Acceleration/Burst/Quickness: Has excellent burst and speed for the open field. Has the ability to explode to the second level and can go from 0 to 60 in no time at all. Quickly eats up the yardage with a long stride and excellent speed.
Ball Protection: Will let the ball get outside his frame when running in space. Must protect the ball all of the time. Will be suspect to fumbles in the open field and when cutting unless he learns to bring the ball in tighter.
Elusiveness/Feet/Agility: Very good lateral agility and quickness. Able to make cuts and can make defenders miss. Bounces off a lot of weak tacklers. Does a great job to keep his feet moving through traffic.
Pass Catching: An able receiver, thanks in large part to the Jeff Tedford offense at Cal. Has soft hands. Good body control and balance running swing routes out of the backfield. Dangerous in the flats, where his speed is a true match-up nightmare.
Pass Blocking: Is a surprisingly good pass blocker. Is willing to step up and meet the defender. Has been very well coached in this regard.
Power: Despite his frame he’s a surprisingly strong runner. Presses the line of scrimmage, runs with aggression and is not afraid of contact. Runs low in his pads and does not allow himself to take big hits. Will slide through gaps and creases in the line to pick up extra yards. Keeps his pads low, eyes up and churns his legs through contact.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Does not have the bulk that most NFL teams look for in an every-down running back. He has a short, but compact build. Looks smaller than he plays.
Speed: Is blessed with truly elite speed. Will be very tough to catch from behind in the NFL. Can break a defense if he gets to the second level. Vereen’s speed is a threat at all times. He showcases this well as a runner, receiver and return man.
Vision/Balance/Instincts: Has the balance and lateral agility to make defenders miss. Good balance to get to the edge and turn the corner. Very good vision for cut back lanes. Has a good feel for pressure from his backside, whether in the back field or the open field. Has the vision to find holes on stretch plays, and the patience to wait for them to open up.
Final Word: Vereen enters the NFL coming from Jeff Tedford’s spread offense at California, which has him ready for the NFL due to the great coaching received at Cal.
Vereen is a triple threat as a runner, receiver and kick returner. He’ll enter the NFL as a potential No. 1 back, but his ability on special teams may limit is exposure as a first and second-down back in his rookie season.
While other backs are bigger, stronger or were more productive in college Vereen has a skill set to rival the best backs in the class of 2011. If you are looking for a sleeper pick in Round 3 who could make a big name for himself in short-time, remember Shane Vereen.