[#FilmWithFive] Prospect Preview: RB Alvin Kamara

This picture makes me happy:

Alvin Kamara is an eclectic fellow.

The teeth, the nose piercing(s); he’s in his own lane and I respect that more than anything.

He wasn’t always strolling around campus in a Volunteers hoodie, however. Alvin Kamara was originally committed to the University of Alabama (yes, that University of Alabama). Unfortunately for Alvin, some kid named Derrick Henry enrolled early and ending up playing some pretty decent football for the Crimson Tide.

That meant Kamara was on the bench.

A knee injury would further complicate things, which would lead to some emotions that resulted in a suspension. That suspension rolled into some other events that ended up in a second suspension and in the end, had Kamara asking to be released from scholarship.

Saban obliged.

The road was rocky (played JUCO ball, etc.) but when all was said and done, he landed at Tennessee. And that’s where we come in, I guess.

In addition to the eventful journey, the looks, and the jewelry, believe it or not, Alvin Kamara plays football. Kamara’s a dynamic threat out of the backfield with some of the best balance this notably strong running back class may have to offer. My hat’s off to KP, who was #first on the scene as far as the Alvin Kamara love is concerned:

Now, big media is throwing on the tape and catching up. Lance is good people, as well:

When I approached Kyle about Kamara, I had my concerns based on limited viewing. Selfishly, these concerns were centered around the Raiders’ potential usage, of course, so I had the blinders on so-to-speak. When talking backs to Oakland, I assume that 1) the Raiders are content moving on from Latavius Murray and 2) they’ll need to target a running back to fit that “big body” role. As such, Alvin Kamara wasn’t an option that made a ton of sense to me initially.

Then it happened.

I, too, fell in love with the balance and so much more. After working my way through his available games (Vanderbilt, Georgia, Virginia Tech, and Bowling Green), Kamara managed to find himself in the the top fives running backs in this class on my board. With Alvin Kamara, Oakland would be getting one of the more complete backs, entirely capable of playing all three downs and creating from behind a stout offensive line.

As always, I can show you better than I can tell you.

First and foremost, we can take a look at that balance that Kyle (and now others) have noted, something we’ll keep coming back to with him I’m sure:

Defenders are attempting to grab on, but his lower body is ridiculous, and the legs keep going.

He had a day vs. Vanderbilt. Up the middle, through traffic, throws in the spin move with a defender or two bouncing off? Stop it.

That’s a Marshawn-y run, you guys.

Back to my original concern: we’re not going to label Kamara a “power back” by any means. That’s not his game, and that’s ok. For a back his size (5096, 216, somewhat similar to the aforementioned Marshawn Lynch), he’s certainly able to fight for yards. Tends to fall forward, more often than not, as well.

His hands work too, just in case you were wondering:

Kamara’s able to work quickly toward the edge…

…and the subtly with his feet and vision standout.

While Kamara’s a complete back, he’s obviously not perfect. You’d like to see him improve in pass protection, where he’s just a little inconsistent (not bad; there’s a difference). He could be a little more patient when setting up the run but in his defense, the Tennessee line wasn’t doing him very many favors at times:

Anyway, buzz is already building for our new friend Alvin:

One last note I want to leave you with:

For a back as talented as Kamara, and due to the path he found himself on (between the injury and the JUCO run, and then splitting work at UT), he’s a relatively “fresh” running back coming out of school. Consider this: in 2015 and 2016, Alvin logged 107 and 103 attempts on the ground respectively. Put those numbers next to Dalvin Cook’s usage of 229 and 288 in corresponding years, or Christian McCaffrey’s 337 and 252.

You get the idea. You want Alvin and his fresh legs.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive