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Devonta Freeman, RB (ATL)

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FSU tailback Devonta Freeman to work out for Dolphins on Friday

April 10, 2014|By Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel

Devonta Freeman is mature beyond his years. Tough life experiences growing up in Liberty City's infamous Pork n' Beans projects has that effect on some youngsters.

When you're a 13-year-old going to school and working three jobs to make ends meet you learn how to squeeze the most out of every opportunity, and that's what this former Florida State tailback has done.

"I've been one of the blessed ones to make it out," Freeman said.

He transformed a high school career at Miami Central into a state championship, and a scholarship to FSU. He flipped his three seasons with the Seminoles into a national championship, and the distinction of becoming the first Seminoles tailback since Warrick Dunn to rush for over 1,000 yards.

And now Freeman, who amassed 1,016 yards on 173 carries and scored 15 touchdowns last season, intends to turn his college success, and stellar work ethicicon1.png into a promising NFL career.

Freeman, who bypassed his senior year to enter the draft, has already visited with the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, and he's one of the higher rated prospects attending the Dolphins' Pro Day on Friday. He joins nearly three dozen local draft prospects participating in the Dolphins' workout.

Each NFL team is allowed to host one day of workouts for the local draft talents. Players who will be at the Dolphins' workout either grew up in South Florida, or attended the University of Miami, Florida International or Florida Atlantic. It is the one rare instance where a prospect will workout at the team's facility. Each player will also sit down with the Dolphins coaches, scouts and executives, and execute board work and breakdown film.

Hurricane standouts Seantrel Henderson, Brandon Linder, Allen Hurns, Stephen Morris and Pat O'Donnell, who are all projected as possible third day picks, are also scheduled to workout for the Dolphins. Florida Atlantic cornerback Keith Reaser will attend Miami's Pro Day, but won't be able to workout because of an ACL surgery he had done for the second time this February.

But it is Freeman who is considered one of the hottest prospects on the scouting circuit because of his versatility, college production and commitmenticon1.png to succeed.

"He's a player you keep hearing about," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "Everybody loves him, and they think they're the only team that loves him. I keep telling them, 'You're not alone here.' If you want to get him in the fourth round, I think you're going to be out of luck."

Draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki has Freeman rated as the fifth best tailback in this draft class. He's behind Ohio State's Carlos Hyde, Auburn's Tre Mason, LSU's Jeremy Hill and Boston College's Andre Williams, and is projected to go anywhere from the second to fourth round.

"I love him," said one NFC executive. "He does everything you need to do at this level, but he needs to get a little bigger."

Freeman could have stayed in college and boosted his draft stock by helping the Seminoles try to repeat. But he decided against it because the Seminoles won the national championship, and he rushed for 1,000 yards in a pass-happy offense. Both were career goals for Freeman, and he realizes that tailbacks have a short shelf life in the NFL.

Freeman admitted he's nervous about where he'll be taken in next month's draft, but he understands it will only be the beginning of his NFL journey.

"I'm always underrated. It has been that way my whole career," Freeman said. "I played with three backs at FSU, a Heisman winning quarterback (Jameis Winston), a ton of good receivers. We only have one ball, and in our offense we didn't just key on one guy. We had a team.

"They look at my film. They see I can run. I can catch. I love to hit people. I love the contact of the game," Freeman said when asked about the feedback he's gotten from NFL teams. "That's telling the coaches that I'm an all-purpose back.

I can do it all, and it shows up on film."

Edited by Faust

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Rotoworld:

Florida State RB Devonta Freeman "runs like his hair is on fire," writes ESPN's Todd McShay.
"He keeps his pads low and legs driving at the end of runs and is almost always falling forward," McShay wrote. "He's tough, too, as shown by his willingness to throw himself around as a blocker in both the passing and running games. He does a great job of protecting the football as well, with a career fumble percentage of just 0.9." We won't argue. Freeman remains Rotoworld's top-rated running back due to his no-nonsense, competitive running style, experience as a pass protector, and skills as a receiver. He fits best in a zone blocking scheme, but we think he could play in any NFL offense.
Apr 26 - 8:42 PM
NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah mentioned FSU RB Devonta Freeman as one RB who could fill the Darren Sproles void for the Saints.
"Somebody that can catch the ball out of the backfield, you can plug him into the middle rounds, put him in that role," Jeremiah said. While Freeman has experience as a pass catcher and pass protector, he is a very different kind of player than Sproles. Rotoworld's Josh Norris lists Freeman as his top running back thanks to his decisive, one cut style.
Mar 13 - 10:57 AM
Source: NFL.com

Florida State RB Devonta Freeman reminds NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah of Darren Sproles.

