Karan Higdon

Position: Running Back

College: Michigan

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 205 lbs

SCOUTING GRADE

Injury History: 2018: Lower leg injury (Missed SMU game), undisclosed (Day-Day), 2017: Ankle (Left Maryland early- No Missed Time)

Games Evaluated: 2018: Notre Dame, Wisconsin, 2017: Indiana, Minnesota

Scout: Scout: Jason Feiner

Scouting Report

Athleticism: 7.62

Q.A.B. 7.40

 

A very athletic runner with good foot quicks in tight spaces and the lateral agility to move down the line in a hurry without losing speed. Possesses great agility in the hole displaying an excellent jumpcut to break into the open space. Possesses solid balance and the strength to fight through contact staying on his feet against weaker arm tackles.

Flexibility: 8.20

 

Shows excellent flexibility with great knee bend and the pad level to bully defenders who initiate contact with poor form. Knows when to put his shoulder down and will often get lower than the would be tackler.

C.O.D.: 7.70

 

One of the better parts to his game. He is a fluid athlete with a strong lower body capable of planting his foot in the dirt and cutting immediately. Possesses a great cutback and will often utilize his COD in order to hit the hole on the backside.

 

Explosion: 7.30

 

Very explosive with the ball in his hands. He is a downhill runner with good burst to explode through openings at the LOS. Has an extra gear he can immediately hit in order to utilize his explosive qualities to hit the hole hard and flash through the second level.

 

Top End Speed: 7.50
 

Has home-run speed capable of outrunning the secondary. Can reach top speed fast with the talent to turn on a second gear when a defender closes in. Will be rundown off angle pursuits. Has enough juice to reach the corner and turn upfield.

With Ball In Hands: 7.04

Vision: 6.20

 

Possesses solid vision to see cutback lanes and explode into them. Will often utilize his change of direction and fall into a crowd. Dances in the backfield too often and will need to become more patient and wait for blocks to develop rather than immediately using his jumpcut. Extremely decisive and will usually take the first hole that opens.

 

Cutting Ability: 7.50

 

Possesses a lethal jump cut he utilizes at the line and in the open field to avoid tackles. Is capable of splitting two defenders with his change of direction and cutting ability. Will usually initiate contact in the second level, rather than attempt to avoid the defender.

 

Elusiveness: 7.00

 

Good elusive ability and lethal in space. Will often take on defenders engaging them instead of avoiding them in the open field. Has the ability and talent to weave through defenders evading them in the open field. He will often make defenders miss at the point of attack near the line of scrimmage.

Yards After Contact: 8.30

 

Loves contact and possesses the traits of a bruising back. Runs with great power behind his pads and often falls forward through contact. Has the contact balance to stay on his feet against smaller athletes and will run through arm tackles and players grabbing cloth. Can stick his hand in the dirt and push forward fighting for extra yardage. Unless tripped in the open field, he doesn't hit the ground easily.

Ball Security: 6.20

 

Not known for turnovers, Higdon has 3 fumbles on 487 touches. Needs to do a better job of placing two hands on the ball when in traffic and in goal-line situations. Has dangerously extended the ball to cross the end zone.

Receiving: 6.15

Hands: 6.20

 

Has shown capable hands throughout his career and needs more experience catching balls in game situations. Tends to use his body to reel in balls and will need to develop a tendency to extend his arms and catch away from his frame.

Route Running: 5.20

 

Not utilized as much as he should be in Michigan's backfield. Asked to split as a wr occasionally to act as a decoy on the perimeter. Has not had the responsibility to learn a route tree and will need to if he wants to be a three down back at the next level. Athletic enough to roll out for a pass and shows good and loose hips when running speed outs and arrows as a checkdown.

Ability In Space: 6.80

 

He is great with the ball in his hand and is a big play waiting to happen. Can avoid defenders cutting across the field or bully them utilizing his power and leg drive behind his pads. Often makes the first guy miss. Will need to learn how to work back to the ball when it is in the air.

 

Ability to Separate: 6.40

 

Has the speed, immediate acceleration and foot quickness to beat linebackers to the ball across the middle or on the sideline. If he can refine his route running and learn the route tree, he has a chance to be a lethal pass catcher out of the backfield acting as a dual threat runner.

Blocking: 6.28

Lead Blocking: 6.10

 

Has the tenacity and play strength to be a solid blocker at the next level. Often displays a poor base and over extends at the point of attack becoming off balance. Not asked to lead block very often at Michigan.

Blocking In Space: 6.00

 

His good mental processing allows him to diagnose the play quickly and adjust to the defender. Will do a good job at getting in their way to create a struggle to get to the ball carrier.

Pass Blocking: 6.10

 

Extremely aggressive with the willingness to get into the defenders face and fight at the point of attack. He possesses good play strength allowing him to win when he stays on his feet in a balanced stance. Too often will he attempt to cut block and attack the defenders lower body tucking his head and just chipping or missing the free rusher completely. Knows to attack the inside rusher and work out to the edge when asked to pass block.

Situational Awareness: 6.90

 

Knows who to block with the ability to diagnose the rush. Can adequately pick up the block, but can usually only hold it to buy a few seconds.

Competitiveness: 7.73

Toughness: 7.70

 

He is a tough and physical runner who attempts to beat defenders with contact. Possesses good power behind his pads and utilizes a powerful leg drive to push for extra yardage. Has played hurt with minor sprains and bruises and loves competition. He's a competitor.

 

Production: 7.60

 

Great production at the collegiate level as a downhill and explosive runner. Michigan's system has given him an opportunity to flourish. Averaged 5.6 yards per carry throughout his career while recording 27 touchdowns in 39 games played.

Consistency/Motor: 7.80

 

Very consistent player with a physical presence on the field. Consistently looking to punish defenders and playing at full speed until the whistle on each play. Extremely aggressive and plays hard throughout a full game.

Teamwork: 7.80

 

A leader on and off the field with loads of confidence. Not very humble and outspoken, but respected by teammates and coaches. Looked at as a mentor for younger players on the team.

Intelligence: 6.67

Instincts: 6.90

 

Good vision to find the hole. Needs to develop more patience and stop dancing in the backfield creating loss of yardage.

Learn/Retain: 6.50

 

A smart athlete who knows his role and will play hard on every snap. Has never had to learn a full route tree and will need to develop better technique in pass protection if he wants to be on the field as a bellcow.

Versatility: 6.60

 

He is a downhill and explosive runner with great cutback ability. Has shown the potential to develop into a quality pass catcher and will need more time to develop his hands and route running ability. Currently is a reliable early down rusher.

STRENGTHS:

An athletic and powerful runner with good foot quickness and lateral agility in tight spaces to move down the line in a hurry. Displays great agility in the hole often showing a good jumpcut to break into open space all levels of the field. Very explosive capable of hitting a second gear in the hole and in space defeating pursuit angles and opening up his stride to go for long gains. a Decisive runner who will look for contact in order to punish defenders capable of transitioning speed to power running through defenders with good pad level. He pairs his potent burst in traffic with powerful leg drive to rip through soft tackles. Has good elusiveness in space possessing good cutting ability and change of direction. Possesses the home-run speed to be a big play threat on each opportunity capable of outrunning the secondary and turning on his second gear when defenders close in. He is a versatile back with a willingness in pass protection and an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

WEAKNESSES: 

Despite his physical presence, he lacks the prototypical build to sustain the beating he endures on his body. Does not possess and overly thick frame or large amounts of body mass to consistently take on contact without risk of injury. Has missed opportunities to bounce cuts outside in an effort to run over tacklers. Needs to do a better job protecting the ball with two hands when in heavy traffic. Technique in pass protection is an issue. He tends to overextend dropping his head in an attempt to cut block missing the block completely. Unreliable in passing situations and rarely used as a receiver in Michigan's system. Will need to develop in order to be looked at as an every down back.

BIG PICTURE: 

Higdon is a powerful and athletic runner who looks to punish defenders. Lacks the necessary bulk to He possesses good quickness and agility and an ability to transition speed to power to generate strength behind a low pad level. Possesses excellent contact balance and leg drive to push through soft tacklers and break into the open space. He needs to work on his mental processing in order to see cutback lanes rather than taking a contract first approach. Always falls forward after contact. Not utilized as a pass catcher in Michigan's system, but has shown potential in this area. Has soft hands that rarely extend constantly catching the ball against his frame in his limited opportunities. Has displayed a nasty demeanor and a willingness to block and will need to develop better technique in pass protection. Has the potential to evolve into an every down player at the next level and has the talent to be a power back consistently turning out tough yards. Will need to add weight and muscle to his frame to handle a NFL workload. Has the talent to succeed early in his career.

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