Position: Running Back
Weight: 191 lbs
Injury History: 2018: Forearm (Minor), Shoulder V Oregon (Missed Colorado + Cal)
Games Evaluated: 2018: Auburn, Penn State, Washington, Ohio State
Scout: Alexander Amir
His balance and shiftiness are his best attributes- he keeps a low pad level and makes defenders miss in very tight spaces. Bounces off missed tackles with ease. Keeps a balanced base with hips pointed forward.
Very smooth movements with fluid hips. Wiggles around in small spaces easily and accelerates without much effort.
Requires little effort to change direction in space, extremely elusive. He can't switch the field however, as he lacks the speed.
Usually hits the gap with good speed and can break tackles on the way. However, he doesn't often break off huge runs and will generally need decent blocking.
Top End Speed: 5.50
Lacks true breakaway speed- often caught from behind. Can't switch the field or gain yards running sideline-to-sideline. Needs to be moving with momentum because of that.
With Ball In Hands: 7.76
Excellent vision and patience. Can wait an agonizingly long time for the hole to develop in front of him, but almost never waits too long. Great feel for space around him and the presence of defenders.
Cutting Ability: 6.70
Makes solid cuts when moving forward in small spaces and keeps excellent balance when doing so. But when he tries to cut while moving backwards or sideways without the forward momentum, he needs time to get back into the forward motion.
Extremely shifty and hard to bring down. Slips away from tacklers in very small spaces without using a lot of energy. His size makes him hard to find.
Yards After Contact: 7.30
Great at churning out extra yards despite his size. His feet are constantly moving and he has great balance to stay on his feet after initial contact. Shiftiness makes defenders take poor tackling angles, allowing him to shed tackles with relative ease.
Ball Security: 8.70
Only lost 2 fumbles in 612 career rushing attempts. Holds the ball high and tight and rarely leaves it susceptible to being poked out.
Is not used often as a receiver, but displays good, soft hands and catches away from his body. Did catch 3 touchdowns last season.
Route Running: 6.00
Does not line up outside as a receiver, but has good awareness in space when he leaks out of the backfield.
Ability In Space: 7.20
Very good awareness of field around him, and his shiftiness makes it difficult for the first defender to even get a hand on him. However, his lack of speed makes it difficult for him to exploit his ability to avoid tackles for a big gain.
Ability to Separate: 5.50
Lacks top speed to separate from defenders, relies on making defenders miss when he has the ball instead.
Lead Blocking: 4.00
Too small and not powerful enough to be a lead blocker. Not asked to do so.
Blocking In Space: 5.30
Not asked to block in space, but would probably be decent due to his instincts and awareness.
Pass Blocking: 7.50
Uses very sound technique in pass blocking- gets good leverage, keeps a wide base, and is a willing hitter. Gets his hands up quickly to inside pad level and maintains power with good burst from his hips. His size limits him, as he is too small and not strong enough to fully block bigger, stronger players.
Situational Awareness: 8.00
Knows exactly when it is appropriate to let the hole develop and when to burst straight through. Ran wildcat effectively in college and reads blitzes very well.
Likes to hit and scrap despite his size. Can take a hit and bounce off tacklers. Maintained a workload of about 17 carries per game for 3 full seasons with no injury. Will be interesting to see how he holds up against stronger NFL players.
Strong yards per carry average through 3 seasons, plays most snaps in a game on all 3 downs.
Always churns his legs to fight for extra yardage, does not seem to tire out at the end of games. Has maintained almost identical yardage and carry numbers throughout college.
Trusts his offensive linemen to develop holes for him, is quoted as having an excellent competitive relationship with his QB.
Excellent sense of surroundings and anticipation of defenders' movements. He's a natural runner with effortless movement, and understands when holes need to be attacked or approached with patience.
Has developed a good understanding of where the hole is going to be.
Can be used on all three downs due to pass blocking ability, but cannot be used as a power back. It also remains to be seen how effective he is as a pass-catcher due to his limited body of work in that area.
Excellent vision, patience, and balance. Natural runner with a great awareness of space around him. Extremely elusive in the smallest spaces and keeps his pads low. Can take a hit and keeps his legs churning to fight for extra yardage on every play. Very sound pass-blocking technique, allowing him to be a 3rd down back. Outstanding ball security.
Undersized and simply lacks the strength to succeed in certain situations, and may struggle against stronger NFL linemen. Lacks top breakaway speed to compensate for that lack of size. Relies on having an offensive line that wins at the line of scrimmage. Takes too much time to accelerate and needs to be moving with momentum. Heavy workload in college may impact his longevity.
Gaskin quickly became a success at Washington University, seizing the starting running back job as a true freshman. He has been solid as a rock, with over 220 rushing attempts and 1300 yards in each of his first 3 seasons, and only 2 fumbles in his entire career. He's only gotten better with age, as he scored 23 total touchdowns in 2017 after being named to the All-Pac 12 first team the previous year. Unfortunately, he is not being touted as highly as other running back prospects, likely due to the combination of his size and running style. He doesn't display top end speed or acceleration, and generally just lacks the "it" factor that other prospects may have. But his skill set fits the NFL perfectly; despite being just 5'10" and 191 lbs, he thrives in between the tackles due to his elusiveness and outstanding vision. He is also skilled in pass protection beyond his years, and that should help him get on the field early in the NFL. He will not be a bellcow like he was in college, but he has the versatility to play on all three downs in all types of situations. He would thrive in any situation as long as he is not counted on for 20+ carries per game.
Pro Comparison: James White
Team Fits: Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers
Prediction: 2nd round