Career Recap: Last year, Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict and quarterback Brock Osweiler saw their draft stocks go in opposite directions with Osweiler rising into the second day and Burfict falling undrafted. However, the Sun Devil who looked the most NFL-ready was the junior running back Cameron Marshall. He was steady for the offense and could have had a better season if Arizona State stayed in more games during a disastrous second half of the year.
Marshall ran for 1,050 yards in 2011 while averaging 4.6 yards per carry and powering in 18 touchdowns. He had a massive game against USC with 141 yards and three touchdowns on 25 attempts. He entered the starting lineup as a sophomore and had 787 yards rushing (5.2 average) with nine touchdowns. Marshall is a nice receiver out of the backfield with a total of 55 receptions for 459 yards and one touchdown in three seasons.
2012 Season Outlook:
Arizona State is under a new coaching staff. It doesn't have a lot of talent on their roster compared to the class of the Pac-12. As a result, the team could look to shorten games by steadily feeding the ball to Marshall. With Osweiler backing up Peyton Manning in Denver, the Sun Devils will have a new quarterback to break in. Marshall should get plenty of carries and have the opportunity to impress NFL scouts with good production if he can stay healthy.
Marshall has a nice burst with some agility. He has more movement than many bigger backs with his size. With good height and weight, he finishes his runs well while picking up yards after contact. In the open field, he has too much power for defensive backs and runs through arm tackles. Marshall has nice quickness to hit the hole and charges through the defense. Last year, he broke a number of long runs after contact near the line of scrimmage. He has nice cutting ability, balance and vision to weave his way through a defense.
Marshall looks like he has the capacity to be a three-down back in the NFL. He will need to develop his pass protection, but he has well-rounded running and receiving ability. The other issue that Marshall will need to work on is his body lean. His style is too upright, and he needs to do a better job of running behind his pads. That will help his durability while taking harder hits.
2013 Draft Expectations:
Entering his senior season, Marshall is a mid-rounder. If he has a big 2012 campaign with a quality 40 time, he could move into second- or third-round consideration.