2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma

Jan 2, 2017; New Orleans , LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine (32) carries the ball for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers in the fourth quarter of the 2017 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2017; New Orleans , LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine (32) carries the ball for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers in the fourth quarter of the 2017 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Many 2017 NFL Draft prospects are creating enough buzz for themselves. Has Samaje Perine done enough to earn the same buzz as some other running backs in the 2017 NFL Draft?

Coming out of high school, Samaje Perine created enough buzz for himself. He was a physical runner who showed elusiveness, the ability to jump cut and was faster than everyone he played against.

Over the span of three seasons in high school, Perine totaled 546 carries, 4923 yards and 36 touchdowns. Earning himself a four-star recruiting grade, Perine had numerous Division I offers. Those offers ranged from Oklahoma, Alabama and Tennessee.

Ultimately, the Hendrickson High School product chose the Oklahoma Sooners. Choosing the Sooners has been a decision that he hasn’t regretted. After three incredible seasons with the Sooners, Perine became the All-Time Leading Rusher in Oklahoma school history.

During his career at Oklahoma, Perine ran for 685 carries, 4122 yards and 49 touchdowns. He also added 40 receptions for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Statistically, you can’t get any better than what Perine produced. Let’s dive beyond the stats and see if he’s done enough to earn the same buzz as the other running backs in the 2017 NFL Draft.


  • Strong runner who runs well between the tackles.
  • Always seems to get positive yardage by falling forward.
  • Displays the ability to consistently go North and South.
  • Really good awareness and vision — makes smooth cuts up-field.
  • Picks up blitzes and helps lineman with edge rushers.
  • Ideal size for a starting NFL running back.

Being that this is the week of the NFL Scouting Combine, we’re starting to find out the measurements for a number of prospects. For Samaje Perine, his measurements were recorded at: 5-11, 233, 10, 30 3/8 (height, weight, hand size and arm length). In my opinion, that’s the ideal size you want for your starting tailback. Not too big but not too small.

There’s a lot of runs on the Perine tapes. 685 carries to be exact. Therefore, he has a lot of tread on his tires but he’s a productive runner. Perine shows patience when hitting the hole and never tries to do too much when carrying the football. On some runs, he shows aggressiveness by lowering his shoulder but no matter what, he’s aways falling forward and trying to get positive yardage. That’s just something you can’t teach a player. If they shy away from contact through college, they’re going to shy away from contact in the league. Samaje Perine isn’t one of those types of backs.


  • With 685 collegiate carries, there’s some tread on his tires.
  • Missed some time during the 2016 season with a hamstring injury.
  • Statistically declined every year since his freshman season.
  • Wasn’t used often as the pass-catching back. Can he be a three-down back?
  • Not very elusive in the open field.
  • Lacks straight line speed.

Bringing this back around to the tread on the tires, Perine has some. Let’s face it, after a while, players feel the wear and tear. I played football for six years and wasn’t even that good and I feel the effects from the game, I can only imagine how some of these guys feel. Honestly, think about that. Perine had 685 carries in college and another 546 carries in high school. That’s 1,231 carries in a 7 year span with an average of 175 carries per season. I love it for experience but I get concerned when it comes to a player and his longevity. Missing three games this past season, signifies my reasoning.

If you’re expecting Perine to be that pass-catching type of back, you might want to look elsewhere. He has shown that he can catch the ball but he doesn’t display proper route running ability out of the backfield. Whatever the case may be, he just doesn’t seem reliable in that aspect of the game. While I love his vision, I wonder about his straight line speed and burst at the second level. Perine isn’t the most elusive back in the open field and it’s clear he won’t be running circles around everyone on the field.


There’s a lot to like about Samaje Perine. From his running style to his size and his vision when cutting up field. He’s a smooth runner but lacks that second level burst you’d like to see from a running back. Without question, he shows experience with the numbers of carries and his ability to produce.

Part of me wonders if he’s starting to lose a step as his statistics have been on the decline every year since 2014.

Rush Rece Scri
Year School Conf Class Pos G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2014 Oklahoma Big 12 FR RB 13 263 1713 6.5 21 15 108 7.2 0 278 1821 6.6 21
*2015 Oklahoma Big 12 SO RB 13 226 1349 6.0 16 15 107 7.1 1 241 1456 6.0 17
2016 Oklahoma Big 12 JR RB 10 196 1060 5.4 12 10 106 10.6 1 206 1166 5.7 13
Career Oklahoma 685 4122 6.0 49 40 321 8.0 2 725 4443 6.1 51

Numerous teams come to mind when thinking about where he could land. I think the best fits are the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the most part though, the good outweighs the bad with Samaje Perine. He has the ability to be a great find for a team in the day two process of the 2017 NFL Draft.