College football is back.
While fans alike are gearing up for the journey to January and bowl season, NFL teams are getting their scouts ready to find the next league-ready talent.
With the season starting between a pair of programs known for churning out NFL talent – Miami and Florida – it’s proving time for a few players.
One of those guys is Florida running back Lamical Perine. The senior back has been limited in his carries over the past two seasons given the Gators committee approach. But Perine still managed 826 rushing yards and averaged 6.2 per carry.
While his improvement was noticeable from his sophomore to junior season, Perine was deep down the national leaderboard because of his low number of carries. He also has a bloodline of pure running talent with cousin Samaje Perine on the Redskins.
His decision to return for a fourth year at Florida could pay dividends in the end, and Perine’s weight loss could help him add an element of explosiveness to his already impressive running style.
But where could he fall in the 2020 NFL Draft? Here’s what the expert’s are saying.
The latest prospect report ranks him as the number-six running back for the 2020 draft. His profile cites good vision and patience in the backfield – similar traits to how Le’Veon Bell has been described.
His stock is the second-highest in the conference behind Georgia’s D’Andre Swift who is the top projected back. But whether Swift decides to enter the draft this year is still unknown.
WalterFootball places Perine somewhere between the second and fourth round.
Perine is ranked eighth on their 2020 running back board, the fourth-highest in the SEC behind KeShawn Vaughn of Vanderbilt, Scottie Phillips of Ole Miss, and Tavien Feaster of South Carolina.
Given South Carolina’s brigade of four senior running backs, Feaster’s stock might plummet while Vaughn could struggle to see consistent numbers if Vanderbilt’s offensive line falters.
With Perine’s ability to break tackles and extend plays, his stock could rise atop the SEC running back ranks.
The Draft Network
There’s nothing but praise for Perine following his decision to return to Florida for his senior season. He’s being heralded as one of the top running back prospects to keep an eye on this year. Perine has flown under the radar but is ready to take a role as one of the nation’s premier backs.
Their concern is whether dropping weight will limit his explosiveness and if his lack of receiving prowess will hinder his draft stock. He’s been ranked as a three-star prospect by TDN.
His projection remains as a mid-tier back “with three-down potential at the next level who is a load to take down at the next level.”
While this report still suggests he will be taken in the middle rounds, it cites potential to rise up the draft boards should he have a breakout season.
The preseason position rankings put Perine ninth among NCAA running backs and the third-highest SEC back on the list. Though the rankings are early, he is surprisingly behind Florida State running back Cam Akers. There isn’t any analysis in this mock list.