South Carolina runningback Marcus Lattimore made some noise recently in the world of football. The junior runningback will not go into his senior of football at South Carolina, but will enter the NFL draft. Before the college season started Lattimore was easily considered the best runningback entering the draft and was projected to be a first round pick. Late in October, Lattimore once again injured his knee leading him to be out for the rest of the season. Many are surprised that Lattimore made this decision. It would have been best for him if he stayed one more year at South Carolina. Lattimore is moving on forward the question still remains though; is this guy still a top draft pick?
Lattimore’s combined stats in college: 555 Attempts for 2,677 yards, 5.0 average yards a carry, 38 touchdowns.
Those are Lattimore’s combined stats in his three years of college. There is no doubt Lattimore can produce the problem for him is he can’t stay healthy. Ever since Lattimore was a freshmen at South Carolina injuries have seem to plague the running back. His freshmen year he was caught with an ankle injury and then following that broke his jaw in the 2010 Chick Fil A bowl. The injuries kept on coming in 2011 Lattimore had multiple of knee tears that caused him to cut his season short. Then this year against Tennessee, Lattimore suffered a gruesome knee injury. Early reports came out and said that he could have torn his PCL, ACL, and MCL. Later on it was announced by South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier that it was just a sprained knee.
Even then you look at the injury history, and you think what team would want to take the risk with Lattimore. So many teams missing runningbacks would have jumped at the chance to have the type of talent that Lattimore provides, but with all these injury issues would you want to waste a pick on Lattimore? Lattimore does bring a lot of upside to the football field. Problem is he can’t keep that upside if he can’t stay on the field for more than 9 games plus. Lattimore to me though should not be slept on what so ever. If there is one team that I feel will take the risk of picking up the talents of Lattimore in the draft it will be the Detroit Lions. The lions themselves are a team that is looking for good running back that can be the featured back. Jahvid Best has been a total bust for the lions as he is still out with a concussion suffered last year. Not to mention Lattimore won’t be the only dependable back in that backfield with the talents of Leshoure, and Bell back there; the lions would be able to ease the pressure off on a guy like Lattimore.
To me Lattimore is a gifted athlete he will no longer be a top pick, but still if a team sees him on the draft board in the 3rd or 4th round what more do you have to lose? You won’t find a better talent there than Lattimore so go for it. As it stands I am a believer Lattimore will surprise many folks, but the main problem is can he stay healthy? That is the ultimate question here.