A 2020 NFL Draft scouting report for Maryland running back Anthony McFarland.
As we inch closer to the 2020 NFL Draft, we want to dig deeper throughout the class and try to find some hidden gems who could be uncovered in the later rounds. Maryland running back Anthony McFarland is never going to be under first-round consideration, but he is a talented guy who anybody who likes the draft should now. Today, we are going to dig deep and learn about McFarland’s game.
Weight: 198 pounds
2019 stats: 114 carries for 614 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. 17 receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown as a receiver.
Note: Size measurements are from McFarland’s page on the official University of Maryland athletics site.
McFarland was a redshirt sophomore who only carried the ball 245 times through his two years at Maryland. He was more productive as a freshman in 2018 (1,034 rushing yards on 131 carries), but he was a game-breaker with the ball in his hands throughout his college career.
While McFarland is not a big back, he does have a relatively compact frame. He is short, but he is also stout, making him more difficult to tackle in one-on-one situations that you would expect.
McFarland’s game is built on speed and elusiveness. He shows tremendous burst through the hole and is extremely shifty in space. He has great vision and natural instincts as a ball carrier, understanding how to keep his options open throughout the play and getting the most out of every single run.
He is an electric player who can easily make defenders miss in space, and when he gets a crease, it is game over. He has the speed to take it to the house from anywhere on the field. McFarland also shows good contact balance for a back of his size.
While McFarland’s lack of carries is a bit odd, but most NFL teams will look at this as a positive. There are plenty of miles left in his legs and durability is not a concern. He has not proven himself as a featured back, but he has a chance to have a long and healthy career in the NFL.
McFarland does struggle in pass protection, but he does have obvious upside as a receiver out of the backfield. He did not prove himself as a premier pass catcher in college, but McFarland does have some soft hands and an exciting combination of speed and elusiveness that gives him plenty of upside in run after catch situations.
When it comes down to it, McFarland is an extremely unproven back who is a bit of an unknown. That being said, his skill-set is incredibly exciting and will make him a tempting player to select in the 2020 NFL Draft. He would be best suited to be the speed back in some sort of a committee on a zone-based team. However, I think McFarland is good enough to be the lead back in said committee. Whoever drafts him just needs to find a power back to pair with him.