"Doesn't have same top speed but his short area quickness is comparable," tweeted Jeremiah. Rotoworld's Josh Norris has compared Freeman to Ahmad Bradshaw and NFL.com's Gil Brandt called Freeman a less-complete Alfred Morris. Either way, evaluators are walking away from the Seminoles' star's game tape impressed. He's a compact runner who is slippery between the tackles and is a plus receiver out of the backfield.

NFL.com's Gil Brandt ranks Florida State RB Devonta Freeman ahead of teammate James Wilder Jr.

"Freeman is a short, compact runner who is very effective between the tackles," Brandt wrote. Freeman scampered for 1,016 yards on 5.9 yards per carry in helping FSU win the title this past season. "He's also a good receiver, with 47 catches in his three seasons. He's built a lot like Redskins RB Alfred Morris but doesn't quite have the same skill set," Brandt wrote.
Source: NFL.com

Florida State junior RB Devonta Freeman will declare for the draft on Monday, according to NFL Network's Mike Silver.

The buzz has been pointing in this direction since the Noles won the National Championship. Our own Josh Norris is a massive fan of Freeman due to his Ahmad Bradshaw-esque style. The junior has a chance to contribute early thanks to his pass protection skill, not to mention Freeman attacks contact and beats it frequently.
Jan 11 - 11:26 AM

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah believes that Florida State junior RB Davonta Freeman improved his stock as much as any player over the weekend.

Freeman rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and caught six passes for 98 yards and a TD in Saturday's 41-14 demolition victory over Miami. "He was outstanding in the screen game, setting up blocks and showing an explosive burst in the open field," Jeremiah wrote. "In the run game, I was impressed by his combination of quickness, elusiveness and power." Freeman had hauled in just seven receptions entering the game, and scouts were undoubtedly pleased to see him display a new facet to his game under the bright lights.
Source: NFL.com
Mon, Nov 4, 2013 09:20:00 PM
Edited by Faust

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Not happy about this, as I now won't be able to get my favorite RB from this class.

Pretty much. he was my #2 guy.

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Freeman and Quizz Rodgers won't put fear in anyones heart. Horrible pick.

:lmao:

He's ~2 inches taller, ~30 lbs heavier, stronger, faster, better home run speed, all around better back. The 2 are not even remotely similar.

Edited by lod01
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Great pick for ATL. This fantasy rookie draft is super deep.

:lmao: He's not good

ok.

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Freeman was one of my guys, already own him in one league. Very excited he landed in ATL. He's very underrated.

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Freeman and Quizz Rodgers won't put fear in anyones heart. Horrible pick.

:lmao:

He's ~2 inches taller, ~30 lbs heavier, stronger, faster, better home run speed, all around better back. The 2 are not even remotely similar.

You are highly misinformed on the masurables.

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Freeman and Quizz Rodgers won't put fear in anyones heart. Horrible pick.

:lmao:

He's ~2 inches taller, ~30 lbs heavier, stronger, faster, better home run speed, all around better back. The 2 are not even remotely similar.

You are highly misinformed on the masurables.

Because I'm off by a few lbs on weight.

ok again.

Bottom Line: Compactly built, downhill slasher with the agility and balanced skill set to emerge as a workhorse back. Earned the top assignment in a very talented backfield and has a similar build, running style and all-around utility as San Francisco 49ers 2005 third-round pick Frank Gore. Could prove to be a better pro than college player.

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Freeman and Quizz Rodgers won't put fear in anyones heart. Horrible pick.

:lmao:

He's ~2 inches taller, ~30 lbs heavier, stronger, faster, better home run speed, all around better back. The 2 are not even remotely similar.

You are highly misinformed on the masurables.

Because I'm off by a few lbs on weight.

ok again.

Bottom Line: Compactly built, downhill slasher with the agility and balanced skill set to emerge as a workhorse back. Earned the top assignment in a very talented backfield and has a similar build, running style and all-around utility as San Francisco 49ers 2005 third-round pick Frank Gore. Could prove to be a better pro than college player.

30 pounds is not a few. Same speed agility and build really.

Ok

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Can't argue with this guys work ethic: According to the Miami Herald, Freeman had a tough childhood – working three jobs at the age of 12. By the time he was 13 years old, one of his jobs included working in a funeral home – a physically and mentally demanding job for anyone, especially a teenager. He worked all of these jobs because he was determined to help his mom support his family and six siblings as much as he could.
Now a rookie in the NFL, Freeman looks to continue to support his family while bringing that same drive, determination, and work ethic to the Atlanta Falcons.

