By Jay Skurski
Position: Running back
School: South Carolina
Measurements: 5-foot-11, 221 pounds
2012 stats: 143 carries, 662 yards, 11 TDs; 26 catches, 173 yards
Draft projection: Fourth-fifth round
Lowdown: Shades of Willis McGahee. Lattimore, one of the best running backs in the country, suffered a devastating right knee injury in October, tearing all three ligaments in a game against Tennessee. It’s the second major knee injury in two seasons, after he tore the ACL in his left knee in 2011.
A north-south runner who has average speed. … A natural back who senses holes, Lattimore is light on his feet for a player his size. Can change directions fluidly. … Always keeps his legs moving to pick up extra yards. … A willing blocker and sound receiver out of the backfield.
Does not possess game-breaking speed, and it's unknown whether he'll lose another step after this injury. … Unlikely to be ready to contribute at the start of this season, if at all.
Voted "Mr. Football" in South Carolina in 2009 before staying in state and starring for the Gamecocks as a freshman. … Gets high marks for his character. Has displayed the mental toughness and work ethic to overcome one serious knee injury in his career. … Frequently talks to youth groups in his home state.
He said it: "At this point, it really doesn't matter where I get drafted, because I'm going to go in there and work hard. I'm going to do what I do, I'm going to do what I've been doing my whole career, and that's just being myself. If I get a chance to play this year, I'm going to make the most out of it. And I feel like I will."
The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to next month's NFL Draft.
tagged2013 draft | Marcus Lattimore | Road to the Draft