NFLPA Collegiate Bowl: Day Two Running Backs


Posted Jan 19, 2012
Charlie Bernstein


The second day of the Astroturf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl saw a new running back stand out, and clarified some thoughts about a few other select potential NFL backs.

If this particular All-Star game has an every downs NFL running back the man's name is Bryce Beall. Although Beall didn't stand out during the first day of practices, he exploded in Day 2 as he caught the ball very well out of the backfield, showed a willingness to block in pass protection situations and ran with power and burst.

The 5-foot-10 inch, 215 pound back seems to have regained some of his lost burst from a hamstring injury that he suffered back in October. It's very possible that Beall will be a late-round selection and could back up a veteran as part of a tandem backfield. Good NFL fits for Beall could be both New York teams, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Dallas and Detroit.

After an explosive first day, diminutive dynamo Desmond Cox of Morehead State continues to run well. Estimated at 5-foot-5, 175 pounds, Cox features real 4.3 speed and has great hands coming out of the backfield. Clearly a player of his size would have to be on a "pitch-count" on any level of professional football, but Cox can make a difference to a team as a return specialist as well as on third downs.

Syracuse running back Antwon Bailey may be short at 5-foot-6, but he's anything but small. Bailey fills out a 205 pound frame nicely and has showed nice burst and a good set of hands. He lacks the explosion and wiggle to be compared to All-Pro backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice, but he has some running skills that could land him on an NFL roster this fall.

Former UCF walk-on Ronnie Weaver is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades football player as he does everything well aside from long-snapping (perhaps he can do that too?). Weaver worked out at fullback, halfback, was split out wide, played as a special teams gunner and continues to work hard and do anything that his coaches ask of him.

Don't be surprised if one of these talented, yet overlooked backs is playing for your favorite team next fall.


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