Last week, we dove into Bruce Feldman’s annual College Football Freaks list to take a look at some of the most athletic defenders the college game has to offer. Today, it’s the offense’s turn. We’re once again looking at the Freaks list to project the RAS — or Relative Athletic Scores — to get an idea of a prospect’s athletic profile.
RAS, developed by Kent Lee Platte, is a way for us to quantify a player’s athletic testing into a score, and compare that score against other players at one’s position. This allows us to see where a player ranks against their peers, including current and former NFL prospects, as the RAS database goes back to 1987. This gives us a historical context to a player’s athletic testing. Much like with the defense last week, some of these numbers are eye-popping.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley highlighted Feldman’s freak list for offensive players two years ago thanks to his rare physical abilities. The three offensive players from Feldman’s freak list this year follow in those footsteps. These players may not be the most well-known stars in the nation, but they have truly explosive play-making potential every time they touch the football. If they live up to these numbers at the NFL Combine, it may be a historic class from an athletic perspective.
Disclaimer: Due to the limited ability of schools to perform summer testing, some of the information has been cobbled together from sources outside Feldman’s list to get as complete of a RAS score as possible.
Three standout offensive players from Feldman’s Freaks List
Last year Feldman’s freak list was highlighted by Iowa Hawkeyes offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. Wirfs was not only the top offensive player on the list, but he was also the top player overall and parlayed that into a top-10 selection in the NFL Draft. That won’t be the case for this years’ top offensive player, Jalen Virgil.
Virgil won’t sniff the first round, let alone the top-10. But make no mistake about it, Virgil has some rare gifts at the receiver position, as highlighted by his 9.97 projected RAS score. Virgil isn’t the biggest receiver at only 6-foot-1, but he comes in at a sturdy 210 pounds. That size pairs with some almost unbelievable marks in both speed and explosiveness.
According to Feldman, Virgil has a vertical jump of 40.5 inches and a broad jump of 10’11”. Those marks would correspond to a 9.7 and 9.73 RAS score, respectively. Both marks would place Virgil among the top-100 wide receivers of all-time, but it’s the speed factor where Virgil truly shines. In addition to football, Virgil is a track star at Appalachian State and has run a 10.29-second 100-meter dash. That roughly corresponds to a 4.35 40-yard dash, which would give Virgil a 9.98 RAS and place him fifth all-time at the position.
For the second of our three offensive players from Feldman’s freak list, we highlight another wide receiver named Jalen. Jalen Camp is a much different mold from his predecessor on this list. Camp comes in at 6-foot-3 and 223 pounds, much bigger than Virgil, and it shows in the bench press.
While Feldman did not give a bench press mark for Virgil, Camp’s projected numbers are, quite frankly, startling for a wide receiver. According to Feldman, Camp can bench press 225 pounds 30 times and maxes out at 405 pounds. Thirty reps at the bench press would give Camp a perfect 10 RAS and would be an all-time record for the wide receiver position, out of more than 1,500 participants.
Camp is big, and he is strong. He’s also quite fast. He doesn’t have quite the speed that Virgil has, but he’s a burner in his own right, especially for a receiver of his size. Feldman states that Camp has been clocked at a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, which would give him a 9.39 RAS grade. That time would put Camp just outside the top 150 wide receivers all-time at 151. Offensive coordinators dream of receivers who possess that blend of size and speed.
So far, we’ve talked about a wide receiver from Appalachian State and one from Georgia Tech. Now it’s time to turn our attention to a college football powerhouse and a stalwart of a running back. Master Teague rounds out our three featured offensive players from Feldman’s freak list and is the offensive player with the best chance of being taken early in the 2021 NFL Draft.
According to the NFL Draft team and the Mock Draft Simulator here at PFN, Teague is the 11th-ranked running back, and 122nd-ranked player overall. This ranking is due in large part to Teague’s unique blend of size and strength. The Ohio State running back comes in at 5-foot-11 and a stout 228 pounds, a mark that achieves an 8.98 RAS grade.
Generating buzz at the running back position is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s NFL. If Teague comes close to living up to the marks projected in Feldman’s freak list, the buzz will absolutely be there for him.
According to Feldman, Teague has some truly remarkable explosion numbers, posting a vertical jump of “more than 40 inches” and a broad jump of “more than 11 feet”. After some digging, I was able to find documentation of Teague posting a 40.5 inch vertical and a broad jump just shy of the 11-foot mark at 10’ 11”. Both marks would put Teague in the top 35 running backs of all-time according to the RAS data.
But the most eye-popping result from Teague is the short shuttle. Teague reportedly posted a 4.00-second shuttle time in workouts at a Tuscaloosa camp over the summer before his freshman year at Ohio State. That number was posted when Teague was still sub-220 pounds, but that is absolutely flying by any measure. If Teague were to post a four-second shuttle time at the NFL Combine, it would be in the top 25 of any running back ever in the RAS database.
It’s plain to see that all three of the offensive players from Feldman’s freak list have rare physical abilities that are sure to wow both fans and scouts alike. Whether they live up to these numbers at the NFL Combine will remain to be seen. But if they do, we will have plenty to talk about in the lead-up to the 2021 NFL Draft.