Name: Matthew Dayes
School: NC State
Position fit: Running back
Stats to know: Tied for 17th-most missed tackles forced on rush attempts in 2016 out of draft-eligible running backs.
What he does best:
- Good vision and patient as a zone runner who will make the correct reads and cuts to maximize what his blocking provides.
- Quick acceleration and in and out of cuts, which help him succeed in small spaces.
- Shows the ability to string together moves.
- Effective receiver out of the backfield. Can also line up some in the slot.
- Lacks great top-end speed that prevents him from outrunning everyone on big runs for touchdowns.
- Doesn’t gain much yardage after contact, despite high effort.
- Size alone isn’t an issue, but when coupled with the first two points and lacking any elite qualities, it is another thing that hampers his potential.
- Likely limited to a running a zone-blocking scheme.
Bottom line: Dayes is on the start of smaller end of the spectrum for running back size and is noticeably quicker than fast. He fits best in a zone-blocking scheme to make the most of his vision and change of direction strengths. He keeps his legs churning upon impact but it doesn’t necessarily translate to more yardage unless he has a full head of steam first. Dayes has good hands and has been productive as a receiver, particularly on screens to get him into space. He has shown improvement in pass protection over the past three years, but still has some work to do to maximize potential playing time as a receiving or third-down back. He will likely find a home as a backup who will can an impact as a receiver out of the backfield and spell some carries.