Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Ryquell Armstead, RB of Temple. You can also check out all of our NFL Draft Prospect articles here. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league!
Ryquell Armstead was not squarely on my radar until he impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine. I went back and looked into his profile some more and came away cautiously intrigued. I will not be rushing out to select him in the early to middle rounds of rookie drafts but he could be a decent flier in the later rounds. His combination of size and speed is interesting but it would be even more so if he had more receiving production.
Statistics from sports-reference.com.
Armstead saw limited playing time as a freshman in 2015. In addition, he split carries with Jahad Thomas as a sophomore and David Hood as a junior. These factors limited his production early in his career.
The dip in rushing yards and touchdowns in his junior season is notable but perhaps somewhat of an outlier. The entire offense was less productive that year and Armstead still tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns.
He saw an expanded role as a senior as he took full control of the backfield. The limited receiving work is concerning as Temple seemed to always have another player besides Armstead fill that role for them. His lack of production in the receiving game leaves me wondering how much of a role he can carve out in the NFL. As a result, he looks destined for a committee role at best.
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Armstead is a battering ram when he runs. He has good power to run over defenders but there are still times where he goes down easier than expected. He is not a back who often makes defenders miss but he does a good job of getting through holes and turning them into big plays with his speed.
In the receiving game, he was limited to mostly check-downs from his quarterback. He occasionally ran routes but saw very few targets on them. As far as pass protection, I actually expected him to be a better pass blocker considering his size and attitude he runs with. There were a few times he let the defender go right by him and pressure the quarterback. Even with his size, he often chop-blocked pass blockers.
Armstead excelled when he was able to use his size to overwhelm smaller defenders but will likely find it harder to do so against the size of NFL defenders. Regardless of position, the players who rely on their size in college often give me pause when projecting them at the next level. The advantages they relied upon to win matchups in college will likely be much smaller or not there at all in the NFL.
If you want to watch more Ryquell Armstead videos, check out his NFL draft prospect video page.
Armstead’s measurables and combine testing are the biggest strengths of his profile but are still a mixed bag. However, when you are compared to Derrius Guice, Lamar Miller, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and Michael Turner you have my attention. Armstead’s height, weight, 40-yard dash, and bench press measurements were all in the 65th-percentile or higher. His combination of size and speed is the most intriguing aspect of his game.
His very low vertical does stick out like a sore thumb though, possibly hinting at limited explosion out of his cuts. In addition to his vertical, his broad jump and 20-yard shuttle measurements were lower on the scale as well.
Overall, these measurements actually line up with what I saw on tape. He uses his size and speed combination to his advantage when he gets room to run but does not have enough explosion and agility to regularly make defenders miss.
Armstead is likely to be very cheap in both rookie and startup drafts. According to DLF March 2019 Rookie ADP, he sits as the 45th rookie with an ADP of 44.20. He had a relatively wide range of outcomes among the ten mock drafts. The earliest he was picked was 36th and the latest was 49th (default value for players not selected). I am curious to see where he is selected in the NFL Draft but he could be a valuable late-round flier.
In startups, Armstead was not even selected in any of the March superflex mocks and barely snuck in as the 249th player in single quarterback mocks. There is a good chance he is going undrafted in most recent startups and you could likely use your last pick to acquire him. He could be a decent pick in April startups in anticipation of flipping him if he lands in a good spot in the NFL draft.
Like most players, there are both positives and negatives to Armstead’s game. He does not appear to have as much upside as many other players in this rookie class, but his profile is still intriguing enough to warrant a late-round rookie pick. Considering his cost, Armstead is likely going to be a very low-risk investment with the potential to return a decent payout for where you selected him.