The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine included more than 300 pro prospects, including some very high-profile names, perhaps none bigger at the running back position than Georgia's Todd Gurley. Entering the 2014 season, Gurley was an early frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy, proving why with 15 carries for 198 yards, three touchdowns and a 100-yard kickoff-return score in a Week 1 win over Clemson, 45-21.
During his next five games, Gurley rushed for 575 yards and five touchdowns before the NCAA declared him ineligible four games. Returning to action on Nov. 15 at home against Auburn, Gurley faced more adversity, tearing his ACL in Georgia's 34-7 win over the Tigers.
"I was a little bit worried," Gurley said about the injury. "It definitely was kind of sad, but at the end of the day, I had to be positive about the injury and move on and just let this motivate me to get back and take all the anger out when I get back."
What ensued was a successful knee operation, performed by Dr. James Andrews, who says Gurley is making continual progress and is "ahead of schedule."
During the NFL Combine, Gurley participated in interviews and completed the bench press test, posting 17 reps of 225 lbs. NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Gurley to Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and provided assessments of his game.
Gurley possesses a rare blend of speed and power and showcases balance through contact. After breaking tackles, he has the speed to go the distance. He is effective as a downhill runner and uses quick, tight steps to get to the second level. Gurley has the versatility to sink and explode into tacklers and can also employ a side-step move before a quick burst, creating problems for the opposing secondary.
He can be a factor out of the backfield with soft hands, and he adjusts well to throws. In 2014, 61.9 percent of his rushing yards came after contact. He fumbled just three times in 510 carries.
**Areas to Improve
Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers got their chance to shine in the second day of on-field workouts on Saturday at the 2015 Scouting Combine. Take a look at these photos from the fourth day in Indianapolis.
Injuries - Gurley missed three games in 2013 (ankle injury) and missed three games in 2014 (knee injury). His vision is average, and he's still gaining the feel as a zone runner. He can improve his ability to set up blockers in space.
Gurley played in a quick passing attack at Georgia, limiting his protection opportunities, but he was very average when given the opportunity.
NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock ranks Gurley as the second-best running back in this year's draft, held April 30-May 2 in Chicago.
- Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
2. Todd Gurley, Georgia
- Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
- Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.)
- Tevin Coleman, Indiana
While teams may continue to question if Gurley will return to his normal game speed, the former Georgia star has no doubts.
"I just know the way I work, what type of back I am and what type of player I've become over the past couple years," Gurley said. "I'm going to work as hard as possible to get back and be that guy."