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Can't argue with this guys work ethic: According to the Miami Herald, Freeman had a tough childhood – working three jobs at the age of 12. By the time he was 13 years old, one of his jobs included working in a funeral home – a physically and mentally demanding job for anyone, especially a teenager. He worked all of these jobs because he was determined to help his mom support his family and six siblings as much as he could.

Now a rookie in the NFL, Freeman looks to continue to support his family while bringing that same drive, determination, and work ethic to the Atlanta Falcons.

Love rooting for guys like this. :thumbup:

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Is it crazy to think about this guy over Hyde, Cooks, OBJ

Over Hyde, absolutely.

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Falcons spice up backfield with Devonta Freeman

By Marc Sessler

Around the League Writer

NEW YORK -- The Atlanta Falcons wasted little time filling a primary need on Day 3 of the 2014 NFL Draft.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff used the club's fourth-round selection at No. 103 overall Saturday to grab running back Devonta Freeman out of Florida State.

"This kid for his size, is incredibly physical," NFL Media's Mike Mayock said, noting that there's "not a lot of tread on his tires."

Freeman typically split carries at FSU, but he's a candidate to take over for Steven Jackson down the road in Atlanta. He'll be used right away alongside Jacquizz Rodgers as a runner who brings strong lateral agility and surprising power for his 5-foot-8, 206-pound frame.

"Much bigger than what you see," NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah said.

Freeman has drawn comparisons to Ahmad Bradshaw for his one-cut ability and hard-nosed running style.

He's a good bet to see opportunities out of the gate with this Falcons offense in 2014.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" provides instant reaction to all the wild happenings in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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I've liked Freeman for a long time. He was in my top 5. Now, I probably can't afford him in my drafts. Kinda sucks.

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My draft started up last night and everyone flew through the first 12 picks. Draft got to me at 2.03 and I wanted to wait and see how the draft shook out today before I picked. Think he's a home run at 2.03? Hyde and Sankey are the only backs off the board. Most of the top receivers are gone too (Watkins, Evans, Cooks, Beckham, Benjamin, Lee, Matthews) League is 10-team PPR. I have back to back picks here and may go Freeman-Robinson.

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Is it crazy to think about this guy over Hyde, Cooks, OBJ

I'm picking 8th. Cooks will be gone. OBJ has Gomer throwing to him...meh. I think Hyde is gone too.

I would take Cooks over him. Hyde is in a tough division and his work ethic is not comparable. Love the work ethic guy like ctsu does.

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My draft started up last night and everyone flew through the first 12 picks. Draft got to me at 2.03 and I wanted to wait and see how the draft shook out today before I picked. Think he's a home run at 2.03? Hyde and Sankey are the only backs off the board. Most of the top receivers are gone too (Watkins, Evans, Cooks, Beckham, Benjamin, Lee, Matthews) League is 10-team PPR. I have back to back picks here and may go Freeman-Robinson.

I'd take Latimer, Bryant or Adams over Robinson.

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Haven't put much thought into my second pick yet. Main thing I'm thinking about is taking Freeman right now at 2.03 with Mason and Hill on the board, as well as those receivers you mentioned.

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Haven't put much thought into my second pick yet. Main thing I'm thinking about is taking Freeman right now at 2.03 with Mason and Hill on the board, as well as those receivers you mentioned.

Freeman is a no brainer at 2.03. Then I'd go Adams.

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I have Rodgers and Cobb already. Not sure about going Adams next. Thanks though guys. Also have Wheaton in Pitt and I'm a big Ravens fan and don't want too many Steelers so I'll shy away from Bryant as well.

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I have Rodgers and Cobb already. Not sure about going Adams next. Thanks though guys. Also have Wheaton in Pitt and I'm a big Ravens fan and don't want too many Steelers so I'll shy away from Bryant as well.

A guy in our league had Nelson and then grabbed Cobb. Damn if that didn't work out. The guys would both put up a TD the same week more than I would have though. He would start both. SOB.

You would have to wait on Adams but he is the #3 easily. Then we all know Nelson or Cobb will get hurt.

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Freeman was one of my guys, already own him in one league. Very excited he landed in ATL. He's very underrated.

You in another devy league? I would have preferred your Williams prediction but he's a hard runner. I'm lukewarm here on this pick.

