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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Notre Dame RB CJ Prosise

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CJ Prosise makes an interesting upside pick, but is still very raw at the position.

CJ Prosise may be the sleeper pick at the RB position in the 2016 Draft.
CJ Prosise may be the sleeper pick at the RB position in the 2016 Draft.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are likely looking to make upgrades at the RB position with their first move likely coming in Free Agency. If the Patriots do pick up their #1 guy as a free agent, then they should use the draft for depth and to take a player with future upside. One name that comes to mind is Notre Dame's CJ Prosise. Prosise is a converted WR that has good size and speed for the position, but only has less than one year of experience at the position. I have doubts he'll be a heavy contributor in 2016, but could develop into a future 3-down, bellcow back for the Patriots.

Prosise measured in at the combine at 6'1" 220 while running a 4.48 40 with a 1.57 10 split. Those are very solid Height-Weight-Speed numbers, as his 4.48 speed does show up on tape. In addition, he had good jump numbers with a 35.5" vertical and a 10'1" broad jump. Prosise is a very good runner in the open field and has very good receiving ability out of the backfield due to his experience as a WR. His routes and blitz pickup need to be refined in order to be able to get on the field, which is where his inexperience at the position is really at. The Patriots have one of the best RB coaches in the NFL, and Prosise's flaws are similar to Shane Vereen's coming into the NFL.

One thing I am most concerned about is fluidity and field vision. Prosise is a long strider out of the backfield, which makes him look slower on tape but he can cover a lot of ground quickly in the open field. Prosise declined to run the 5-10-5 shuttle or the 3-Cone drill at the combine, so there isn't a number to compare with on tape. We'll have to get those numbers on his Pro Day on March 31st. It will be curious to see if Bill Belichick shows up to the Notre Dame Pro Day. Belichick and Notre Dame HC Brian Kelly are close friends, so there is definitely a possible connection to think about.

Overall, I think Prosise is a late 3rd round upside pick. This guy has the floor of a core special teamer a la Brandon Bolden due to his speed, but has the ceiling of a potential three down RB. This year's draft class lacks star power and is riddled with committee types, so perhaps the best move would be to go for an upside pick. I have him on my 3rd round draft board and have him as a possibility with the 97th pick of the draft. In my mock draft, I picked Arkansas RB Jonathan Williams, but Prosise will have a better career. He's got great HWS numbers and is a capable receiver out of the backfield, the question becomes whether the production matches the talent, which Prosise has plenty of.