Has quick feet and can make defender miss in space. Has a good jump cut and can sidestep a defender in the hole or on the second level. Does a good job bouncing plays outside. Works well on slants and stretches. A patient runner that can let the stretch play develop, and then locate the cutback lane. Has good burst to hit the hole quickly and run downhill. His quickness and burst and ability to break big runs on the second level makes him effective in between the tackles for his size. Shifty in traffic, and can sneak through creases. Can spin out of tackles. Has burst to make something out of nothing. Does a nice job making the first defender miss on the edge and outside runs. Will deliver a stiff arm ont he edge and able to break arm tackles because of his burst and ability to run behind his pads on the edge. Adjusts well to low or high throws, and able to make one-handed grabs. Shifty after the catch. Has experience running routes and working out of the slot in nickel situations. WIlling to step up in pass protection and generally knows where his assignment is. Can be effective chipping or cutting an oncoming blitzer.
Undersized and not a guy that consistently runs behind his pads between the tackles. Can be limited after contact because he doesn't always drive feet at the point of attack, especially when a defender squares him up in the hole. Tends to absorb contact than deliver it at times. Doesn't always show the vision to locate daylight when working in traffic. Will try to bounce plays outside into the teeth of the defense and lose yardage. Doesn't always secure the ball against his body when changing direction, leading to some fumbles. Will drop some passes because he doesn't always look throws in before trying to turn upfield. Whiffs on too many assignments in blitz pickup because he's an undersized guy that even undersized linebackers and corners have little issue beating. Tends to get more in the way than be able to square up a pass rusher and be an effective pass protector. Makes questionable decision as a punt returner, and not a reliable guy fielding punts.
Pead is a quick and explosive runner behind Cincinnati's zone-blocking spread attack, producing as their lead rusher the past three seasons. He projects well as a change of pace runner in that scheme because of his quickness and homerun speed on the second level. He does his best work on the slants, stretches, and other plays designed to get him outside and take advantage of his speed and quickness. He's not a guy that projects well to be an everydown rusher, but he can add value as change of pace runner in any scheme and third down option. I've heard some concerns about his confidence and swagger rubbing some teams the wrong way because it borders on cockiness and immaturity.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/22) vs. N.C. State: 26 attempts, 167 yards, 6.4 avg, 14 YAC, 1 TDs; 3 targets, 3 rec., 24 yds 28 YAC, 1 TD; 1 sack allowed
(12/31) vs. Vanderbilt: 27 att., 148 yds, 5.5 avg, 54 YAC, 0 TDs; 6 tgt., 3 rec., 15 yds, 17 YAC, 0 TDs; 2 drops; 2 fumbles, 1 sack allowed
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 237 att., 1259 yds, 5.3 avg, 12 TDs; 39 rec., 319 yds, 8.2 avg, 3 TDs; 8 PR-9.3 avg
2010: 11/10-157-1029-6.6-6; 26-190-7.3-1
2009: 13/3-121-806-6.7-9; 20-201-10.1-2
2008: 7/0-30-194-6.5-0; 2-11-5.5-0; 1 KR-21.0 avg
- missed 2 games in 2010 with a bruised left knee
Pead will add depth to almost any roster. Teams will like his quickness, burst, and speed to make the big plays. He'll work best behind a zone-blocking line, where can shine on the slants, stretches, and use his quickness and vision on the edge. But even in a man-blocking line, he'll be an effective change of pace runner that can provide the occasional spark and big play as a guy that can get 5-10 touches per game. The key for him will be improving in pass protection. He's a guy that doesn't blow his assignments because he's out of position, but because he struggles to match up physically, it doesn't take a lot of effort for defenders to beat him. If he goes to a team that runs a lot of zone-blocking similar to Houston, then I think he can be a very valuable No. 2. In such a scheme, his production can be on par with a lead back, I don't know if he has the size and durability to hold up to an NFL workload for 16 games and give you the consistent production you want week in and week out, but if he's forced to start a couple of games or share the load with another back, he can be very effective. I think at worst he becomes a solid No. 2, but not a great complementary runner similar to Justin Forsett behind a zone-blocking line. In a man-blocking scheme, he offers similar value as Bernard Scott, which is an explosive change of pace runner behind a more grind-it-out runner like Cedric Benson. He'll be a solid complementary runner in most schemes, but in the right one that is a pass-first zone-blocking team looking for more of an explosive option than a consistent guy that provides balance, he can add more value.
Bernard Scott, Bengals.
Pead would be the most explosive runner on the Falcons roster and could carve out a nice niche immediately as a change of pace runner. He could be an effective role player because of that big play potential, and onus on him producing immediately in pass protection wouldn't be as strong because of the presences of players like Rodgers and Snelling. But unless he really made significant strides to improve in protection to be on par with those guys, he'd be hard-pressed to carve out a major niche besides being a situational player. He'll add value in Koetter's offense because he can be good on screen passes, but he'll struggle to pass Rodgers on the depth chart. In a committee system that features Rodgers as the main guy on third downs, Snelling more of the short-yardage/power guy, and Pead as the explosive big-play guy he could work. But even in that role he'd more of a 5-8 carry guy and would only get more work if the Falcons became more a pass-first offense. If that became true, he might get more work than Snelling because his explosiveness would be considered more of an asset with less emphasis on a more physical, balanced attack.
Pead is a solid change of pace runner that on a team that utilizes a lot of zone-blocking could make a worthwhile pick in the latter half of the third round. But despite being a skilled receiver, his limitations as a blocker doesn't make him the ideal third down option. And because of that and his limitations between the tackles, he's probably a better value in the fourth round since he's more of a good backup than a potential starter.
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