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    Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville – NFL Draft Player Profile

    Speedy yet strong, Louisville’s diminutive running back Javian Hawkins heads to the 2021 NFL Draft after a record-setting college career. How will his game translate to the NFL, and how high will he be selected in the NFL’s annual event?

    Javian Hawkins NFL Draft Profile

    • Position: Running Back
    • School: Louisville
    • Current Year: Redshirt Sophomore
    • Height: 5’8 1/8″
    • Weight: 183 pounds

    Tony Pauline’s Javian Hawkins Scouting Report

    Positives: Undersized ball carrier who is dangerous in space and can take it the distance. Patient, effectively follows blocks and possesses outstanding footwork. Creates yardage and improvises when plays break down, bouncing around piles or defenders. Possesses outstanding vision, finds the open lanes, and has a burst through the hole.

    Easily cuts back against the grain without losing momentum, keeps his feet moving, and runs with outstanding balance as well as body control. Turns on his burst in a single step, immediately gets to top speed, and runs away from opponents. Displays good blocking vision and stays with assignments.

    [sv slug=”drizly”]

    Negatives: Undersized, doesn’t pick up much yardage off initial contact, and gets brought down at the point by a single opponent. Marginal pass-catching production at Louisville.

    Analysis: Hawkins is a dangerous open-field runner who creates yardage and can run to daylight in the open field. He’s more of a situational runner who must improve his pass-catching skills, but Hawkins nicely translates as a rotational runner or third-down back at the next level.

    Javian Hawkins Player Profile

    Years before becoming an NFL Draft prospect, Louisville running back Javian Hawkins impressed people with his speed. Early on in his football career, he earned the nickname “Playstation” because his abilities were comparable to a video game character.

    He could effortlessly fly by opponents, whether lined up in the backfield or as a receiver in the slot. Reportedly, he ran a 4.37 seconds 40-yard dash during his high school career.

    Hawkins was an extremely productive high school footballer. Across two schools — Astronaut and Cocoa — he amassed over 4,000 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns. He helped Cocoa to a 4A State Championship in his senior season, scoring a 70-yard touchdown during the game.

    Despite his production, he finished his high school career as a three-star recruit. Furthermore, he ranked as the 224th player in the state of Florida. Early interest came from small schools like Valdosta State and Rhode Island. However, Power Five programs would soon come knocking.

    Boston College would be the first offer, followed by Syracuse and Missouri. Hawkins would commit to Louisville before his senior season and never look back despite the interest from various programs.

    Javian Hawkins’ college football career at Louisville

    After losing one prolific rusher — Lamar Jackson — to the NFL Draft, Louisville saw yet another walk through their doors in running back Javian Hawkins. Nevertheless, his rise to stardom for the Cardinals wasn’t quite as fast as his 40-yard dash. He made his 2018 freshman debut against Indiana State. His stat line for that game: 1 carry, 7 rushing yards, 1 catch, 4 receiving yards.

    Two games later and his season would be over, and his freshman year redshirted (team decision).

    Once he found his feet as a redshirt freshman, there was no stopping the Louisville running back. He opened the season with consecutive 100-yard+ rushing games against Notre Dame and Eastern Kentucky. He would continue his success by scoring his first collegiate touchdown against Western Kentucky. Six more 100-yard+ games followed.

    He set fire to the Louisville rushing record books.

    Record-setting 2019 season for Javian Hawkins

    In a late-season game against Syracuse, Hawkins rushed for 233 yards to break Lamar Jackson’s single-game rushing record for a freshman. He also set school records for rushing yards and most rushing yards by a freshman with 1,525 yards on 264 carries. He ended the season with a touchdown in three consecutive games.

    Featured | NFL Draft Prospects 2021: Pauline’s updated big board, player rankings

    That scoring streak would be extended to six games with touchdowns in the opening three games of the 2020 season. Hawkins added another four 100-yard+ rushing games to his résumé, including a season-high 174 yards and 3 touchdowns against FSU. Hawkins became more involved in the passing game, hauling in 21 receptions for 189 yards and a score in addition to his continued dominance as a rusher.

    Following the game against Virginia Tech, Louisville running back Javian Hawkins opted out of the remainder of the season and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.

    Javian Hawkins’ best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft

    Javian Hawkins’ speed and strength inside his compact frame make him an intriguing 2021 NFL Draft prospect. He projects to be a change-of-pace back in the NFL. He can also contribute off jet sweeps and motion plays. Although he has had limited opportunity to demonstrate ability as a pass-catching back, his small sample size, combined with his high school experience of playing in the slot, would suggest that he can be relied upon in that capacity.

    Related | NFL Pro Days 2021: List of all college pro days ahead of NFL Draft

    Teams with a current need at the running back position include the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, and Denver Broncos. Additionally, teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, who use multiple running backs, are intriguing landing spots for the Louisville running back.

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    Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.

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