. Simply put, Peoples is a north-south runner who can take what his line gives him and a little more (6.2 career ypc).
Although his skill set is a dying breed in the NFL, Camerun can run the ball — just ask the teams he rushed for 100+ yards on in his career: North Texas (317), Coastal Carolina (178), Georgia State (168), Arkansas State (116), Texas A&M (112), Louisiana (104), Citadel (104 on four carries), Western Kentucky (101), and East Carolina (100).
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
List to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.