CHRIS WARREN III SCOUTING REPORT

March 27, 2018

 

CHRIS WARREN III | HB | TEXAS

Height: 6040 | Weight: 252 | Arm: 32 | Hand: 10 | 40YD: 4.69 | Bench: 25 | 3Cone: 6.98 | Broad: 121" | Vertical: 33"

 

Chris Warren III is a third-year Junior from Rockwall High School in Texas where he was a finalist for the 2014 Landry Award and participated in the 2015 US Army All-America Bowl. Prior to the 2017 season, Warren landed on the Maxwell Award watch list and was named preseason All-Big 12 before being ousted as a feature player in Tom Herman's new offense. Warren was expected to take over the rushing torch from the departed D'Onta Foreman, but his production was brought to a screeching halt with the new coaching regime, finishing with just 71 carries for 314 yards and 6 TDs in 12 games. His 4.4 yards per carry average in 2017 was a huge drop off from the 5.9 he posted in 2016 and 6.6 as a freshman in 2015, and he was asked to play Tight End towards the end of the Longhorns season. Warren reportedly looked into transferring from Texas before ultimately declaring for the draft.

 

Physically, Warren is built like an ox with a compact body with inflated arms and thick quads. Warren possesses average athleticism with solid explosiveness and outstanding balance, making him very difficult to take down upon initial contact. Warren was used primarily as a 3rd down/goal line back early in the season who can carry the football for positive yardage with his strong lower body and low pad level, and this is likely the role he will carve out for himself at the NFL level.

 

Warren’s most impressive running asset is his leg drive, where he can churn his feet to break through initial contact and keep his inertia moving forward. Warren is self-aware enough to play to his strengths, which is his strength, and not lose speed with wasted lateral movements. Warren rarely has to come out of the game outside of scheduled RB rotation and shows very good stamina. Warren is not slow, but lacks the extra gear to accelerate through the hole and break a big run. Warren shows good patience to pick his holes but fails to separate from defenders if he reaches the second level. Warren makes his living on 3rd Down, where he has shown to be a stellar blocker in pass protection and excellent receiver out of the backfield. Warren has the ability to be a Swiss army knife and is asked to do a lot by Texas, from chipping blitzers to lulling defenders to sleep with consistent pass protection and then running delayed Wheel routes. Warren would sometimes line up in 2 RB sets and serve as the lead blocker in fly sweep actions to the perimeter, showing his versatility. Warren is a reliable receiver out of the backfield who catches the football away from his body and turns up-field for extra yardage. Although more talented runners exist in the Texas backfield, Longhorns coaches lean heavily on Warren in crucial situations because they know what to expect from his high football IQ and consistency. 

 

Regarding intangibles, Warren is a mentally tough player who shows good resiliency to come back from a significant knee injury in October 2016 and battling concussion and hamstring issues in preseason. By all accounts, Warren is a good leader who has had no issues with academics or law enforcement. His father, Chris Warren, was an 11-year veteran in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks (3 Pro Bowls) and Dallas Cowboys and his mother is a software engineer. In his spare time, Warren enjoys video games and social debate, per the Longhorns official website. Injuries will be the biggest concern for teams due to Warren’s physical playing style, and he has already missed time with a significant knee injury in 2016 and concussion and hamstring issues in 2017 preseason. While Warren lacks the wiggle or open field speed to become a feature back in the NFL, he can find a home on an NFL roster as a 3rd down short yardage back, or even potentially a Trey Burton-type H-Back/Tight End due to his size and receiving ability.  Although Warren is a well-balanced player who can catch, block, and run in downfield situations, an exorbitant injury history and failure to take over as the featured runner in the Longhorns offense after losing D'Onta Foreman makes him a likely fringe draft prospect, but some forward-thinking team and creative offensive coordinator could potentially view him as a player who can save a roster spot on the 53 as a hybrid short-yardage back/third tight end and special teamer. While a comparison to former Giants RB Brandon Jacobs may appear to be a lazy one, it's just hard to find any RBs who have gone on to find success in the NFL at 6'4 250+ without a position modification.

 

 

Overall Grade: 70

Athletic Ability: 3

Physical: 7

Play Strength: 6

Play Speed: 3

Competitive Toughness: 5

Power Running: 5

Elusiveness: 2

"Home Run" Ability: 2

Ball Carrier Vision: 3

Ball Security: 5

Pad Level: 3

Catching Ability: 5

Run After Catch: 2

Route Variety: 4

Pass Pro Technique: 4

Pass Pro Willingness: 5

Maturity: 5

Production: 1

 

Player Comparison: Brandon Jacobs

Projected Round: PFA

 

 

 

For information on our grading criteria, click here.

 

 

 

 

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