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Liquid Courage

Dynasty: Kalen Ballage, RB Arizona State

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Starting the way too early Hype Train. But there is so much "potential" to like and could be a steal later in a rookie draft or redraft. 

NFL combination of size and speed with receiving skills

6'3, 229 with a reported 4.46 40 yard

Big con on him was a too upright running style and not using his size to break tackles. Looked good at Senior Bowl, though, learning to run much lower.  Also, just was not used properly at ASU. 

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-draft/0ap3000000911381/Kalen-Ballage-bowls-over-defender-to-convert-on-fourth-and-short

https://247sports.com/college/arizona-state/Board/102980/Contents/Kalen-Ballage-Freed-From-Arizona-States-System-Senior-Bowl-114102839

https://zonecoverage.com/2018/featured/senior-bowl-interview-with-rb-kalen-ballage-arizona-state/

Edited by Liquid Courage
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Arthur Arkush's Senior Bowl Day 2 notebook: UCF TE Akins seizes his opportunity

Excerpt:

Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage is a really big back (6-2, 221), perhaps a little stiff, but he built on a nice opening practice Tuesday by showing off some surprising receiving ability. Ballage caught 20 passes for 91 yards as a senior, down significantly from his junior year (44-469), but he beat a linebacker on a wheel route Wednesday, then showed good body control and hands to adjust to the football and secure the catch through contact.

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NFL Draft Scout's Tony Pauline believes that Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage impressed scouts during Senior Bowl practices.

Pauline notes that Ballage has intrigued scouts for a long time because of his size and speed, but that those haven't always translated onto the football field. "Ballage’s play this week in Mobile finally matched his physical prowess, as the 6-foot-2, 222-pound runner showed explosive athleticism and smooth receiving skills in addition to holding up in pass protection," Pauline writes. This is a strong group of running backs, but Ballage appears to be earning mid-round looks, and could be off the board before the end of Day 2. 

Jan 29 - 1:57 PM

Source: Draft Analyst

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Optimum Scouting's Eric Galko notes that Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage impressed throughout the Senior Bowl practice week.

"Here, he's shown outstanding pass catching comfort and extension, plus bend for a taller running back, and multiple areas for easy improvement," Galko writes. As for what to work on moving forward in the draft process, Ballage's vision and gap anticipation are two major potential hurdles for NFL teams. These issues have cropped up at the Senior Bowl and beyond that, we noticed them on multiple occasions during what was an underwhelming senior campaign in 2017. You're going to hear some parties very very high on Ballage's pro potential this spring. In a stacked running back class, though, we're not quite there at this point. Jan 26 - 10:52 AM

Source: Optimum Scouting

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Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline reports that NFL scouts believe Arizona State senior RB Kalen Ballage "could develop into a feature back at the next level."

"The biggest concern at this point is his pure speed, and it’s something to keep an eye on in predraft workouts," Pauline wrote. To that point, Arizona State head coach Todd Graham predicted over the summer that Ballage would run 4.4 or better in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine at 230-plus pounds. Ballage (6'3) is a notable physical freak. He's been clocked at 21.6 mph, boasts a 37-inch vertical jump, and can do the broad jump in just under 10 feet.

Source: Draft Analyst 

Fri, Sep 22, 2017 01:13:00 PM

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Arizona State senior RB Kalen Ballage has been clocked GPS technology clocked him at 21.6 mph.

Ballage runs a 4.03 20-yard shuttle that's more in line with a cornerback than a 6-foot-3, 220-pound power runner. Ballage is a physical freak with a 37-inch vertical jump and a broad jump just under 10 feet. He's a highly intriguing but difficult-to-figure NFL prospect. Ballage is a top-notch athlete and a versatile RB (he's a legitimate weapon in the passing game with a 44-469-1 receiving line in 2016) but he finished with only 536 rushing yards (4.3 ypc) last year. He did have 14 touchdowns on the ground, though eight of them came against Texas Tech. We'd like to see more ground production this fall. Either way, he's going to star at the combine.

Source: NFL.com

Thu, Jul 6, 2017 02:55:00 PM

Edited by Faust

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if you're a person that drafts on combine workouts this guy will be your 1.02.  If you watch him play, he'll be a 3rd rounder at best in fantasy circles.  

