by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of NJ.com.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Southern Miss, Running Back, Frank Gore Jr.
Name- Frank Gore, Jr.
Pos- Running Back
Team- Southern Miss
HT/WT- 5’8” 195 lbs.
Home – Miami, FL
Gore, Jr. attended Killian High School in Miami, Florida and during his senior year he played quarterback, throwing for 17-of-22, for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns. He led the team in rushing yards with 1,111 and was voted the No. 3 under the radar prospect coming into his senior season by MaxPreps. Gore was originally committed to Florida Atlantic but flipped his commitment to Southern Miss during his senior season. He is the son of former NFL standout running back Frank Gore who played 16 years in the NFL and ran for 16,000 yards which is 3rd all-time in NFL history.
Gore didn’t waste any time at Southern Miss and during his freshman season ran for 708 yards in 10 games. He was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and was on the Conference USA 2nd team. He had an interesting 2021 campaign, where he not only led the Golden Eagles in rushing yards again with 801 yards, but he also helped transform the Southern Miss offense to the SuperBack formation. In this scheme, Gore was tasked to run from the wildcat formation, adding 189 yards passing and 4 touchdowns in three games.
Last season, Frank Gore Jr. put everything together and started all 13 games and ran for a career high 1,382 yards with 9 touchdowns. He also set a bowl record with 329 yards against Rice in the LendingTree Bowl. He was unstoppable for most of last season, finishing with the 6th highest rushing total in Southern Miss history.
This year, Gore is once again chewing up the yards and is leading the Golden Eagles in rushing yards with 681 yards and is averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. Gore is being used in the pass game as well and has corralled 13 receptions, mostly on screens.
Gore is built a lot like his father and runs very low to the ground making it tough for defenders to square up on him. He runs with contact balance and can bounce off tacklers and keep moving his feet to extend runs.
He sets up well as a pass receiver too running sharp routes and excels out in the open field. He may be on the smaller side but he is a willing and effective blocker who has the ability to be a 3rd down back. He has an explosive burst that can get him through the second layer of the defense and puts the pressure on the defensive backs to make a play. He runs better on the outside and is excellent on sweeps when he has a chance to make a one-on-one move to get to the corner.
At only 195 lbs., he will not be a power back at the NFL level. He needs to bulk up and try to get closer to 210 lbs. without losing a step. He does not have a lot of zig-zag to his running and instead looks for contact which won’t serve him well in a faster, stronger league. He lacks elite vision and will miss a chance to make a cut and create a bigger play. And as with many other stars that have come out of Conference USA, the level of competition he’s played against will always be questioned.
Frank Gore has a comparable build to Jaylen Warren of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Warren came out of college around 202 lbs. and has bulked up to 215 without losing his straight line speed. If Gore can bulk up he can become a solid rotational running back who can add a lot of value to 3rd downs.
Straight line speed
Runs hard and low
Gore has another year of eligibility and most likely will come back for another season and help his 2025 draft stock. Gore could foreseeably get drafted late in this year's draft and work his way on a team through training camp and special teams.
Draft 412 Draft Projection - Round 6 or Round 7 (come back for another season)