2020 NFL Draft: J.K. Dobbins Prospect Review

  • Name (#): J.K. Dobbins (#2)
  • Position: RB
  • College: Ohio State
  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 209 lbs
  • 40-time: N/A
  • Career Statistics: 725 Attempts, 4,459 Yards and 38 Touchdowns. 71 Receptions, 667 Yards, 5 Touchdowns. 
  • Season Statistics: 301 Attempts, 2,049 Yards and 21 Touchdowns. 23 Receptions, 247 Yards, 2 Touchdowns.
  • Games started: 40
  • Games played: 42
  • Games watched: Clemson, Penn St, Michigan, Wisconsin 2x
  • Prepared by: Nathan Papandrea


J.K. Dobbins packs a lot of power and speed into a stiff and compact frame. Standing at 5’9” and 209 pounds, you wouldn’t expect Dobbins to have the explosive athletic ability that he does. Dobbins has run the 40-yard dash as fast as a 4.45 seconds in the past, which is similar to the speeds of Ezekiel Elliott, Kenyan Drake, and Dalvin Cook — not quite elite speed, but Dobbins has plenty in the tank to break away and maintain space from closing defenders. 

Early in his career it was the preference of Dobbins to cut his runs to the edge and take advantage of his skill-set in the open field. Dobbins plays low to the ground with his 5’9” frame and really explodes through his cuts. He takes his cuts as a chance to gain more momentum and power in his run. He stretches the field against the defense and can seemingly run sideline to sideline against any defense.

Dobbins can get lost with his “highlight eyes” at times; he continuously tries to stretch the run to the outside, looking for a big play rather than knowing when to cut his losses and turn up-field. Part of this is due to a lack of top-end suddenness and the pop to quickly change direction.  Dobbins’ ability to accelerate and pick up straight-line speed makes it easier for him to rely on reaching his top gear around the edge. He has excellent vision but lacks the elite change-of-direction to fully take advantage of it. 

That’s not to say that he can’t run between the tackles; with his power and strength it should be easy to coach him up, but Dobbins seems to lack consistency between the tackles and finds his most success around the edge. 

Dobbins has excellent vision as a zone runner, but he can struggle from time to time in gap and power runs. The play below shows Dobbins miss a huge hole and sacrifice what could’ve been a home run. 

But his football intelligence is without question. Dobbins routinely utilizes his vision and pre-snap recognition, and that’s when his short-area explosiveness really shines. He quickly gains ground and pushes downfield through the line of scrimmage.

When Dobbins properly diagnoses an open hole, he does an outstanding job of hitting the hole with a combination of strength and speed that gives him the power to propel forward. According to Pro Football Focus, he registered the fourth-most yards after contact at 1,207 yards.


His low center of gravity makes him a problem to tackle at the line of scrimmage.

As the season went on, Dobbins began to hit harder through the tackles and really carry his power into continuous forward momentum. His strong trunk and powerful base are a problem for defenders as he carries the defense for nearly 10 yards solely by driving his feet.  

He has loose hips and slippery agility, which allow him to burst through tiny holes. His low center of gravity and exceptional balance give him enough power to allow him to cover 3-4 yards of ground with ease. 

Dobbins is a very willing pass blocker and shows the traits to excel and be one of the best pass-blocking backs at the next level. He processes defensive pressures with elite timing again and again.


He has the discipline and patience to let the play develop in front of him and pick up the most immediate threat.

After sifting through the defenders, Dobbins is a technically sound blocker that uses his power and manipulates defenders’ leverage to deliver knockout blocks.


While he is smaller in stature, he has shown the ability to carry the load. He’s coming off of a 300-carry season at Ohio State. Dobbins is more than capable of being a feature back but could truly excel in a shared backfield with fresh legs.  

Full series of breakdowns