Whenever you hear Jay Ajayi, the NFL comparison that always comes up is Marshawn Lynch. My initial reaction was that those people were full of crap. No one runs like the Beast.
After watching him on tape, my NFL comparison for Ajayi is………
He really is that type of runner. I’m not saying he’s the next Marshawn, but he runs the exact same way. Just not quite as well as Lynch.
Jay Ajayi’s Stregnths
Ajayi runs with good leverage and a great split-stance base. He is one of those runners who finds a way to fall forward, although he does occasionally get stood up. What allows him to do that is his agility and his feel in the hole. He anticipates contact and adjusts his body accordingly.
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He has great vision and has the ability to plant and change directions on a dime. Pair that with his feel in the hole, and you have a very intelligent runner.
He’s good in the open field, with burst on the tail end of the hole, and solid spin and juke moves. He is a former soccer player which would explain his great feet.
And how could you compare someone to Marshawn Lynch if they didn’t have a devastating stiff-arm?
Ajayi is the best receiving back I have watched so far. He has wide-receiver-like consistency on accurate passes, although he obviously doesn’t have the catch radius of a wide-out. He holds onto the ball through contact 9 times out of 10. He is also fantastic in blitz pick-up making him one of the most complete, all-around backs in the 2015 class.
Jay Ajayi’s Weaknesses
As mentioned, he has good power when he can anticipate the hit, but he too easily gets tripped up. Ajayi had 12 fumbles in his college career, as well as a couple other red flags. He wrecked his knee and was arrested for shoplifting in 2011. Although, word out of Boise is that he has been nothing but a good teammate since.
Jay Ajayi to the Seahawks?
With desperate needs at offensive line and defensive line, it’s hard to see the Seahawks making a luxury choice with their top pick. But we’ve seen the Pete Carroll/John Schneider-lead front office do crazier things. It’s unlikely, but I like Ajayi better than Christine Michael or Robert Turbin for sure.
Previous reports in the Seahawks Draft Profile series include:
Photo credit for all above pictures: USA Today Sports