Scouting Report | Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington

01/07/2019
DB+

Background

Athletic Background

High school

  • Three-star recruit coming out of high school (247sports)
  • Played running back, safety, and outside linebacker
  • 9-2 record senior year, 12-1 junior year
  • Metro League Mountain Division Offensive MVP, Kickoff Returner of the Year, first-team All-Metro at running back and safety
  • As a senior, ran the 100, 200, 400, 4×100, 4×400, and threw the shot put. Won the 2015 3A state title in the 100 meters, with a time of 11.02

College

  • 2018 All-Pac-12 Second Team
  • 2017 All-Pac-12 Second Team
  • Holds UW record with 55 career rushing touchdowns
  • Holds UW record with 60 career total touchdowns
  • Holds UW record with 5,202 career rushing yards
  • Four consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018); first ever to do it
  • First UW true freshman ever to rush for 100 yards in back-to-back games (had streaks of three games and ended year with four straight games)
  • UW true freshman record for rushing yards and rushing TDs

Injury history

  • Shoulder injury this season, missed two games

Film Reviewed

  • 2018
    • Auburn
    • Byu
    • Oregon
    • Utah
    • Washington St.
  • 2017
    • Arizona St.
    • Penn St.
    • Utah
    • UCLA
    • Washington

Measurables

  • Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 192 pounds
  • Official 40 time: UNK
  • Hand size: UNK

Strengths

Washington Huskies running back Myles Gaskin was an interesting study, to say the least. When you turn on the film you see a productive back. When you scour his statistics, you come away impressed.

Even research into his background really paints the picture of the type of player he is and the strengths that he possesses. One of his greatest assets that showed up across all scouting processes is his patience. This trait serves the small-statured back really well because he thrives when runs are targeted inside but with the option or an escape plan outside.

It is often referred to as ‘running the ladder’, and it comes as second nature to Gaskin.

His patience and vision enable him to start inside, get lost behind the linemen, and force the backers to come downhill and get stuck on blocks. Then Gaskin darts out of the pack in a Sproles-like fashion. His quickness can eliminate an angle that a linebacker thought he had to the ball. As a former running back, I can also appreciate his ball handling skills. He always transitions the ball to the proper hand seamlessly.

In 2018, Gaskin finished the regular season with the second-most run attempts outside with 59 for 393 yards and two touchdowns. That’s 6.7 yards per clip, and he averaged 4.2 yards after contact per attempt. It’s these types of runs that allow him to slightly change angles en route to the hole to set up blocks, but more importantly to screw with the angles of linebackers and safeties.

https://vimeo.com/308875560

He is more elusive when cornering at full speed than jump cutting, breaking a tackle, and then getting back up to full speed. You will see that trait on most of his outside zone runs.

Gaskin’s ability to read blocks, and defenders, is at its peak when aligned on the proverbial dot.

This is when Gaskin is lined up behind the quarterback at depth while he is under center, in the pistol, or when he is taking a direct snap.

Being aligned deep and on the dot gives him time to diagnose the defense, the tempo, the track to the hole, to let the blocks take shape, and then to execute the plan on that given play. Gaskin’s hips always seem to stay square to the line of scrimmage, and he can make a defender miss in the hole by slightly turning his shoulder pads or hips.

He can break weak arm tackles with his ‘road runner’ lower body running style or by flashing his tremendous balance. His upper and lower body operate independently and contribute to his ability to slip tackles. He will often rotate from his upper torso to avoid the long arms of defenders, or he will twist his hips to break stronger tackle attempts, all while keeping the other half square.

https://vimeo.com/308876685

In the passing game, Gaskin showed off his intelligence and understanding of the blocking scheme when asked to pass protect. He was often asked to execute slide protection responsbilities and was very cognizant of loopers and late-rushing defenders. He chooses to chop down defenders by rotating his body and almost barrel rolling at the thigh boards of the rusher. This minimizes any sort of direct blow to his shoulder or head area.

Most of Gaskin’s work was done in the run game; he only managed 62 receptions over the course of his career. Those touches primarily came in the screen and check down game. He is a good outlet to have for a QB, as he quickly gets to his check down landmark after clearing his blocking responsibilities or executing play fakes. If schemed into space, he shows solid hand-eye coordination. In 2018, he registered a 9.1 percent drop rate, which was two drops on 22 catchable passes.

Weaknesses

While it isn’t a weakness per se, his size is going to limit his effectiveness at the next level. He won’t be an every down back who will be able to handle 20 carries a game; his frame will take a beating. He doesn’t have the top-end speed or acceleration guys of his size who have enjoyed success at the NFL level. I like his quickness, but I wouldn’t say his feet have the flexion or twitch I would like to see from a guy with his physical measurables. So on Sundays, I don’t expect him to break many tackles due to force on contact. He isn’t the most creative runner, either — the type of guy that is going to stack two or three eye-popping moves on top of each other, so again, I wouldn’t expect him to break many tackles at the next level.

Gaskin is clearly a back that prefers to run outside, and he falls prey to wanting to bounce runs outside even though the play or his reads should take him inside. His processing has far too many lapses on these outside zone runs, plays that are aimed outside but typically cut back up inside.

On gap runs, there are times where there are creases inside but a defender’s helmet or eyes in the hole will force him to unnecessarily bounce it when he should just take what the defense gives him. The other issue I have with his vision is when the offense puts him alongside the QB in the shotgun and hands him the ball. While he is still capable as a runner from this alignment, I believe he is more comfortable running from the dot because when in gun, his decision making is much murkier. On gap runs, often times the entry point for a running back is defined, and when that opening is narrow, you can almost feel him thinking, “where should I go?” Luckily for him, he can typically slice through and get a couple of yards, but at the next level, this indecision may lead to yardage loss.

Concepts from the gun typically have the back closer to the line of scrimmage, running east/west, attacking the line of scrimmage on an angle, with his shoulders perpendicular to the line of scrimmage. He has less time to diagnose the leverage of his blocks, and you will see the indecisive cuts play out in his footwork.

In the passing game, his size and strength are also what really hinder him. At times when releasing into routes, he can be easily bumped off his route stem, which can affect the timing of the play. This also plays out when asked to stick a defender in the hole as a pass blocker. He has the guts to do it but not the physical abilities to anchor against a power rush from defensive lineman or linebacker.

Gaskin was a workhorse player in the Huskies’ scheme, but he is more of a rotational player at the next level. He is probably a team’s second or third back in the rotation who can come in as a change of pace. His best chance at succeeding is getting drafted by a team that has a strong offensive line and a scheme that works from under center because his patience and vision are best maximized from the dot. He is more of an efficient runner than a splashy back, but he can slip tackles due to his upper and lower body being able to operate independently.

But his underwhelming size, struggles to create or consistently break tackles on his own, and overall average athleticism will only take him so far on Sundays. Gaskin graded out to a late 4th round, early 5th round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

0 Comments