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25 minutes ago, Zyphros said:

if you're a person that drafts on combine workouts this guy will be your 1.02.  If you watch him play, he'll be a 3rd rounder at best in fantasy circles.  

There are definitely things in his film that give you pause. His upright running style. His lack of desire to initiate contact. 

That being said, it he was just a workout warrior, my expectations would be tempered. But I was very excited by what I saw at the Senior Bowl. 

In my estimation, in what round he gets drafted (if he gets drafted) will be most telling. It's the clearest indication to what the real NFL thinks of a player. If he's drafted in the 3rd round or higher. That'll mean that the NFL thinks that he can make an impact. If it's 4th or 5th, I'll temper a bit, but given the depth of this class, I don't think being drafted in these lower rounds is that much of a knock. 6th or 7th would disappoint me. 

UDFA would make me a sad panda.  Last year, I really felt that Ishmael Zamora could be an NFL ready receiver (as did Reception Perception) , but went UDFA and never made a team. 

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55 minutes ago, Zyphros said:

if you're a person that drafts on combine workouts this guy will be your 1.02.  If you watch him play, he'll be a 3rd rounder at best in fantasy circles.  

Agreed, I just haven’t heard much positive about him from those who are supposed to know these things.

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Draft tracker: NFL Network analyst Charles Davis breaks down Senior Bowl performances

Excerpt:

On Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage:

“What he did at ASU doesn’t match what you see in person. I look at him and think, ‘He should be a three-down back: He should be able to carry the ball, protect the quarterback and catch the ball out of the backfield.’ But his career has been as a third-down back in a three-down back’s body. What he did this week, the way he lowered his should to finish runs, will send everyone back to the film room asking why didn’t we see that at ASU. Here’s what I think happened: NFL guys don’t mince words. This week is all about making players uncomfortable, to see how they can adapt and see if they whine or complain. I would bet my last nickel that Ballage walked into (an interview with scouts), and someone said, ‘Dude, why do you run (so soft)? … We want to see you drop the boom on somebody.'”

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Senior Bowl 2018: Observations from Wednesday's practices highlighted by Josh Allen's vintage performance

Excerpt:

The Kalen Ballage train steamed ahead on Wednesday, as he continued to put his smooth athleticism on display in receiving drills and when he outran Oklahoma outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo downfield on a wheel route. The Arizona Statespecimen also dominated in the blitz pickup drill. He's reminds me of David Johnson. That's not exaggeration.

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6 hours ago, Liquid Courage said:

There are definitely things in his film that give you pause. His upright running style. His lack of desire to initiate contact. 

That being said, it he was just a workout warrior, my expectations would be tempered. But I was very excited by what I saw at the Senior Bowl. 

In my estimation, in what round he gets drafted (if he gets drafted) will be most telling. It's the clearest indication to what the real NFL thinks of a player. If he's drafted in the 3rd round or higher. That'll mean that the NFL thinks that he can make an impact. If it's 4th or 5th, I'll temper a bit, but given the depth of this class, I don't think being drafted in these lower rounds is that much of a knock. 6th or 7th would disappoint me. 

UDFA would make me a sad panda.  Last year, I really felt that Ishmael Zamora could be an NFL ready receiver (as did Reception Perception) , but went UDFA and never made a team. 

I wasn't very impressed with him at the senior bowl myself so maybe that's our disconnect.  He looked good as a pass catcher but other than that, nothing stood out.  Definitely agree with you on where he gets drafted though.  I still think if he's a 3rd round NFL draft guy, that's going to be indicative of him doing well at the combine rather than his actual NFL talent.  Even NFL evaluators get caught up in the combine and over-inflate a guy for it, not all the time but sometimes.  Now if he's a 2nd round guy I'll have to take another look at him but I don't expect that to happen.  I think 4th or 5th round is most likely though.  

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10 hours ago, Zyphros said:

He looked good as a pass catcher but other than that, nothing stood out.

