2018: 4 games. 4 att, 91 yards, 1 TD; 6 rec, 52 yards. Redshirted
2019: 14 games. 231 att, 1459 yards, 13 TDs; 51 rec, 610 yards, 3 TDs
2020: Opted Out
Accolades. 2019 AAC Rookie of the Year, 2019 First team All-AAC
History. Three-star recruit from Yazoo City, MS. Prepped at Yazoo County HS, where he was a three year starter at QB. He was All-State and Class 3A Mr. Football as a Senior. Opted out of the 2020 season to focus on the upcoming NFL Draft.
Strengths: Great acceleration. Good long speed, ran a 4.42 at his pro day. Very shifty in space, quick feet. Lateral ability to side step defenders in the box. A combo of good vision and small stature allows him to hit the hole and go. Patient runner. Versatility is a plus, has been used out wide as a receiver, jet motions, wildcat, Memphis really got creative with him. Better contact balance than you’d expect from a runner his size.
Weaknesses: Can he be a featured back in the NFL? Slightly undersized, although he weighed in over 200 at his pro day (Memphis listed him at 191). Not sure how much weight he can add to his frame. Fumbled 3 times in 2019. Only 18 career games, one year as a starter.
Overview: One cut runner in a zone running scheme that can contribute on all three downs. At worst, Gainwell is a change of pace back, that can be brought in on passing downs and line up in the slot or backfield. The body of work and size will scare some off, I doubt he goes before Antonio Gibson did last year.
Evaluation based on. Penn St. 19′, Ole Miss. 19′, Temple 19′,
Draft Projection: 3rd Round
Draft Grade: 5.50
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