40: 4.52 (Campus)
PROS: A good north-south runner with good straight line speed and burst through hole. Shows ability to take it the distance. Can sidestep defender on the second level. Runs well downhil, lowers shoulder and can break arm tackles. Does a nice job keeping his feet moving after contact. Shows potential in pass protection, able to pickup the blitz. Has nice hands as a receiver.
CONS: Not elusive and lacks much wiggle to make defenders miss, especially before he gets past the line of scrimmage. Doesn't have the power to really break anything more than arm tackles, and goes down when you hit him squarely.
OVERVIEW: A role player at Alabama that only logged 1 career start and was used mostly off the bench. Most carries in a game were 17, but few games where he got double-digit workload. Career high came as he rushed 58 times for 350 yards (6.0 avg) and 4 scores as a junior. In the passing game, he had career highs of 12 receptions and a score as a senior.
NFL FORECAST: Upchurch would work well in a zone-blocking line that allows him to get north and south quickly. While he has good size, he has a bit of a thin build and I don't expect him to be able to hold up to NFL punishment as a 20-carry back despite having full tread on his tires. He's a guy that his potential will likely come as a third down back, a role he served in often at Alabama. He has potential to block and be a factor in the passing game, so he can make a contribution right away in the pros as a No. 2 guy. Doesn't have upside that really is worth developing, but potentially could contribute 5-10 carries off the bench. He's the type of back that I think could give an offense 300-500 yards as a reserve each year as well as 30-40 catches. But he won't be an integral part of the offense in terms of running the ball, but instead will have a value more like Maurice Morris than Chester Taylor as a third down back.
ATL FORECAST: He can push for time right away as a third down back because he is a fairly good blocker for a rookie. He won't win the job, but should be able to win it by his second year if the Falcons chose not to re-sign Norwood. He wouldn't be a better change of pace runner than Norwood, but probably would be more durable as a trade-off for less explosiveness. But his workload would be similar to Norwood which is most weeks only getting around 5 or so carries to keep Turner fresh, as opposed to being an integral part of the offense.
VALUE: Upchurch's value as a reserve player means that some team could take him as high as the fourth round, although his limited potential on offense means that he's probably a better value in the fifth.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average,4-very good, 5-elite
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.