Southern California Senior
Has good power. Runs hard through the hole and shows nice straight-line speed as a downhill runner. Craves contact and looks for defenders to hit on the second level. Lowers the shoulder and powers through tackles. Has a nice stiff arm and does a good job finishing his runs. Shows enough quickness to sidestep the defender on the second level.
Doesn't have great speed and lacks lateral quickness and burst out of his cuts. Has to stop his feet to change direction. Too patient at times waiting for his blocks and the hole to develop. Not an explosive runner to pick up maximum yardage when the hole does develop.
Bradford is a power runner that was expected to be USC's top rusher this year, but was passed by Marc Tyler on the depth chart. He's a nice complementary power runner that projects as a short-yardage back at the next level due to his power. A highly touted prospect when he came to USC, but injuries and inconsistent prevented him from really blossoming. Started out at safety, but moved to running back before his freshman year. His first three seasons, he combined for 42 carries for 123 yards (2.9 avg) and 3 touchdowns with 10 receptions and 3 more scores. He missed some time in both his second and third years (2007 & 2008) with a hip flexor. As a true freshman, he logged 2 starts at fullback. Came back as a junior in 2009 and started 1 of 13 games with 115 carries for 668 yards (5.8 avg), 8 touchdowns, and 1 reception. As a senior this past year, he started 3 of 12 games with 110 carries for 794 yards (7.2 avg), 5 touchdowns, 3 receptions and 1 more receiving touchdown.
Bradford has the size and power to think he could make a decent convert at fullback. But despite his power, he's probably not a great prospect there because again his lack of vision hurts him. But not as much as it does as a runner. He can stick as a short-yardage and goalline runner at the next level, but he's nothing special. And outside that, he's not going to impact much on offense. Very limited experience in the passing game, so he's only going to be a niche player rather than a true No. 2 back. So that's why moving him to fullback would make since for many teams because it would allow you to get more out of him than in those short-yardage situations. But if he converts there, it's going to take a few years. Best fit for him is playing behind a speed back where he can spell him in the redzone early in his career, and then as time wears on he can be developed as a lead blocker. But he'll have to compete on special teams in the meantime to merit being kept as a reserve. He definitely can add value off the bench, but he's a purely situational player that will have a hard time sticking beyond his rookie contract unless he can shine on special teams or make a conversion to fullback.
Bradford has the power that the Falcons like, but with Turner on the roster there is no real need for a short-yardage and goalline rusher since Turner is so good there. Unless the Falcons saw him as a potential fullback, he'd have a hard-time sticking. Best he could hope for is making the practice squad for a year or two, and then by then the team is ready to move on from Mughelli at fullback, and he has an opportunity to stick there. But he'd be a project that would be hard-pressed to make the roster unless he proved to be a very good special teams player.
For a team looking for a short-yardage back, he merits a seventh round pick. But if a team is developing him as a fullback, he's too much of a project to merit being picked.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Scouting reports of the running backs and fullbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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