The general parity of talent at the running back position naturally makes it one of the deeper groups in the NFL Draft each cycle. But even when considering that, the 2022 NFL Draft looks primed to have one of the largest running back pools in recent memory. If you’re looking for value, this is the class to get it. And with his NFL Draft scouting report, Michigan RB Hassan Haskins might be one of those value deals.
Hassan Haskins NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Running back
- School: Michigan
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 220 pounds
Hassan Haskins Scouting Report
It helps to have an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award in 2021. But make no mistake — Haskins isn’t a product of the group in the trenches. To be fair, every running back is, to some degree, dependent on their offensive line. But it also takes talent at running back to exploit the holes generated by the blockers up front.
Haskins’ 2021 campaign was a masterclass in this regard. After a year as one of the most productive runners in college football, Haskins is now a budding 2022 NFL Draft prospect. What does Haskins bring to the table as a runner, and what is his path forward as a prospective NFL player?
Hassan Haskins’ athletic profile
Haskins’ skill set provides a stark contrast to his teammates Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. Haskins is the classic college workhorse, standing at 6’1″, 220 pounds. That size is easily the physical element of Haskins’ game that stands out most.
With his frame, Haskins can be hard to take down. He’s a physical, energetic finisher whose size helps him churn out tough yards. Beyond that, Haskins has stellar contact balance. The Michigan RB’s legs are constantly churning, and his dense frame can absorb hits well.
Haskins’ game revolves around his size, but he’s not just a bruiser. The Michigan RB is an underrated athlete, and it shows in several ways. Haskins has solid burst in space. He can explode into open lanes and ramp up his stride quickness with ease. He’s also surprisingly snappy out of his cuts for his size. His weight transfers are fairly abrupt and efficient.
Going further, Haskins’ hips are reasonably flexible. The Wolverines rusher can sidestep defenders, correct his hips, and gear up in rapid succession. He also appears to be explosive vertically. He can leap defenders in the open field, hinting at greater athleticism under the surface.
Execution beyond the physical traits
Haskins has an underrated combination of size and athleticism, but his execution further completes his game. One of Haskins’ best traits is his ability to remain up-tempo up the middle. Haskins’ feet move exceptionally fast, and he has good footwork overall. He can shuffle and stutter his feet to adjust his positioning, and he knows when to open up his hips and go.
Haskins’ feet are always active, and that active platform helps him manipulate angles. Furthermore, he’s shown he can adapt in the backfield in spurts, levying smooth cuts to maintain spacing. He also has the patience and spatial awareness to wait for blocks and the vision to identify small creases and attack those holes. Once he does so, Haskins can shrink himself through gaps and shrug off initial arm tackles.
The Michigan product has definite skill, but it also helps that he’s a high-effort player overall. He has an aggressive mentality against contact, consistently lowering his shoulder and charging forward in close quarters. He’s an endurance runner who doesn’t slow up through four quarters, constantly bringing the same energy.
Last but not least, Haskins provides value on passing downs. He’s a good blocker who can identify vulnerable gaps and position himself accordingly. Additionally, while he didn’t accrue much volume as a pass catcher, he is capable there. He has a subtly expansive route tree and flashes body control and RAC ability.
Areas for improvement
The tape backs up Haskins’ production. Even so, he’s not a perfect prospect. Athletically, Haskins’ long speed has an observable cap. He’s never going to win footraces in open space. He also doesn’t have elite range working laterally. He doesn’t always get around the edge on outside runs and specializes inside the hashes. His explosiveness, while solid, is not elite.
Haskins isn’t overly shifty or sudden. He’s not a liability here, but he doesn’t quite have high-level creative instincts or full-field vision. While he can use fast feet to adjust, he’s more of a north-south runner.
There are times when he drifts into crowds instead of looking for outlets. He can more consistently read lanes, then react. His feet are on auto-pilot moving forward at times, leading him into messy situations.
While Haskins can adapt with single cuts, he isn’t the most adaptable running back when encountering early contact. The Michigan RB can sink his hips into cuts more, utilizing more explosive capacity. In the same vein, he can be a bit upright at times, and that upright style can sap away at his momentum and force in space.