Funny thing is, I can't help but keep thinking that had he transitioned to the WR position, the NFL would be drooling over a 6'2" 225 athletic build WR.  And I wonder if this may not happen at some time... call it a Reverse Ty Montgomery. :) 

Or he could turn out to be David Boston. Still, even he had a one very good year. 

Edited by Liquid Courage

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I'm so conflicted about this guy. He's going to be a workout warrior. His production on the ground stinks but he caught 44 balls his JR season. Depending on who drafts him he may warrant a 2nd round pick despite my fears that he is Chris Henry 2.0

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1 hour ago, Bojang0301 said:

I'm so conflicted about this guy. He's going to be a workout warrior. His production on the ground stinks but he caught 44 balls his JR season. Depending on who drafts him he may warrant a 2nd round pick despite my fears that he is Chris Henry 2.0

Exactly who he reminds me of.

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3 hours ago, Bojang0301 said:

I'm so conflicted about this guy. He's going to be a workout warrior. His production on the ground stinks but he caught 44 balls his JR season. Depending on who drafts him he may warrant a 2nd round pick despite my fears that he is Chris Henry 2.0

His production is just really baffling. Screams Christine Michael to me. He does seem to much better pass catching skills that Michael though. I wonder if gets "converted" to an h-back type role.

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Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage measured 6-foot-1 4/8 inches and 228 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Ballage's weight was essentially the same as what Arizona State listed it at for the 2017 season, but the height mark is noticeably different. The Sun Devils were so kind as to list him at 6-foot-3. Ballage is additionally working with a hand measurement of 9 4/8 inches, an arm length of 32 6/8 inches and a wingspan of 77 1/8 inches. While the back faces questions in terms of his on-field vision, he's a prime candidate to rip up the combine in testing. We think that could lead to his being overdrafted.

Source: Charles Robinson on Twitter 

Feb 28 - 2:23 PM

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On 2/5/2018 at 2:15 PM, Zyphros said:

if you're a person that drafts on combine workouts this guy will be your 1.02.  If you watch him play, he'll be a 3rd rounder at best in fantasy circles.  

Can I backtrack?  I rewatched him and he's better than I first thought.  There are things that I'm not impressed with but after re-watching him, there is more good than bad that he could have a solid NFL role minimally with the chance to be a possible workload back.  

I think he'll settle in that late 1st / early 2nd type of rookie pick 

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Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage unofficially recorded a 40-yard dash time of 4.46 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Ballage (6'1/228) has plenty of athletic ability and that 4.46-second time is plenty respectable at his size. He earlier pumped in 15 reps when the running backs group went through the bench press on Thursday. While we wouldn't be surprised to see Ballage's stock rise through his work at the combine, his issues with vision and on-field patience concern us.

Source: NFL.com

Mar 2 - 1:36 PM

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On 2/20/2018 at 11:31 AM, Dawg Pound 69 said:

He reminds me of Knile Davis. Great athlete, but seems to lack RB instincts and vision.

He actually looked pretty natural at the Senior Bowl. I just hate getting tempted by guys like him who were essentially benched for far lesser talent.

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22 minutes ago, Bojang0301 said:

He actually looked pretty natural at the Senior Bowl. I just hate getting tempted by guys like him who were essentially benched for far lesser talent.

Coaches at  Tennessee played people in front of kamara all the time....I wouldn't put too much stock into it one way or another...concern? a little yes. 

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4 hours ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Coaches at  Tennessee played people in front of kamara all the time....I wouldn't put too much stock into it one way or another...concern? a little yes. 

Honestly, I like Ballage. He looked really good at the senior bowl, he looks like a valuable Swiss Army knife type player at RB. Kamara split time with John Kelly who is twice the RB Demario Richard is. I’m not going to over think it but he will continue to sit behind the Royce Freeman’s and Justin Jackson’s for me. Guys who are maybe a tick below his athleticism but who have the history of collegiate production. I think that would put him at about 3rd or 4th round in dynasty right now unless he gets a Kamara like situation on a team that likes to utilize backs to a higher degree in the passing game.

Edited by Bojang0301
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Ballage is a guy everyone wants on their Dynasty roster because these type of guys are always so intriguing...the question will be when are you willing to pull the trigger...his draft slot/location will settle a lot of this for me (actually probably all of it)...if someone is willing to make him a day 2 pick he will become a very hot commodity...

