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Leonard Fournette Declares For 2017 NFL Draft: Draft Projection, What Will LSU Do Next?

LSU QB Leonard Fournette Declares For the 2017 NFL Draft


LSU RB Leonard Fournette declares for the 2017 NFL Draft. Where will he go? Was it the right or wrong move? What’s next for Texas?


Contact @PeteFiutak

RB Leonard Fournette, LSU Jr.

With the ideal combination of size, power, and speed, he was a No. 1 recruit, and when he’s been 100% healthy, he’s played like it. He’s surprisingly quick and shifty for a blasting runner of his size, and he’s able to crank out the home run when he gets into the open field. But can he stay in one piece?

He was great when given the ball on a regular basis this year, and he destroyed a bad Ole Miss run D, but when he was right last season, he was dominant against everyone but Alabama, finishing with close to 2,000 yards with 22 scores.

So what’s the downside? He hasn’t done too much as a receiver with just 41 catches, but he’s got the hands the upside to do far more – he just wasn’t used enough in the passing game. The other problem might be wear-and-tear, already fighting through bumps and bruises this year and taking a beating in just seven games of work.

Leonard Fournette Draft Projection

High first round, possibly in the top ten. Ezekiel Elliott went fourth to Dallas last season, and he helped turn the team around as the Next Big Thing franchise back, but that would’ve been Fournette if he was eligible. Fournette has an even bigger upside – but he’s not going to get to run behind the Dallas line. He’ll likely go after an early wave of quarterbacks, then after Jonathan Allen and Myles Garrett. Figure around the No. 7-to-10 range. Remember, Adrian Peterson went seventh to Minnesota in 2007.

Can He Play In The League?

Absolutely. He’s the rare franchise back who can carry a team on his own. Is he worth the early draft pick in today’s day and age of plug-and-play running backs? Again, if you believe that a back the caliber of Ezekiel Elliott is making the difference for Dallas this season, yes. Absolutely.

Right of Wrong Move?

Of course. He should’ve sat out the season and prevented the extra wear and tear, and he shouldn’t play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl against Louisville. There’s a chance Dalvin Cook might go before him, but he’s not sliding out of the top 15 at absolute worst.

What’s Next For LSU?

The Derrius Guice era has already begun. He led the team in rushing this season, not Fournette, and he’ll be the featured workhorse under Ed Orgeron in the full-time role. Developing the rotation will be the key, and getting more of a passing game will help, but Guice showed throughout the season that there won’t be a dropoff, if any.