Kalen Ballage, 6-3 230 RB
Let me try that again.
That is how you would describe Kalen Ballage. The 6-3 230 RB is one of the most impressive athletes we will see at the 2018 Combine in February. Ballage is expected to run in the low 4.3 range, while leaping 37″ and long jumping over 10 feet. This puts him in a group, athletically, that includes Patrick Peterson and Julio Jones. This kind of athlete is a must need for any team, and will make Kalen a hot prospect in the second round of the draft.
For the Colts, Ballage would fit in as a 2nd back behind Mack, one that can be featured in two back sets, Wildcat, slotted out to WR, or used as a F (move TE)/H-back. He has an impressive amount of touches in all aspects of the game at ASU, including kick and punt return. He is also the proud owner of an 8 TD game in 2016 (ties NCAA record).
A knock on Ballage is that he does not take traditional hand-offs often. He has been used as a Wildcat QB quite a bit, which I feel is a testament to his coaches trust in his ball security. When he does take a normal hand-off, his patience behind blockers and his breakaway speed stand out during film review. He is also not the most physical of backs, considering his size, but he can get tough yards if needed… but usually he can outrun pursuit to the edge in college, something that will change in the NFL.
Ballage grades out as a more explosive Knile Davis. But I liken him to Tevin Coleman. Both are tall RBs with great breakaway speed who are able to contribute in all three aspects of RB play, as well as occasionally split out to WR to create a match-up issue. Like Coleman, I can see Ballage slide to the back half of the 2nd to early 3rd due to heavy names in the RB class ahead of him. And, like Coleman, I can see Ballage be a solid complimentary back to a 3 down starter who provides a handcuff in the event of injury, and a toy for a creative OC.