Bengals Player Preview: Running back Rex Burkhead

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College Statistics

Year

Class

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

Rec

Yds

Avg

TD

Plays

Yds

Avg

TD

2009*

FR

81

346

4.3

3

13

90

6.9

1

94

436

4.6

4

2010*

SO

172

951

5.5

7

15

148

9.9

0

187

1099

5.9

7

2011*

JR

284

1357

4.8

15

21

177

8.4

2

305

1534

5.0

17

2012*

SR

98

675

6.9

5

11

92

8.4

2

109

767

7.0

7

Career

 

635

3329

5.2

30

60

507

8.5

5

695

3836

5.5

35

 

NFL.com Profile

STRENGTHS

Slasher who uses his foot quickness to find his way through traffic to move the chains. In one-back or two-back sets, can start with the flow then cut back into a running lane, spinning through trash on his way to consistent four or five-yard rushes. His lateral quickness comes into play when penetrating defenders look to corral him; somehow he finds a way to cut left or right to run away from their waiting arms. There’s no questioning his toughness, carries the mail 30 times a game and gives great effort trying to use his good lean to plow through arm tackles for extra yardage. Not used as a receiver very often, but his solid hands, quickness and agility will make him a valued weapon in the passing game. Those hands make him a solid safety valve punt returner, as well, even if he hasn’t yet shown explosiveness in that duty.

WEAKNESSES

Not the most powerful of backs, NFL defenders will stone him at the point of attack more regularly than their college counterparts because of his average lower-body strength. Leggy runner who can look out of control at times, though he usually manages to keep his balance. His pass protection form is inconsistent; sometimes he will hold his ground and throw a shoulder into a blitzer, but veteran rushers will easily elude his attempts to lie at their feet.

NFL COMPARISON

Mewelde Moore

BOTTOM LINE

Burkhead is a high-motor, high-character back who does everything coaches ask of him. He possesses the quickness and strength to be a solid NFL reserve back capable of contributing in a committee. However, Burkhead’s 4.73 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine won’t do him any favors.

And if you want to get a good idea of just how great a man Burkhead is, check out this video of him and his friend Jack Hoffman, a seven-year-old cancer patient and source of inspiration for Burkhead:

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