NAME: JK Dobbins
POSITION: Running Back
SCHOOL: Ohio State
WEIGHT: 220 pounds
Running back is not one of the higher prioritized positions for winning in the NFL. But with the Kansas City Chiefs, their runners are multi-dimensional. They are just as important to the offense as other skill players. Damien Williams has really proved himself, and has found a home in Kansas City. Nonetheless, do not count out the Chiefs for possibly adding a backfield mate this spring. It is time to dive into our next draft prospect profile, with our breakdown of JK Dobbins.
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This is the area of Dobbins’ game that stands out the most. He is a determined, downhill runner. He easily reads blockers by running wide or straight ahead. Additionally, once Dobbins sees a hole he does not waste any time. He bursts straight ahead, and is very decisive. That is not to say that he will not try to cut back on defenders, especially on the second or third level. Overall, Dobbins takes the opportunities that are given to him.
Dobbins will not blow you away with his speed. Yet, it can still be more surprising than he probably gets credit for. The long speed will not be enough to completely out race defenders downfield. To counteract this, Dobbins uses his blend of elusiveness to carry defenders for extra yardage. He loves to drive through tackles with an extra gear. Dobbins definitely has a way of slipping through with a timely burst to extend plays.
Feet/Change of Direction Skills
Dobbins is smooth. There are times when he will cut back on you. If not, Dobbins will glide in the open field with long strides and controlled momentum. When he works around defenders, the cuts he makes have a spring type of feel to them. His hips will confuse opponents at times. As a result, defensive players often take bad angles when trying to catch him in open space. Combine this smooth style, with the powerful nature Dobbins presents during contact makes him very difficult to bring down.
Again, when Dobbins is taking on tacklers he can be tough to bring down. This is due in part to how he sinks his hips and explodes up the field. Generally, you will see him falling forward. Being low to the ground helps for inside runs. To boot, this makes Dobbins dangerous in goal to go situations. For shorter down and distance situations, you will see him pick an angle and finish either ahead or on top of the defender trying to make the stop.
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In an offense like the Chiefs one, running backs will need to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield. This is one area where Dobbins really grew in 2019. His soft and natural hands make him a reliable target. As long as he does not drop it, he is quick to get his eyes upfield and can slip oncoming opposing defenders. Dobbins is effective as a swing pass/screen pass player (imagine that with Andy Reid as his coach). But, he can also surprise in his route running. There were plenty of times in 2019, where Ohio State had him running a wheel route. Dobbins is not the most polished pass catching back in this draft class. Nevertheless, he has come a long way from where he was at early in his career.
I was pleasantly surprised with abilities in pass pro. He is quick to realize what pass rusher will be his main assignment. Rarely, if at all, does Dobbins get driven back by linebackers or inside rushers. He displays splendid strength and effort to deliver blows on defenders. If there is any knock on Dobbins here, it is that he can become confused with delayed blitzers. Late flashers can catch him off guard. Due to the effort, there will not be any issues when asking Dobbins to block.
The aforementioned Williams has really built a foundation as the Chiefs starting running back. Darwin Thompson also provides potential. LeSean McCoy will likely not be back in 2020. Dobbins would present more of a home run hitter mentality in the dynamic Kansas City offense. Being difficult to bring down is a positive start. But having that decisiveness, would bring a different layer to the rushing attack. Coach Reid would eat defenses up when using Dobbins in the screen passing game.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs offseason coverage. We will continue our draft prospect profiles in the ongoing run up to April’s draft. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.