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Importance of an RB's "pad level" or "pad height" (1 Viewer)


I hear so much about a player's "pad level" as I study the new crop of RBs each year, only now realizing that I don;t really know what it means exactly.Is it simply the angle at which a player finishes a run, can't this be "coached" up in the pros if it's insufficient at the college level?How important of a factor do you rank pad level when drafting a fantasy back and is it more for power backs than speed guys?



It would be best to get someone like Waldman in his to explain it better, but the way I define it is whether the RB runs low enough to the ground so that his shoulder pads are below the defender's, giving him leverage. This is why 5-10 and under RB's tend to do better since taller backs have trouble getting lower to the ground when they run.

I would say it's more important for power guys than speed guys because the power guys need that leverage to break tackles.

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Pad level is definitely about getting lower than the defender for leverage, and then exploding up and through the defender to finish runs going forward or breaking through tackles entirely. A guy that runs "too high" is easier to tackle and will lose the battle of leverage, often times resulting in no yardage or negative yardage plays. It's definitely important for all backs in general, and even more so for power guys who need to convert first downs and scoring opportunities.

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