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Breaking Down RB Marcus Lattimore Draft Prospects


South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore announced his decision to enter into the 2013 NFL Draft after a sensational college football season that was cut short by a devastating injury to his knee.

In late October, Lattimore suffered a gruesome knee injury to the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments of his right knee that potentially jeopardizes his NFL career. It was the second injury to his knee in his collegiate career, and one in which makes NFL scouts hesitant to draft him. But after a successful surgery to repair the ligament damage, the South Carolina running back has made significant progress in his rehabilitation program to return to the field. Still, doctors have speculated that he won’t return until the 2014 season, leaving teams to have to sit on him for over a year.

Was it the best decision for Lattimore to enter into the 2013 draft?

It’s best for Lattimore to rehab with a professional team than at the college level, where they have lessor medical means. And his decision to enter into the draft means he can solely concentrate on getting his knee at a place where it needs to be without the distractions of a college curricula.

But as for his draft stock, that remains suspect.

Lattimore was an easy top-tier draft pick before his injury. He has been scouted as a patient and balanced runner with above average instincts and has good route running capability when he comes out of the backfield. He also is one of the more physical running backs in the draft class and can carry the bulk of the running load for most NFL teams given his endurance.

With that said, there are too many unknowns when evaluating Lattimore’s draft prospects. His lateral movements with his knee will forever remain a concern, even if he does appear to be 100 percent. As a result, he is likely to drop a few rounds — as early as the third round –considering running backs usually have a short NFL shelf life. And if there are already injury concerns, that span of time gets cut in half.

Still, it’s early to say if Lattimore can have an impression on an NFL team this early in his rehabilitation. But nonetheless, he is making the right decision to enter into the draft and bank on the best of NFL team doctors to help sort out his injury troubles as he readies for the 2014 season.

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