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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Marshawn Lloyd

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

by Zachary Somma


Photo courtesy of LA Times.


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 - USC, Running Back, Marshawn Lloyd


Name- Marshawn Lloyd

Pos- RB

Team- USC

HT/WT- 5’9” 210 lbs.

Born- 01/05/01

Home- Wilmington, Delaware


Marshawn Lloyd is playing his first season alongside Caleb Williams and the USC offense. He missed the entirety of his 2020 freshman season with a torn ACL suffered in practice and saw moderate success in the RB committee used at South Carolina in 2021 and 2022. At the conclusion of the 2022 season, Lloyd transferred from South Carolina to USC to replace Travis Dye who had graduated in 2022. Though he is a bit undersized, Lloyd plays with great agility and foot speed to go alongside a high level of effort and competitiveness.

As a runner, Lloyd is patient, frequently dancing behind his blockers before making quick jump cuts into open gaps and space. He has good vision to find cutback lanes and is very patient in letting his blocks fully develop in front of him before making his cut. This can leave him stuck behind the line of scrimmage if the blocks in front do not develop well enough though. His initial burst is significant and he can explode through gaps for good yardage before any contact is made. His fluid feet and size allow him to hit smaller holes that other running backs would physically not be able to. Lloyd has full faith in his athletic ability and will bounce runs to the outside if he thinks can outrun or juke out the edge setter, to varying degrees of success.


While Lloyd does not shy away from contact, he does not possess the power or size to run through tacklers, and will occasionally get caught in arm tackles at the line of scrimmage. In the open field, Lloyd can make defenders miss and has enough contact balance to stay upright if a defender cannot get a good enough grip on him. His acceleration can get him to top speed quite quickly, and he plays quite fast even if his overall long speed does leave some to be desired. Lloyd can be counted on for a couple of explosive runs per game with 9 runs of 15+ yards so far in 2023 (per PFF). His ball security is solid, but he may lose a fumble or two throughout a season. His high motor and effort level can make him hard to bring down at times, and he is more than willing to take a hit to make a play.

Lloyd brings an adequate skillset to the passing game. As a receiver, he can be an explosive option on short routes out of the backfield. He is a solid route runner on short routes and his agility and footwork can make him dangerous in open space if given the opportunity. He usually is a good hands catcher but can occasionally have focus drops that limit him from being a truly dependable checkdown option despite his after the catch ability.


In pass protection, Lloyd is a mixed bag. On one hand, his effort level is very good and he will sell out to make a block to the best of his ability. Occasionally, he is used as a lead blocker on rollouts or screen passes, and Lloyd will absolutely lay out unsuspecting DBs if he catches them in space. However, his size is a limiting factor to his blocking ability. He cannot hold up against stronger LBs, edge rushers or DTs, though sometimes he can do just enough to give his QB a second or two to move out of trouble. Lloyd can also struggle with reading who to block, and can be juked out by shifty rushers.


Strengths

  • Cutback lane vision

  • Lateral agility

  • High motor and effort


Weaknesses


  • Little Power ability

  • Limited by size profile

  • Inconsistency

Final Analysis


Overall, Lloyd projects as a versatile change of pace back who could see usage on all downs thanks to his balanced skillset. His route running and explosiveness could project to a 3rd down role at the next level, though his size might be a limited factor in terms of pass protection. Though he has limited special teams experience at the collegiate level, his effort level and overall athleticism lends itself very well to a potential special teams role.


Draft 412 Draft Prediction- Round 4 or 5


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