2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Chris Rodriguez

  • Chris Rodriguez, 6-0/217

  • Running Back

  • Kentucky

  • Chris Rodriguez Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Good build and size
  • True power back
  • Keeps legs going after contact
  • Consistently breaks tackles
  • Finishes runs well
  • Burst to the hole
  • Drags tacklers
  • Decisive runner
  • Doesn’t dance in the backfield
  • Zero hesitation to pound the ball into the defense
  • Has a nose for the end zone
  • Wears down defenses
  • Runs well in the second half
  • Capable of controlling games
  • Durable
  • Ready to contribute immediately
  • Good fit for a zone-blocking system
  • Good knee bend
  • Runs behind his pads
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Good speed, but not elite
  • Will need development as a receiver
  • Not very elusive
  • Will have to learn NFL blitz protection

  • Summary: Replacing a legend is never easy, but Rodriguez did a great job as the replacement for Wildcats program great Bennie Snell. Rodriguez flashed ability as Snell’s backup in 2019, averaging 7.5 yards per carry for 533 yards and six touchdowns. In 2020, he averaged 6.6 yards per carry for 785 yards and 11 touchdowns. Rodriguez had his best season in 2021, averaging 6.1 yards per carry for 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns. He also made 13 catches for 61 yards and three scores that season. As a senior, Rodriguez missed the opening month of the year and then dealt with a weak offensive line that had lost a lot of talent to the NFL from its 2021 version. In 2022, Rodriguez averaged 5.2 yards per carry for 904 yards and six touchdowns.

    As a runner, Rodriguez is a load. Rodriguez is a true power back who runs over defenders and constantly bursts through tackles. Rodriguez has power and strength, and he is excellent in short-yardage and goal-line situations aided by his great physicality. He is constantly breaks tackles and does a fantastic job of keeping his legs churning after contact. Rodriguez is a decisive runner who charges downfield and is not one to dance in the backfield. He displays zero hesitation to stick his nose into a scrum and power through the defense to generate positive yardage. His power allows him to finish runs well, and he will consistently drag tacklers behind him.

    Rodriguez has a real burst to hit the hole and acceleration to get downfield. His good contact balance and patience allow him to flow to the line before darting downfield. Rodriguez will power through arm tackles, and his legs don’t go dead on contact. With his burst and strength to run through contact, Rodriguez is a dangerous threat to break runs into the second level.

    As a receiver, Rodriguez will need some work for the NFL because the Kentucky offense did not throw him the ball much. He flashed the ability to contribute in the receiving game, but he will need development in both route-running and blitz protection.

    Rodriguez will probably end up going in the mid-rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. He has starting ability and could be a sleeper steal.

    Player Comparison: Jamaal Williams. Rodriguez has as similat running style to Williams (6-0, 224). Both are strong, physical downhill runners who will powefully plow through tacklers. Williams was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft coming out of BYU, and Rodriguez could go in a similar range during the 2023 NFL Draft.


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