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Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage completed one of "the best pro day workouts... ever witnessed from a running back," according to Tony Pauline.

We will call hyperbole on this one, but we weren't at the workout. Ballage produced an athletic composite score in the 56th percentile at the NFL Combine, firmly in the average range. Apparently, he improved on those numbers on Wednesday, strengthening his vertical and forty time. Ballage is a very interesting player whose style currently relies on athleticism, but he is a comfortable receiver for a ball carrier of his size.

Source:  Draft Analyst

Mar 15 - 9:14 AM

 

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On 3/2/2018 at 7:58 PM, Boston said:

Ballage is a guy everyone wants on their Dynasty roster because these type of guys are always so intriguing...the question will be when are you willing to pull the trigger...his draft slot/location will settle a lot of this for me (actually probably all of it)...if someone is willing to make him a day 2 pick he will become a very hot commodity...

Do you understand what happened to Ballage college? How come he wasn’t used more?

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I guess is a hype thread so being positive is the norm, but this guy looks pretty awful to me. No vision, no power(for a 230 pounder that's especially off putting) and he seemingly got worse the more he played.

I thought the Knile Davis comparison is pretty spot on. Ballage might carve out a role as a change of pace, but likely will be most useful as a kick returner in my opinion. He's outside my top-10 rookie RB's. 

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If Ballage is such a big play threat, then where are the big plays? Over his 4-year career, he had a grand total of 11 20+ yard runs, 4 25+ yard receptions, 2 receiving TDs, and 0 return TDs. An average RB would get about 21 20+ yard runs over the same number of carries.

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Demario Richard is probably one of the worst RB prospects I’ve seen in my lifetime. Situation is going to be in play here but I can’t help but remember that someone who makes Rob Kelley look like Emmitt Smith put this guy on the bench.

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Just went 1.06 in my draft, ahead of rojo and all the WRs. Wasn’t on my radar that early, but to each their own in a pre nfl draft rookie draft league. 

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57 minutes ago, Snorkelson said:

Just went 1.06 in my draft, ahead of rojo and all the WRs. Wasn’t on my radar that early, but to each their own in a pre nfl draft rookie draft league. 

It’s the time for silly season. FWIW, I do like Ballage and I just saw recently that he had the highest maintained MPH on the field at the Senior Bowl week/game (where he also looked fairly good during the game). He has the potential to enter a situation and people getting all hot and bothered about his athletic ability. As much as we point to Michael as a bust, let us not forget the prices he was demanding up until his fall from grace. I will suggest the same thing I suggested when Michael owners were saying they wouldn’t take two first for him, sell him at peak value before he is exposed as a role player. 

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An NFL scout speaking with Bob McGinn Football said that Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage "has a chance to be dynamic."

"But he’s got to prove it over the long haul that he can do it day in and day out from the standpoint of being tough," the scout said. "I could see somebody jumping up in the third round because the talent is there." The 6-foot-1, 228-pounder is one of the more athletic prospects at his position, but we have our questions about his vision and approach to the field. NDT Scouting's Kyle Crabbs has compared him to Vikings RB Latavius Murray.

Source: Bob McGinn Football 

Apr 24 - 3:00 PM

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29 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Good enough to hurt Drake

I don't think Drake was ever going to have the backfield to himself, he seems destined for a time share situation regardless. I do think Drake has a good shot at taking the lions share of the touches with the current crop of RBs on the team, though. Gore is winding down and Ballage doesn't look (to me at least) like he's nearly as good as Drake. If you have Drake (I own 1 share) I would think you'd be cautiously optimistic with the results so far. 

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Just now, foxco said:

I don't think Drake was ever going to have the backfield to himself, he seems destined for a time share situation regardless. I do think Drake has a good shot at taking the lions share of the touches with the current crop of RBs on the team, though. Gore is winding down and Ballage doesn't look (to me at least) like he's nearly as good as Drake. If you have Drake (I own 1 share) I would think you'd be cautiously optimistic with the results so far a little bit worried.

fixed

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