Former two-time first team All-MAC Toledo running back David Fluellen wasn't taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, but did sign with the Philadelphia Eagles almost immediately after the event came to a close.
Fluellen, a powerful, big running back during his four seasons in Toledo, should be a decent third down running back or No. 2 guy for the Eagles. In four seasons at Toledo, two as the starting running back, Fluellen showed off his power running game. A big-bodied back at 5-foot-11, 224 pounds Fluellen punished MAC defenders with his downhill running style.
In his junior and senior seasons he averaged 124 yards a game, while keeping his yards per attempt average close to six. He amassed 23 touchdowns in that same span, proving his workhorse status by eclipsing the 200-yard mark during four games (he came three yards shy of a fifth time) in that span.
But injuries, something to be expected of a back who runs with the punishing style Fluellen does, led to him missing parts of seasons during his entire four year career. An ankle injury, which later turned out to be a fracture, kept him out of three games at the end of this season, and parts of two. He still managed to rack up 1,121 yards and 10 touchdowns, and was among the nation's leading rushers when he suffered the injury.
In 2012 he missed one game with an ankle injury, and parts of two other games, but amazed 1,498 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2011, as a backup, Fluellen still managed to get 493 yards on 97 carries, but missed one game near the end of the season. As a true freshman Fluellen suffered a sprained MCL and missed four games.
At the Combine, Fluellen didn't help himself out by running a slow 4.72 40, but he shaved .06 seconds off his forty time at his pro day.
More On Fluellen
More On Fluellen
WEIGHT: 224 lbs
40-YARD DASH: 4.72 sec
3-CONE DRILL: 6.90 sec
BROAD JUMP: 120''
The knocks on Fluellen are obvious. He's a big back who lacks ideal speed. He's not incredibly agile, and relies mostly on his power to break off runs. As a big back, he tends to run straight up, which has undoubtedly led to some of his injury issues, and his 560 carries in college have put a lot of miles on a back who has had a string of injuries, is below average in catching and doesn't block well.
That said, his power in undeniable. Fluellen is a bruising back who can excel in short yardage and goal line possessions. He has great field vision, find holes and attacks them. He keeps his legs pumping and is able to maintain his balance allowing him to power out a few extra inches at the end of his runs.
Again, Fluellen is a bulldog, and will not only take the pounding of running up the gut, but will seek out contact and excel by lighting up defenders. It's almost impossible to arm tackle this power back. He's not a home run hitter, but he's the type of back you can run head on at the defense like a battering ram and break them down.
Expect to see him make some sort of impact this fall.