Leonard Fournette sat out the LSU bowl game to get ready for the NFL. Will a poor measurement hurt him as he and and Dalvin Cook vie to be the first back taken, or will his impressive 40 time and tape be enough to vault the bigger back?
Now, to put that in some perspective, Fournette is a power back, and it’s not like he ballooned up from 220 or something. On the LSU website, he was listed at 235 last season and given the approximate nature of such matters may be at the same weight at which he played during the season.
The vertical jump is more interesting. You don’t need to have a high vertical in order to be a successful back. Leonard Fournette is more known for trucking through opponents then jumping over them. It can still be a general measure of athleticism. Using data from nflcombineresults.com, here are some notable verticals from bigger backs closest to Fournette in size and standing at least 6’1″.
He would have the lowest of the last decade of a back of his size (excluding some fullbacks). Fellow LSU Tiger Jeremy Hill jumped 29″, is similarly a big power back, and has had success after being drafted in the second round. Derrick Henry, meanwhile, another big back from the SEC drafted last year, had a significantly better vertical.
Fournette rebounded with an impressive 4.51 (unofficial) on his first 40 run. That would put him at the fastest in the last decade for a back weighing 240 or more, and in line with the other big backs drafted early on the above list, like Henry and Wells.