This 2021 NFL Draft prospect will be an exciting running back option at the next level.
While Max Borghi is unlikely to be among the top running backs in the 2021 NFL Draft class, his overall combination of skills is extremely exciting. Travis Etienne and Najee Harris are the most likely first-round running backs in the 2021 NFL Draft class, but let’s not ignore Borghi and how well he will fit the modern game.
Borghi has been a jack-of-all-trades at the running back position the last two seasons at Washington State, shining as both a runner and receiver. In Washington State’s pass-happy offense, Borghi proved to be an exciting weapon as a receiver out of the backfield, piling up 53 receptions for 374 yards and four touchdowns in 2018 and 86 receptions for 597 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.
Add in Borghi’s impressive 5.9 career yards per carry average and 19 career rushing touchdowns and it is easy to see that Borghi is an exciting offensive playmaker with impressive long-term upside.
Borghi is an extremely slippery playmaker with the ball in his hands. He is quick and elusive in the open field and does a fantastic job of making defenders miss in space. Borghi nearly always makes the first defender miss and he continues to remain elusive throughout the play. His combination of quick feet, soft hands, natural elusiveness and strong contact balance makes Borghi an exciting playmaker in all aspects of the running back position.
Can Borghi prove himself as a runner?
Last season, Washington State did a fantastic job of getting Borghi in space and letting him make plays. He did a great job of making the most of his opportunities but it is fair to say that the wide-open offensive attack presented more opportunities for success than a traditional offense would.
With head coach Mike Leach moving on to Mississippi State this offseason, the Washington State offense will undoubtedly look different in 2020. The Cougars hired Nick Rolovich as their head coach this offseason, and he will take over the team after spending the last four years as the head coach at Hawaii. Rolovich will not implement a traditional offensive attack, but he does rely on the running game more than Leach.
Expect Washington State to give Borghi more of an opportunity to prove himself as a runner in 2020. He is already an exciting pass-catcher who is going to be a threat in the passing game at the next level. But is he enough of a threat on the ground to be a lead back? Personally, I think so, but his limited opportunities on the ground leaves that question.
In 2020, Borghi will look to dominate opposing defenses as a runner and a receiver. If he improves on the ground with the expanded opportunities, his 2021 NFL Draft will undoubtedly be on the rise. Keep an eye on Borghi, he is an exciting playmaker whose game fits the modern NFL extremely well.