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The running joke at the NFL scouting combine was over LSU running back Leonard Fournette showing up at 240 pounds, a number that was higher than expected and one he blamed on “water weight.” Suddenly a nation of poor-eating NFL scouts and football writers had the weight-gain excuse they were looking for.
“It was surprising,” Fournette said at the time. “I drank a lot water before I weighed in. it’s water weight. It went away completely.”
(For the record, no media were heard discussing any of their own weight going “away completely” during the event.)
But on Wednesday, Fournette — our top-ranked running back in the 2017 NFL draft — put everyone on notice: The water weight apparently has evaporated … even more.
That’s 12 pounds in 35 days, or five percent of his body weight — water or not, that’s impressive. (We’d like to know his secret, other than, you know, drinking less water.)
And it’s a surprising number in some respects, considering Fournette said he played last season at 235. But it might be the ideal number for Fournette to play at in the NFL. We spoke to a few talent evaluators during and after the combine who said they felt his best range would be between 225 and 230 pounds for maximum efficiency.
It should be noted that Fournette still ran a scalding 40-yard dash for a man that size at 4.51 seconds. However, his vertical leap was a fairly putrid 28.5 inches, which was outjumped by eight offensive linemen in Indy. By running back standards, that number puts Fournette in the first percentile, per Mockdraftable, of all logged RB combine jumps back to 1999.
Maybe we’ll find out that Fournette can run and jump better at his new weight. Still, he said at the combine: “[At any] weight … I’m still fast, still the same.”
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