With a little more than a month left before the NFL draft, it is time to dissect some of the more intriguing prospects in the draft this year. First up to go under the scope, Towson star, Terrance West.
West was outstanding in high school, gaining a total of 4,700 in his high school career at Northwestern in Baltimore, Maryland. Terrence West has been on a lot of peoples radar since his freshman season when he scored 29 touchdowns and wasn't even the starter. That stellar season helped him become the first recipient of the Jerry Rice Award, that is for the best freshman in D1-AA .
West stands at 5'9 and weighs in at 225. At the combine he clocked a 4.54 on the 40 yard dash, which is decent speed for a running back. On the field though, West looks much faster, rarely being walked down from behind. It's hard to overlook him because of his production on the field. In 3 years at Towson, he accumulated 4,854 yards and 84 TDs on the ground while averaging 6 yards a carry. Throughout his senior season, I remember checking the stat box and seeing him rush for 150+ almost every week. He rushed for 200+ yards 4 times this season, one of which being a 354 yard game in the snow against Eastern Illinois in the 1st round of the playoffs. Despite rushing for 2,509 yards and 41 TDs, West was snubbed out of the Walter Payton Award which is the Heisman for the D1-AA.
West is a true running back. He is tough, can carry the load of many carries, and gets stronger as the game goes on. He can also catch out of the backfield with a great mixture of power and elusiveness to break tackles. It's not much that West can't do on the football field. He . The only knock against him that I have is he is coming from Towson. Not to say that Towson is a bad program but it's not a football factory and with him entering the draft as an underclassman, it might hurt him come draft day. Even though he has great numbers, scouts and GMs might not respect it because it isn't against NFL caliber talent.
West is projected to be a 3rd day pick, which is rounds 4-7, and so far a lot of NFL teams has shown interest in him. The best team for him is one that needs a durable, bruiser back. I say the best fit for him would be the Giants. Giants struggled all year trying to find a good running back and I think West would help them and fit their style perfectly.
West will have a tough time transitioning to the league though. The fact that he did not play in the Bowl division will be detrimental to his draft stock . He did play against a couple D1 schools and had some success. LSU in 2012 (22 carries 72 yards 2 TDs) but LSU benched their starters after 2 quarters. Last season he faced UConn (36 carries 156 yards 2 TDs), him and the tigers leaving with a victory but UConn is still fairly new to the D1 level, becoming a D1 team in 2002. West will also have to work on his pass protection because that can be the one thing that lands a talented back on the bench.