Hassan Haskins’ 2022 NFL Draft scouting report overview
Haskins is just another part of an impressively deep 2022 NFL Draft running back class. There are a few factors that may keep him from being an early-round pick. While he has good explosiveness with short runways, his burst isn’t elite. He’s also not overly elusive or creative, and he’s not very effective on outside runs with his lacking speed.
But in inside-zone and power-gap schemes, Haskins has a lot of appeal. He has good vision and feel and can use fast footwork to manipulate short spaces and sneak into the second level. From there, he has the contact balance and physicality to finish forward and impose his will on defenders. It also helps that Haskins brings solid value on passing downs. Although he can take on more volume as a receiver, he shows promise there, and he’s a strong blocker as well.
Overall, Haskins is a big, physical back who offers more beyond cosmetic toughness and grit. Although his creative potential is limited, his ability to read and follow his blocks, as well as his ability to finish runs, makes him a valuable stable back and potential scheme-dependent NFL starter.
Hassan Haskins’ Player Profile
It’s true that running back is a more replaceable position than others. But that doesn’t change the fact that natural skill is required. Those who rely only on their traits can get phased out. And on the flip side, those who stay true to the finer details always find their way up the ladder.
Haskins was just a three-star recruit in the 2018 class. The future Michigan RB was productive for his high school football team. As a senior, he amassed 255 carries for 2,197 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 165 yards and 2 scores. On the other side of the ball, he was just as productive, with 9 sacks to his name.
A solid 4.74 40-yard dash and a near 36-inch vertical jump sweetened the pot for Haskins, and he drew several FBS offers, including ones from Purdue, Western Kentucky, and Memphis. But when Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines came calling, Haskins couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Haskins’ career at Michigan
When Haskins arrived, he was underweight and stuck behind a running back group led by Karan Higdon. He spent his first full season in Ann Arbor as a special teams contributor and didn’t log any stats. The next two years, Haskins would be a rotational back for Michigan, but never attracted a premier role. Through 2019 and 2020, he logged 182 carries for 997 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs.
In 2021, Haskins was trending toward being the lead back, and the transfer of Zach Charbonnet only solidified Haskins’ status at the top of the running back room. Finally in a position to have a breakout season, Haskins didn’t waste any time. This was his opportunity, and he made the most of it.
2021 saw Haskins become one of the most productive runners in the Big Ten. In 13 games ahead of the playoffs, Haskins amassed 261 carries for 1,288 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging almost 5 yards per carry. His best performances — a 31-carry, 156-yard showing against Penn State and a 169-yard, 5-touchdown outburst against Ohio State — came in the biggest moments.
Hassan Haskins’ 2022 NFL Draft ascension
Big, physical backs will never go out of style in the NFL. But it helps when they have other traits to supplement their size and aggression. Haskins undoubtedly has that. His upside may not be as high as other backs in this class, but the Michigan RB still brings a lot to the table inside the hashes.
Haskins has the footwork and feel to get into space, and he possesses the burst and physicality to finish runs once he enters space. Tack on his receiving upside, ball security, and his blocking utility, as well as his special teams experience, and you’re looking at a safe Day 3 pick. His upcoming Senior Bowl showing will be key in locking in his stock, but Haskins is another sleeper with starting potential in the right scheme.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report on Hassan Haskins
Positives: Nice-sized interior ball carrier with outstanding vision and football instincts. Strong, rarely brought down by the initial defender, and breaks tackles. Fights hard for every yard, bullies his way over opponents, and plays physical football. Explosive, possesses a burst through the hole, and beats defenders mentally. Displays outstanding blocking vision, sees the blitz, and squares into defenders.
Negatives: Not a creative ball carrier who improvises or makes something out of nothing. Fights the ball as a receiver out of the backfield.
Analysis: Haskins has speed and quickness limitations, but he’s a strong ball carrier who does the little things well. His ability to pick up the tough yardage, effectively block when called upon, and do the little things well makes him a solid projection as a fourth back on the roster.