Edited by Bronx Bomber

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Freeman was one of my guys, already own him in one league. Very excited he landed in ATL. He's very underrated.

You in another devy league?
No, I'm in a league that drafts a week before the NFL draft. Posted the draft here in the "post your rookie draft" thread. Edited by ConnSKINS26

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Freeman was one of my guys, already own him in one league. Very excited he landed in ATL. He's very underrated.

You in another devy league?
No, I'm in a league that drafts a week before the NFL draft. Posted the draft here in the "post your rookie draft" thread.

That has got to make the NFL Draft a major nail-biter/head-puncher

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Freeman was one of my guys, already own him in one league. Very excited he landed in ATL. He's very underrated.

You in another devy league?
No, I'm in a league that drafts a week before the NFL draft. Posted the draft here in the "post your rookie draft" thread.

That has got to make the NFL Draft a major nail-biter/head-puncher

Absolutely, it's nerve-wracking. I've gotten fairly lucky. Took Cooks, Lee, Freeman, Andre Williams, Manziel, Archer, DAT, John Brown, and some other late round RB's (Josey, Houston, Bibbs). I'm pretty happy with almost all my landing spots so far, which is rare.

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Freeman was one of my guys, already own him in one league. Very excited he landed in ATL. He's very underrated.

You in another devy league?
No, I'm in a league that drafts a week before the NFL draft. Posted the draft here in the "post your rookie draft" thread.
That has got to make the NFL Draft a major nail-biter/head-puncher

Absolutely, it's nerve-wracking. I've gotten fairly lucky. Took Cooks, Lee, Freeman, Andre Williams, Manziel, Archer, DAT, John Brown, and some other late round RB's (Josey, Houston, Bibbs). I'm pretty happy with almost all my landing spots so far, which is rare.

So far it's been a good draft for guys with multi early picks. Guys are going to teams where they have a chance to contribute early and even start. At least the guys I'm interested in.

Guys like Moncrief and Benjamin, who I don't like, went to places where they will watch (IND) or I don't care about (CAR).

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As a Florida State fan having seen a lot of Freeman, I predict he will be one of the steals of the draft. he is a player!

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You guys realize this thread is in the Shark Pool and not the Assistant Coach forum right? Take your personal team talk elsewhere.

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I will ask again... Why is this a good spot for him? Has Jackson and Rodgers there...

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I will ask again... Why is this a good spot for him? Has Jackson and Rodgers there...

Because SJax is old and Rodgers sucks.

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I will ask again... Why is this a good spot for him? Has Jackson and Rodgers there...

Jackson is a fossil. This is it for him. He's also perpetually injured. Now that he's even slower, he takes even more punishment. Rodgers has shown he can't carry the load. I thought he could have a Sproles role but he failed that. It's certainly possible that what has happened to Bernard in Cincy happens in 2015 to Freeman...they draft a big RB.

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I like Freeman, but I don't see him as the long-time starter. Could be a Zac Stacy situation, next year, where a more talented guy that gets drafted higher replaces him.

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I like Freeman, but I don't see him as the long-time starter. Could be a Zac Stacy situation, next year, where a more talented guy that gets drafted higher replaces him.

:lol: premature eZaculation

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Rotoworld:

Falcons coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff confirmed that they see feature back potential in Devonta Freeman.

"I think if you look at his size, the first thing that comes to your mind is he may be a change-of-pace back. That is not the case," Smith said. Freeman, 5'8/206, brings excellent pass protection chops and an underrated inside running resume to Atlanta. He's going to get reps directly behind Steven Jackson this year and has an excellent chance to be a No. 1 runner by 2015. "He has the ability to tote the rock as a lead back," Dimitroff said.
Source: ESPN.com

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Of course he is going to say positive things about a guy he just drafted.

He will get some PT this year, but could also be 3rd stringer with a one year small window, then ATL trades or drafts a big time RB(of whenever Jackson is done).

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Of course he is going to say positive things about a guy he just drafted.

He will get some PT this year, but could also be 3rd stringer with a one year small window, then ATL trades or drafts a big time RB(of whenever Jackson is done).

Oh you mean like this?

"I think the guy has the skill set to play on all three downs," HC Mike Smith said recently. "One of the things that stood out to me more than anything is his ability to pass protect. A lot of times, your change-of-pace back, you’ve got to get him the ball and not ask him to be a part of the protection.

We found out very quickly that even though he is short, he is not little," Smith said. "He can handle all three downs and he does a very good job for us returning kicks."

He was talking about Jacquizz Rodgers, not so long ago.

Edited by Leroy's Aces

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