Marshawn Lloyd - RB - USC

Marshawn Lloyd had a rough go at it to start his career with a torn ACL to start his true freshman season. It looked like injuries might derail a talented running back before he could even get started. But a transfer to USC changed that trajectory to a point now where he could be considered one of the top running backs in this class.

Measurables

Height: 5′ 8″

Weight: 220 lbs

Age: 23

40-yard dash: 4.46s

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuttle: DNP

Vertical Jump: 36″

Broad Jump: 9’10”

Bench Press: 25

*age is at the start of player’s rookie year

College Stats

Rushing & Receiving Table
RushingReceivingScrimmage
YearSchoolConfClassPosGAttYdsAvgTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysYdsAvgTD
2020South CarolinaSECFRRB000
*2021South CarolinaSECFRRB12642283.6134414.70672724.11
*2022South CarolinaSECSO91115735.29181769.821297495.811
*2023USCPac-12JRRB111168207.191323217.8012910528.29
CareerOverall29116215.6193445213.3232520736.421
South Carolina1758014.6102122010.5219610215.212
USC1168207.191323217.8012910528.29
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2024.

Notable Headlines

Lloyd was the number 5 running back recruit in the nation per 247Sports Composite during the 2020 recruiting cycle. His commitment to South Carolina was a huge get for them, but his success was quickly derailed due to an ACL tear before his true freshman season got started. That caused him to miss the entire season, and subsequently look like his explosiveness had been zapped during his redshirt freshman season. He had a nice bounce-back season as a redshirt sophomore with the Gamecocks, leading the team in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. But still missed a few games and wasn’t getting a ton of volume consistently.

Following his bounce back, his reputation on the field recovered a good amount and he was able to transfer to USC for his redshirt junior season. He had his best season yet, hitting career-high marks in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing yards per attempt, receiving yards, and receiving yards per attempt. His per-game volume didn’t go up in USC’s pass-heavy offense, but his efficiency shot up through the roof. He led all running backs in most rushing categories and hit his first 1,000-yard yards from scrimmage season and decided to declare for the NFL Draft.

Scouting Report

Positives

To start, Marshawn Lloyd provides a lot of versatility in the lineup and scheme that he’s playing in. He’s a plus value in the receiving game with his hands, yards after the catch ability, ability to line up in different positions on the field, and his ability to run more routes than the normal “running back routes”. He proved to be a great compliment to Caleb Williams last year with his ability to work off-script when a play breaks down and be in an advantageous space for his quarterback. Once he gets the ball in space either during a run play or after the catch, he can turn it upfield with high-end speed for explosive plays. 

As a runner, he’s impressive as well. He showed good burst off the line of scrimmage and paired that with solid vision. Behind the line of scrimmage and within the teeth of the defense, he showed good lateral mobility. For a player with his explosive ability, he also showed impressive physicality with a listed size of 5’9” and 210 lbs. He consistently displayed good lower body strength and a willingness to keep his legs churning. Plus the ability to bounce off tackles in space and run through arm tackles.

Negatives

While Lloyd is a very well-rounded prospect, there are still a few concerns with his prospect profile. Starting with his, at times, inconsistent vision and tendency to miss cut-back lanes. Additionally, he’s a great receiver out of the backfield and while he showed to be a willing blocker in pass protection, there were instances of being late to pick up the blitz that would lead to bad positioning. With his speed and burst, there are also times when he tries to press his runs to the outside too often even when the crease isn’t there, leading to missed yards on plays.

A concern that isn’t always warranted as we’ve seen plenty of running backs overcome this, is ball security. He was accredited with 8 total fumbles over the past 3 seasons. And a small negative is that while he does a lot of things well as a running back, he doesn’t quite have that one elite trait you can hang your hat on. And generally elite running backs in the NFL have that elite trait that they can always fall back on.

Pre Draft Analysis

Expected Draft Capital- Round 4

Landing Spots

There are quite a few teams in need of a running back to contribute immediately with the opportunity to take a lead role. And with the free agent market settled down, it leaves at least a few teams eyeing running backs like Lloyd in the middle rounds. One of those teams would be the Raiders as Josh Jacobs made his way to Green Bay this offseason. Raiders now have a mixture of Ameer Abdullah, Alexander Mattison, and Zamir White. Additionally, the Chargers are left with just Isaiah Spiller whose contract expires next offseason and newcomer Gus Edwards. Lloyd would have the opportunity to walk in on day 1 at either of those organizations and immediately be one of the more explosive and talented running backs in those rooms

Post Draft Analysis

Green Bay Packers – Round 3, Pick 25

Landing Spot

The Packers just acquired Josh Jacobs this offseason following the departure of Aaron Jones and they still have AJ Dillon on the roster. Dillon was only brought back on a cheap 1-year deal with a $0 dead cap hit if they were to cut him this offseason. He didn’t impress the Packers’ front office enough during his tenure thus far to secure a long-term deal or to give the team a reason not to take another running back in the draft. So, the team does bring in Marshawn Lloyd just barely sneaking into Day 2 draft capital. Lloyd has an immediate opportunity to impress and potentially provide the packers an instant upgrade to their RB2 position behind Jacobs.

Additionally, Jacobs’ contract is basically a one-year deal and each following year will be up to the Packers to renew. That structure makes sense as the running back is 26 years old and took a significant dip in efficiency from 2022 to 2023 with the Raiders. Lloyd gives this team more depth and a more explosive option to complement Jacobs in the short term. And maybe even a long-term RB1 if they get lucky and things really hit with Lloyd.

Fantasy Impact

Marshawn Lloyd has a lot of opportunities to make an impact on this team. He was taken on Day 2 signifying that the Packers expect that Lloyd will make an impact on this team. There is an immediate opportunity for Lloyd to take the RB2 role in this offense from AJ Dillon as Lloyd provides a lot more explosiveness from the get-go. He also provides a better compliment to Josh Jacobs’ running style. In that scenario, Lloyd likely holds some flex standalone value and a nice handcuff option if Jacobs were to miss any time. And if Lloyd impresses enough with those opportunities and/or Jacobs doesn’t live up to his contract, there is a scenario in which Lloyd could take over as the RB1 in this offense within the next year.

In Redraft, Lloyd is a nice late-round dart throw to secure the handcuff to Josh Jacobs and maybe even provide some bye-week fill-in type value. In Dynasty, Lloyd is a great value at the top of the third round. There is an opportunity in front of him to provide immediate and long-term value as a running backw with good draft capital. That’s just the type of dart-throw managers should be looking for in the third rounds of their rookie drafts.

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