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Gator Would Look Good In Green

Florida running back Mike Gillislee isn't getting much love from draft experts

Florida running back Mike Gillislee isn’t getting much love from draft experts

I wouldn’t call myself a draftnik. I don’t watch the NFL Combine on television. I don’t spend countless hours pouring over video. I don’t live in my parents’ basement. And I don’t get an erection when I hear Mike Mayock’s voice. But I do watch an awful lot of college football on Saturday afternoons, so I’m going to give you my humble opinion on who’s the best running back in the draft after Alabama’s Eddie Lacy.

I’m pretty sure he won’t go on day one, but I absolutely love Florida’s Mike Gillislee. I don’t care what the measurables say, this young man impressed me every time I watched him play last season. He showed terrific vision, the ability to make the first tackler miss and enough speed to run away from defenders. He also looked like a kid who won’t be afraid to take on blitzing linebackers at the next level.

The aforementioned Mayock didn’t rank Gillislee among his top 5 running backs. He had Lacy at No. 1, followed by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Clemson’s Andre Ellington, North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard and South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore (who is currently rehabbing a torn ACL). I haven’t seen enough of Ellington and Bernard to comment on their pro potential, but I’ve seen plenty of Ball (that just doesn’t sound right). And as far as I’m concerned, if given the choice between the two, I’d take Gillislee in a heartbeat.

Green Bay’s offense needs a back who’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball. For all the fine work Cedric Benson did early and DuJuan Harris did late, neither player was keeping defensive coordinators up at night. Truth is, Mike McCarthy did defenses a favor every time he ran the ball last season.

I realize that this post may make me look foolish a year or three from now, but that’s perfectly fine. Just because Gillislee’s name wasn’t one of the five burnt into the tablet Mayock brought down from Mt. Combine in Indianapolis doesn’t dissuade me from what my eyes saw on a weekly basis. And while I’m not predicting that Gillislie would lead the Packers to the Promised Land of Northern New Jersey next February, I am predicting that he’d be a really good addition to an already productive offense.

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10 Comments to "Gator Would Look Good In Green"

  1. Archie says:

    Mike Gillislee, not big (5’11″: 208#), not fast (4.55). Could he be another Curtis Martin type? Great Blue North, who does a nice job with draft evaluation every year, has him rated as the 4th best RB in this draft, behind Lacy, Bell & Bernard. However, they have him as the 8th RB actually drafted and not until pick 110. So, GBN thinks he will be available at the end of R3.

    Everyone’s highlight reel is exciting and Gillislee’s is no exception. The big questions are can he hold up to the heavy pounding in the NFL and can he be a 3 down back.

    I don’t have a RB in my top 25 picks. I expect Lacy to be the first RB drafted and he may be a consideration for the Pack at 26. Gio Bernard is the other name back that will probably quickly follow Lacy off the board.

    The RB I see TT having the most interest in however, Le’Veon Bell (MSU). At 6’1″ 230#, some compare him to a young Stephen Jackson. He is a 3 down guy who will be effective in a complex passing game. No injury history despite carrying the ball well over 300 times for MSU.

    GBN has Bell going at pick 94. Would make a great R3 pick for GB!

  2. Archie says:

    DRAFT NOTE: If the Pack sheds Finley, and I think they will, and if nobody slides in this draft that is too good to pass on, it would seem TT would be locked into Tyler Eifert (TE), ND with his pick 26. Maybe he would do a small trade-down and gamble he could still get him but probably not as late R1 seems to be Eifert’s value and in this day and age, getting the top TE in the draft seems to present good value.

  3. Archie says:

    DRAFT NOTE: There is great depth in this year’s safety class. For that reason, the top S in this draft, Kenny Vaccaro, may slide to pick26. GBN has him rated at 23 on their board. Were TT to get a shot at this guy, he’d have to give it very serious thought.

    Another guy who may slide in this draft is Keenan Allen, WR, CAL. Some compare him to Jordy Nelson, others to Anquan Boldin. Residual injury problems kept him out of combine. Another TT type player of value at pick26.

  4. Dustin says:

    If you want a gator you might want to consider Matt Elam, dude would bring some phisicality to our otherwise soft defense.

    • Archie says:

      Agreed. But draft position of Elam, like Vaccaro, may be hurt by quality depth at position. May be too short to fit TT’s mold as well. I still lament taking Rich Campbell over Ronnie Lott!

  5. Terdell Middleton says:

    I enjoy you sticking your neck out – in these articles and others. I’ll be keeping an eye on Gillislee. These opinions are what makes the draft a lot of fun.

  6. Bryan says:

    I’ll keep an eye on him during draft day. Thanks again for the interesting opinions.

  7. Henry says:

    Great humor to add to football analysis.

  8. MI_Pack says:

    Great article, Michael. Appreciate the food for thought – it will be interesting to keep an eye on Gillislee’s draft stock over the next few weeks. And your site is unique, in a good way. There’s a million Packer-related sites out there, but your opinions and honesty are refreshing.

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