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    MarShawn Lloyd’s Draft Profile | USC, RB Scouting Report

    After a strong NFL Combine, does USC RB MarShawn Lloyd have a legitimate case to be the top running back prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft?

    MarShawn Lloyd’s collegiate journey has been filled with ups and downs, but his performance at the NFL Combine has helped push his draft stock into the Day 2 conversation without a definitive top prospect at the running back position. Does Lloyd have a three-down skill set, and can he be a feature back in the NFL?

    MarShawn Lloyd’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 5’9″
    • Weight: 220 pounds
    • Length: 30 3/8″
    • Wingspan: 73 5/8″
    • Hand: 8 3/4″
    • Position: Running Back
    • School: USC
    • Current Year: Redshirt Junior

    Lloyd was a highly touted five-star RB prospect (by Rivals) — mentioned in the same breath as NFL standouts Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs — during his days at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland.

    Lloyd’s college career got off to a tragic start when he tore the ACL in his left knee during practice as a true freshman in 2020, which cost him the entire season.

    Fortunately, Lloyd resurrected his draft stock with impressive production on a limited amount of touches over the final two seasons of his collegiate career in 2022 with South Carolina and 2023 with USC. He finished his collegiate career with 2,073 total yards and 21 total touchdowns.

    MarShawn Lloyd Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Exceptional elusiveness; lateral agility is of top-shelf quality with the ability to change direction at the moment of truth by dropping his weight to stop on a dime, then sticking his foot in the ground to reaccelerate/bursting through the contact of an over-pursuing defender after making a sharp cut.
    • Burst/acceleration jumps off the tape; changes tempos effectively when pressing the hole before hitting the gas pedal to explode through openings between the tackles.
    • Consistently has the juice to take the edge even when out-leveraged by defenders when bouncing runs outside.
    • Patience, vision, and foot quickness to operate effectively in gap or zone schemes.
    • Fluid pass catcher out of the backfield who can be an effective contributor to the passing game at the next level.
    • Highly instinctive back with a great feel for timing moves at the contact point. His yards-after-contact and broken-tackle metrics on a per-touch basis were among the best at the RB position in this class in 2023.

    Weaknesses

    • Ball security has consistently been a major issue throughout his entire collegiate career; eight fumbles over 323 total touches means he puts the ball on the ground once every 40 touches, which is far too often for a high-volume ball carrier.
    • Pass protection is a concern. He had some bad reps in 2023; he was both steamrolled and whiffed against a blitzing LB against Colorado, and some costly whiffs against Cal highlight some of his consistency issues in pass pro.
    • Despite having good vision, he sometimes gets a bit too greedy with trying to bounce runs outside.
    • Durability concerns are certainly valid entering the NFL; he missed at least one game every season of his collegiate career. His worst injury suffered was a torn ACL back in 2020.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Lloyd is a fascinating prospect with jaw-dropping flashes of excellence and anxiety-filled red flags in his draft profile. The medicals could be a real deal breaker for some teams, which could destroy any Day 2 buzz he might have generated with his strong showing at the NFL Combine.

    Medicals aside, his time of 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 25 bench press reps, and adequate testing numbers in the vertical and board jump with his frame certainly helped his draft stock. His fluidity and contributions as a receiver also work in his favor when projecting his potential to contribute on all three downs in an NFL backfield.

    His burst, change of direction, and lateral agility are hard not to fall in love with when he connects on his homerun attempts to bounce runs outside for explosive plays.

    Unfortunately, some of his top-end playmaking ability is closely tied to faulty reads, wasted motion, and indecisiveness. Throw in some issues with pass protection and a lengthy injury history, and we have a prospect with a wide range of outcomes.

    Lloyd has the upside of a Day 2 pick but comes with a fair share of deficiencies in his prospect profile, which could drop him all the way to Day 3.

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    Despite the concerning aspects of his game, the creativity and physical tools are undoubtedly present. If the right coaching staff gets their hands on him, Lloyd could provide a backfield with an efficient complementary slasher who can potentially develop into a starter.

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