Nebraska junior running back Marlon Lucky is considering entering the NFL draft. His consideration shouldn't take him very far unless he gets some bad advice or he figures that he'll lose his starting spot next year.
Lucky came into 2007 having a reputation of not having lived up to the hype surrounding him when he was recruited. He had an excellent 2007 season, rushing for 1,019 yards with a 4.95 average. He shined in receiving, finishing the season with as the nation's top running back receiver with 75 receptions and 705 yards for a 9.40 average.
The 75 receptions shattered Johnny Rodger's old record of 55 receptions in a season, 705 yards is the most by any Husker running back in a single season, and his 13 receptions against Texas A&M set a record for the most receptions in a single game.
Brandon Jackson came out early last season, drafted in the second round by the Green Bay Packers. He went in a higher round than he would have normally as last year's draft didn't have a lot of depth at running backs. Here are the first ten that were selected, with Jackson going sixth amongst running backs:
- Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
- Marshawn Lynch, Cal
- Kenny Irons, Auburn
- Chris Henry, Arizona
- Brian Leonard, Rutgers
- Brandon Jackson, Nebraska
- Lorenzo Booker, Florida State
- Tony Hunt, Penn State
- Garrett Wolfe, Northern Illinois
Compare that list to this year's (potentially) available in this year's NFL draft, courtesy of SB Nation's NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft:
Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech, 6'1, 205
Mike Hart, RB, Michigan, 5'9, 196
Rafael Little, RB, Kentucky, 5'10, 195
Matt Forte, RB, Tulane, 6'2, 225
Allen Patrick, RB, Oklahoma, 6'0, 191
Calvin Dawson, RB, Louisiana-Monroe, 5'10, 207
Yvenson Bernard, RB, Oregon State , 5'9, 202
Albert Young, RB, Iowa, 5'10, 209
Corey Boyd, RB, South Carolina, 6'1, 214
Chris Johnson, RB, ECU, 5'11, 200
Ryan Torain, RB, Arizona State, 6'1, 213
Tony Temple, RB, Missouri, 5'9, 200
Justin Forsett, RB, California, 5'8, 186
Omar Cuff, RB, Delaware, 5'10, 195
Dantrell Savage, RB, Oklahoma State, 5'9, 195
Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas, 6'2, 205
Rashad Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon, 5'11, 230
Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas
James Davis, RB, Clemson, 5'11, 205
Kevin Smith, RB, Central Florida, 6'1, 211
Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia, 5'10, 195
Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee
Marlon Lucky, RB, Nebraska, 6'0, 210
No question Darren McFadden is coming out early as he'll be a high first-round draft pick. Ray Rice, Steve Slaton, and Jamaal Charles are other big name guys that'll probably come out early.
Do you see Lucky going within the top ten on that list? Potentially, yes, if he has a great NFL combine because NFL GM's are complete idiots when it comes to the combine. Do you see Lucky moving up if he has another year like he had this year? No question.
Staying At Nebraska
Is there much doubt that Lucky will be the starting running back next season? He has the experience, he has proven that he can run, catch, and provide blitz pick-up. Returning running backs include Cody Glenn, Quentin Castille, and Roy Helu Jr, all whom saw some action on the field last season. Kenny Wilson will return after sitting out 2007 and Marcus Mendoza will be available.
If Lucky stays, that's a nice set of running backs. Without him we're lacking depth, unless you're one of those guys who think running backs are plug-n-play.
Most likely Lucky is checking out this season's draft and getting a projection on where he'd go if he came out, which is probably around the fourth or fifth round. Given that, I'd be surprised if he left but it's wise of him to check.
Cornhusker fans have always had an affinity for the 'next guy' to be the greatest. Watch the highlights and tell me you don't want Lucky back next season and I'll have to wonder about your mental stability.