2016 NFL Rookie Predictions: C.J. Prosise

2016 NFL Rookie Predictions: C.J. Prosise

Bench presses have been counted, cone drills have been clocked, and tape has been reviewed. While NFL scouts have been scribbling in their notebooks for months, fantasy owners are just now examining this year’s incoming class. Last month I highlighted nine under the radar prospects. Now, it’s time to tackle the bigger names. All of this in the hopes of keeping fans of the virtual game fully informed and a step ahead of the competition. Today’s college stud under the microscope is RB C.J. Prosise.

[Other draft profiles: Dak Prescott | Paul McRobertsKeith MarshallPaxton Lynch | Daniel Lasco | Leonte Carroo | Carson Wentz]

College Highlights: Recruited as a safety out of high school, Prosise converted to a slot-receiver his freshman (redshirt) and sophomore years. In 2014, he led all Irish receivers averaging 17.8 yards per catch. He additionally excelled on special teams, notching 11 tackles. Noting his athleticism and the team’s need for depth at running back, Prosise moved positions again in 2015. Three carries into the season, RB Tarean Folston tore his ACL and Prosise stepped up. In his second start of the year, the Virginia native broke off a 91-yard rushing TD, which was recorded as the longest in Notre Dame Stadium history. In his first campaign as a rusher, Prosise averaged 6.6 YPC, racking up 1,029 yards and 11 TDs on 157 attempts.

Pluses: Solidly built at 6 feet and 220 pounds, Prosise possesses an impressive combination of speed and power. A north-south runner with enough giddyup to bounce it outside and breeze past defenders, the ex-Irishman fights for every yard. Thanks to his experience as a receiver, he’s got big play ability on the ground and through the air. A natural athlete with a good feel for the game, Prosise’s patience and willingness to let blocks develop is particularly noteworthy, especially when considering his lack of experience at the position.

Minuses: That aforementioned lack of experience is pretty huge. After all, the 21-year-old has only suited up as an RB for 10 games. He’s also a bit of an upright runner who, at times, forgets to lower his pads when taking on contact. Additionally, he has a tendency to rely on his speed, looking for the big play, rather than executing on what was designed. Furthermore, he can hesitate a touch too long, allowing a hole to close rather than squeezing through it at the right moment. His five fumbles in 2015 suggest minor ball security issues.

Pro-Comp(s): Fred Jackson, Ryan Mathews

Team Fits: Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, New England Patriots

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Fearless Forecast: Prosise is as high on raw ability as he is low on sample size. With quick feet and instinctive balance, he can glide through traffic. An accomplished pass-catcher, his hands and route-running savvy give him an edge in the open field. A dual-threat RB, Prosise could very well be a three-down back in the NFL. Still, his running style invites injury. And he did miss time with an ankle injury in 2015.

Likely to come off the board in the second or third round of the NFL Draft, Prosise will probably start in a committee. After a few reps at the pro level, however, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him pull ahead. He’s an excellent value for fantasy footballers looking for a later-round stash. Just remember, he’ll need time to emerge so plan on exercising plenty of patience if you choose to roster him.

Follow Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF