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Acceleration/Burst/Quickness: Leshoure has the quickness to explode and run away from defenders, or the agility to simply jump over them. Perhaps better than any other runner in this draft class Leshoure has the second-gear that NFL teams look for. Once he explodes through a hole he is almost impossible to catch.

Ball Protection: Mikel shows excellent ball security, keeping the ball high on his chest and tucked away nicely.

Elusiveness/Feet/Agility: Leshoure runs in a compact way that shields him from taking big hits. He has a smooth ability to cut and change direction without losing speed or slipping. Mikel is no a shifty back who will look to run by or “juke” out a defender. His game is to line up the tackler and run them over.

Pass Catching: Illinois has lined him up as an outside receiver and he has shown reliable hands when asked to catch. He has shown a good job running routes from out of the backfield, in motion and even in the slot. Does not make the best cuts and will round off routes. We have noticed him catching with his body too often. Due to his size and running type many find him to be a surprisingly good pass catcher out of the backfield.

Pass Blocking: The technique to be a great blocker is lacking, but he does show a ton of effort in blocking. Leshoure has the body type to be a good blitz protector once he learns the right technique.

Power: Leshoure is a powerful back who does a great job getting behind his pads on inside runs and also when confronted in the hole. For a power running back it is important to keep your feet moving after contact- Leshoure does an excellent job of churning his feet when hit. Leshoure has the power to run over tacklers, especially defensive backs, with ease. Has a good center of gravity which makes it hard for solo tacklers to get him down on their own if they don’t get leverage. He isn’t a shifty back and won’t make too many defenders miss in the back/open field unless he runs over them.

Size/Length/Hand Size: There are no questions about his size. Leshoure is the perfect build for a power runner with elite burst.

Speed: Leshoure has a great combination of vision, balance and acceleration to power his speed. Mikel isn’t a burner, but he shows explosion when he hits the hole and through contact.

Vision/Balance/Instincts: Leshoure runs with a natural forward-lean and does  a good job cutting away from defenders. He shows very good vision in the open field to make changes and elude tacklers. Does a good job of running behind his blockers, but he can and miss cutbacks.

Final Word: There are a few character concerns here. He was suspended for September 2009 matchup against Illinois State for violating unspecified team rules. Leshoure also suffered broken jaw in 2008, losing 17 pounds, reportedly during a fight with teammate Jeff Cumberland.

For all his early troubles Leshoure appears to have matured. His 2010 season was flawless, earning him second team All-American status by the Associated Press and a first-team All-Big Ten selection. He set the Illinois single-season record with 1,697 yards rushing and added on 17 touchdowns.

As a pro Leshoure has the skills to transition very well to the NFL. He is very similar to former Illinois runner Rashard Mendenhall in terms of body type, speed and running ability.