Scouting Report: Jahvid Best is another one of those backs who are human highlight reels. He's a remarkable athlete, and has all those skills you'd expect from a guy who runs like he does. Acceleration and cut, straightline speed, elusiveness, excellent vision and the ability to hit the hole in a hurry. Also on the positives, he runs with nice leverage and has good pad level. He's also an adequate receiver out of the backfield. In fact, when you compare his skill set to that of CJ Spiller, and the reality is, they are so very similar, Best is a better running back than Spiller, and just as dangerous in the open field. But like Spiller, there is a dark side, and it's also very similar. Best has a slight frame and doesn't look to be able to withstand the punishment of being an every down back. He's not a great inside runner, and doesn't have the strength to fight for tough yardage. He also runs with that Reggie Bush mentality that he can pop every play outside and use his speed, but that stopped working for Bush in the NFL so it will for Best as well. Right now Best is also a two down back as he is awful at pass protection, and not polished at all as a receiver. And even worse, Best suffered a frightening injury Against Oregon back at the start of November. They are simply calling it a severe concussion and back injury, but having watched the game live, and the replays, it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
Draft Status: Best is only a junior, so there's a good chance he decides to return to school for his senior season. He could make a run at a Heisman, and show the NFL he's the best back in the nation. But on the flipside, after the injury he suffered, is he really going to go back, and risk it again, without an NFL contract behind it? All reports are Best will make a full recovery, and if that's the case, he's going to wow teams at the Combine and workouts. That makes him a first round pick for sure, but he could slip behind Spiller, simply because of Spiller's return ability and Best's concussion concerns.
Final Analysis: I think first and foremost I have to say I am so glad Best is even a subject of a scouting report after what happened to him on November 7th. His career and much more could have been taken away from him in a single play. Best would make a great complimentary player to a big back. He's so athletic and fast he would really be able to take advantage of a tired defense, or take a fresh one by surprise. No, he's not 20 touches a game, but as a role player, he could be very effective. I sincerely hope Best has a great NFL career especially after everything he's been through and I will certainly be rooting for him.
Reminds me of: Willie Parker, RB Pittsburgh Steelers-Similar size and game. Both guys do too much dancing and not enough running, but like Parker, Best has a role in the league for a team that can utilize his physical gifts and pair him up with another back, like what the Steelers are doing with Parker. A homerun threat is hard to find in the NFL, so Best will be in demand.
Red Flags: Medical
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy