Pros: Has good speed, burst, and vision. Has nice footwork and does a good job preventing the loss of yardage in the backfield. Powerful runner downhill, that squares his shoulders and delivers blow to the defender. Has a good stiff arm, keeps his feet moving, and does a good job picking up yardage after contact. Has enough balance and quickness to sidestep a defender, and hard to bring down unless you hit him squarely which he does a nice job of avoiding. Has nice hands and awareness in the passing game with good potential as a blocker in pass protection.
Cons: Doesn't have enough speed to challenge the corner consistently. Not explosive out of his cuts and won't be a homerun threat. At times, not as physical a blocker as he is a runner.
Overview: Gerhart epitomize the phrase "runs well behind his pads." He's a power runner that is comparable to Michael Turner in that he is a good runner after contact. He plays a lot in I-formation at Stanford and runs best when he has a big physical fullback to lead the way like he did in Owen Marecic. He could also fit very in a zone-blocking scheme and as a short-yardage back. He also played baseball while at Stanford where he was an outfielder and hit .275, had 16 homers, and 68 RBs in 141 games played.
NFL Forecast: Some think Gerhart should move to fullback because he doesn't have great speed or quickness but these people have little imagination. He's more of a throwback running back that thrived in the NFL in the 1980s and 90s, since now you have teams spreading the ball out more and using more single-back sets. But Gerhart can work in that type of offense, but he won't thrive as much. He can contribute right away as a short-yardage and complementary runner, and once he improves his blocking and awareness in pass protection, he'll be good enough to be a starter. His learning curve in the passing game shouldn't be that big since Stanford runs a lot of pro schemes. I think for a team that wants a physical back that can carry the ball 20+ times and wear down defenses, Gerhart is a very good fit. He'll be one of those players like Turner that defenses hate facing because of how hard he runs.
ATL Forecast: Gerhart would be an ideal successor to Turner down the line because he can be that same type of workhorse back that Turner is in this offense. He probably wouldn't be as capable of picking up the long runs that Turner does because his speed isn't quite as good, but he could probably contribute more in the passing game than Turner does currently. The issue for the Falcons with Gerhart is they'd need to figure out what to do at fullback. Mughelli would be the better candidate, but maybe they'd convert Snelling fully to fullback and try to make him into the long-term lead blocker. But Gerhart would bring some of hte same skills as Snelling did this past year as a backup, but would be better in short-yardage because he has better vision and power than Snelling does. If the Falcons wanted to add a backup running back that would be a Turner clone and replace him within two years, Gerhart would be as close to ideal as you could find.
Value: Gerhart is a solid second round prospect for a team looking for either a complementary power runner or a workhorse back to develop in the future.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average,4-very good, 5-elite
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.